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A Ruderal Architecture

Cormac Dockry


Proposal: A School of Trades & Horticulture
Location: Sheriff Street Upper

This thesis uses Actor-Network Theory to assist in designing for the Chthulucene. Trying to answer the question, can Architecture bridge a mutualistic relationship between urban systems and natural systems? Donna Haraway says “...unlike either the Anthropocene or the Capitalocene, the Chthulucene is made up of ongoing multispecies stories and practices of becoming-with in times that remain at stake, in precarious times in which the world is not finished and the sky has not fallen - yet. Human beings are not the only important actors in the Chthulucene, with all other beings able simply to react. The order is reknitted”. In the modernist discourse of architecture, the aim was to remove all pre-existing qualities and values of a site, to arrive at a “tabula rasa”, a space free of influences and attachments, allowing the architect to solely focus on the products and objects of architecture. Responding to this, design should draw out the values embedded within the physical and natural aspects of site. Actors that affect the design of my scheme vary from the human to non-human and biotic to abiotic. All actors are granted equal status, so the role and skills of the human or even the designer, are ultimately no more substantial than the point of view of a fallen leaf or a worm. It’s important to understand this project doesn’t attempt to recreate any homes for these non-human, it simply acts as a place of refuge for them in a time of crisis.

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