Accepted paper:

Inviting atmospheres to the architecture table

Authors:

Nerea Calvillo (University of Warwick)

Paper short abstract:

The design and production of a temporary installation has been the means to inquire how designing with atmospheres may challenge STS notions of material participation, as well as proposing a different account of how socialities can be facilitated with buildings/atmospheres in architecture.

Paper long abstract:

STS accounts of material participation have acknowledged what buildings can do in relation to the social. In particular, things (and therefore buildings) acquire their agency and political capacities depending on how they are deployed, which implies that the socialities facilitated by buildings cannot be completely predetermined and are necessarily experimental. In order to test this shift to the processual and architectural practice's ability to design socialities, this project proposes to think and work with a dynamic material: air. What we gain shifting from architecture as objects to atmospheres is twofold. On one hand, it destabilizes conventional ways of practising architecture. On the other, it opens up spaces for experimenting in the design of socialities, which do not necessarily take place only after the project is finished through atmospheric attunements, but is a permanent transformation that occurs also during its production. Or in other words, it is a continual material invention of the social in three dimensions. This speculative proposal is part of an on-going practice-based research illustrated through an installation of an art space in 2014, which became an exploration in how to take seriously the invitation of (atmospheric) more-than-humans to architecture, as well as showing how the social can be in part designed with matter and atmospheres.

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Doing theory by other means: how does architectural production challenge STS and ANT