In medical terms critical care, also known as intensive care, is a specialized branch of medicine dedicated to diagnosing and treating life-threatening conditions. For this lecture, this term is borrowed to address the planet’s life-threatening condition. Throughout the twenty-first century the condition of the planet has made headlines.
The news is not good. The diagnosis is bleak. We have come to understand that the Anthropocene-Capitalocene is straining the planet to its breaking point. The planet we live on and we live with is exhausted, drained, depleted, damaged, broken. Therefore, the planet is urgently in need of critical care to repair livability and inhabitability and to restore its condition for its continued existence in the future. Architecture and urbanism are at the heart of the modern project of capitalism. Modernist aspirations in architecture were based on the powerful promise of building a better future. Today, we live in the ruins of this promise.
This lecture asks in what ways architecture and urbanism starting from the given interdependence of economy, ecology, and labor can contribute to such critical care taking acknowledging that there is no promise of a better future, but much rather a process of permanent repair. Following Joan Tronto’s political notion of care as everything we do to maintain and repair ourselves and our environment, the chosen examples in architecture and urbanism provide evidence that through a perspective of care social and environmental justice are not mutually exclusive.
The lecture will be on November the 30th (9-11 am).
It will be held online over Zoom:
Meeting ID: 982 0180 3111
Elke Krasny, PhD, Professor for Art and Education and Head of the Department of Education in the Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Krasny’s interdisciplinary scholarship, academic writings, curatorial work, and international lectures address questions of care at the present historical conjuncture with a focus on emancipatory and transformative practices in art, curating, architecture and urbanism. Her interdisciplinary approach connects feminist theory, care ethics, cultural history, environmental humanities, and memory studies.
The 2019 exhibition and edited volume Critical Care. Architecture and Urbanism for a Broken Planet, curated and edited together with Angelika Fitz, was published by MIT Press and introduces a care perspective in architecture addressing the anthropocenic conditions of the global present.
Prof. Dr. Elke Krasny
Caption: Yasmeen Lari/Heritage Foundation of Pakistan: Sindh Flood Rehabilitation, Sindh Region, Pakistan, since 2010 © Heritage Foundation of Pakistan