Architecture and the Death of Carbon Modernity


Mall of Qatar at the Rawdat Rashed Interchange, Al Rayyan, Qatar. Postcard image, Log 47: Overcoming Carbon Form. Photo: Maxar Technologies

Mall of Qatar at the Rawdat Rashed Interchange, Al Rayyan, Qatar. Postcard image, Log 47: Overcoming Carbon Form. Photo: Maxar Technologies

Log 47 reconceives architecture’s role in climate change away from sustainability and solutionism and toward its formal complicity and potential agency in addressing the crisis. In this excerpt from her introductory essay, guest editor Elisa Iturbe defines carbon form as a necessary new way of understanding architecture and urbanism in order to develop a new disciplinary paradigm.

Until now, most environmental discourse in architecture has focused on carbon as a by-product of building and construction, making it seem that at the ecological brink, the most pressing concern is energy efficiency. This stance compartmentalizes the discipline and dislocates the origin of the climate crisis from the dominant political, economic, and spatial organizations that are its cause. In response to this dislocation, Log: 47 Overcoming Carbon Form reconsiders the link between architecture and climate by exploring the reciprocity between energy and built form. To do so, energy must be understood beyond its technical capacity, viewed instead as a political and cultural force with inevitable spatial repercussions.

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