Progress towards the objectives
Objective 6. lessons learned from the solution given to the problems of the society in the Modern design of flats for coping with environmental problems today.
In the early Modern Movement not the aesthetics, but a solution to problems of the society stayed in foreground. Those problems related to socially suitable housing. Today such problems are environmental ones. A key for coping with environmental problems is given by Alexander (1977) in the participation of individual citizens using an architecture language; build on the basis of singular “words”, which describe the typical space-configuring elements of settlements, buildings and constructive elements. Such words can be the textures. Therefore the relationship between the architectural language and the response to the problems of the society will be investigated.
Social response indicators, environmental response indicators
One point regarding environmental hazards is climate change. Interwar multi-storey blocks of flats are located in densely inhabited areas with little green spaces. A solution to that may be pocket parks, but also the escape to the large green areas along the city is a solution. The work performed included gathering of materials regarding the “rediscovered green space”, an approach derived from objective 5. The materials were also translated into Romania in frame of a short time collaboration with the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, a project led by Prof. Dr. Ana Maria Zahariade, as mentioned in the project proposal. We were also member of a round table discussion on the topic of “Lost gardens”, and are preparing a book proposal on landscape architecture together with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cerasella Craciun.
The main environmental hazard considered are earthquakes. Several aspects of earthquakes were considered, including the costs of retrofit measures, but also the influence of architectural layout on vulnerability, as reported at objective 1. This aspect keeps connection with the former research of the applicant on natural disasters. It resulted into international conference sessions. Also the research tends to see the contemporary developments as compared to the interwar ones. Such, the site of the l’Aquila earthquake was visited, and, since the new housing developed there is envisaged to become student housing afterwards, put in connection with similar housing designed in interwar time, for example that of Le Corbusier, visited in Paris, or that of HaDiKo, Germany, recently researched.
This research on environmental hazards also lead to teaching assignments, such as the course “Town protection against risks”, on pay by hour basis, at the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism.
Currently follow-up research is being done on contemporary zoning of housing in Romania (past 10 years), which is a typology inspired by interwar architecture, in frame of the half-time employment at the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism.
A session and a Splinter meeting were organised at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna in 2010 and respectively 2009, focusing on general environmental hazards. Following them a book agreement was concluded with Springer and half of the papers already submitted on the topic of “Earthquake Hazards Impact and Urban Planning”. Another session proposal was submitted to the Italian Urban History Association general meeting 2011 and accepted.
A book on the “rediscovered green space”. Three books on vulnerability to earthquakes and architecture layout as reported at objective 1.
The results of teaching were reported on at international conferences and will build a chapter in the above mentioned book.
Such an approach regarding the role of green spaces to protect from the influences of climate change is followed by a COST action which unfortunately we were not able to join (yet), despite positive approval from the university (Romania does not consider European funding such as reintegration grants as eligible).
Course on “Historic accidents”, as general connection between hazards and the arts (more specifically: film), in frame of the doctoral training.
Course on architecture and philosophy, which was applied to see how disasters reshape the city, and connected to the approaches of Le Corbusier in the interwar time, also in frame of the doctoral training.