Thursday, April 07, 2016
Robert Fishman, Dean of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim, Switzerland, opened the 5th LafargeHolcim Forum for Sustainable Construction.
Associate Professor of Architecture, Yale University, New Haven, USA
Infrastructure space is something like an operating system for shaping the city, a surrounding matrix of repeatable rules, relationships, and spatial products. It is shaping of some of the most radical changes to the globalizing world and presents an underexploited tool of global change that brings another relevance to the art of design.
Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Government of the Netherlands, Ministry for Infrastructure & the Environment, The Hague, Netherlands
In search of Transformative Capacity
Risk can best be adapted to and mitigated at a metropolitan and regional scale and this is where we must act, despite the added complexity. Water, as the number one global risk, is at the heart of this uncertain future. To face these uncertainties – but also the opportunities to mitigate these risks – we need the transformative capacity of collaboration.
Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Africa’s Infrastructure Appetite
Africa is experiencing a demographic boom, with an expanding middle class and fast urbanization driving most of its growth but is lagging behind every other world region on infrastructure indicators. The potential to do much more is being seriously assessed by economic actors. Contextualizing the current market conditions and properly understanding risk will be an important contribution for the future.
Professor of Urban Studies, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), London, United Kingdom
Infrastructures of Integration
Using research from the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Urban Age programme and examples from contemporary practice, the lecture explored the physical and political impacts of infrastructure on urban life.
Four concurrent workshops addressed the topic of “Infrastructure Space” by investigating different themes. Each workshop was shortly introduced to the plenum by its moderators before participants decided for one of them.
Focus: The notion of performance was explored in its technological as well as its social, political, constructive, and aesthetic dimensions, in different geographical and temporal contexts, through discussion of concrete examples of buildings and their components.
Philippe Block, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Georges Teyssot, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada and Laurent Stalder, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Focus: Infrastructure was thought of as a site of collective design engagement for the urban and its permutations that requires an expanded repertoire of tools; from entry points, like the sites of interface between systems and scales, to representations that could enable ways to generate alternative infrastructural forms.
Guillaume Habert, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Jesse LeCavalier, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, USA and Jason Young, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
Focus: When infrastructure is conceived and constructed at the territorial scale its systems and logics cross boundaries and jurisdictions, territorializing regional geographies. This workshop focused on interdependent, overlapping infrastructures through three dominant themes: water, energy and risk.
Marc Angélil, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Geoffrey Thün, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA and Kathy Velikov, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Focus: This workshop took several case studies from across the globe to explore the consequences of the supposedly non-urban realm now being engulfed within the variegated patterns and pathways of a planetary formation of urbanization.
Harry Gugger, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland
Neil Brenner, Harvard GSD, Cambridge, USA and Christian Schmid, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Friday, April 08, 2016
Editorial Page Editor, Detroit Free Press, Detroit, USA
Reinvesting in the Urban Core: Toward Sustainability and Justice
What the abandonment, and potential rebirth, of one Detroit neighborhood can teach us about the city's sustainability in the context of the past, present and future.
The four mobile workshops, introduced by Michigan native Sarah Nichols, enabled participants to visit sites across the Detroit metropolitan region that intersect with the Forum's theme "Infrastructure Space." The excursions grounded the Forum's global discussions with examples that were experienced and discussed in situ.
The infrastructure of dwelling, from house to campus
The architectural scale (yellow) mobile workshop explored the infrastructure of dwelling through three projects in the metro Detroit area: the Lafayette Park superblock, the Dymaxion house, and finally, Cranbrook's campus as a whole learning environment.
Organizers: Reed Kroloff & Gregory Wittkopp
Adaptation and reuse: a story in three parts
The metropolitan scale (green) mobile workshop focused on the adaptation, reuse, and repositioning of large-scale buildings, parcels, and city districts through three sections: a Corktown industrial building, the riverfront, and an array of neighborhood projects on the East Side.
Organizers: Dan Kinkead & Tom Sherry
Infrastructure’s capacity for community-building
The territorial scale (blue) mobile workshop explored infrastructure’s capacity for community-building through the Beltline project, a collection of businesses – from a boxing gym to a salvage warehouse – working together to upgrade their common infrastructure.
Organizers: Dan Pitera & Diane Van Buren
The urban pattern of the automotive industry
The planetary scale (orange) mobile workshop focused on the history of the automotive industry and, in doing so, the infrastructural and urban history of the city. Key Ford Motor Company sites in and around Detroit will be visited in reverse chronological order, from the present to the origins of mass production.
Organizers: Jerry Herron & Aaron Martin
Saturday, April 09, 2016
Break-out sessions continued to summarize the findings of every workshop group. The results were then presented to the plenum.
The LafargeHolcim Forum concluded with a review and debate between a panel of established experts. The panel deliberated and discussed the results of the workshops, and placed the findings into the larger context of “Infrastructure Space”.
Rolf Soiron, International Committee of the Red Cross, Switzerland
Maria Atkinson AM, Green Building Council of Australia; Arab Hoballah, UNEP, France; Rahul Mehrotra, Harvard University, USA; and Edgar Mora Altamirano, Mayor of Curridabat, Costa Rica.
The farewell dinner took place at the historic Gem Theatre located in the heart of Detroit.