Assistant Professor Anya Sirota: Objective Uncertainty Panel Response at Taubman College's Risk Conference

Objective Uncertainty: Response
We live in an age of objective uncertainty, which is to say that we are objectively certain that these are precarious times. What we may be uncertain about – against a backdrop of environmental anxiety, financial crisis, and socio-cultural unhinging - is the architectural object's ability to do something about it. The stakes are high. If architecture is to re-establish a fundamental and critical relationship to existing political, economic, and cultural orders, if it is to take on a transformative agenda, then the conventional visual and formal tropes of prominence, continuity and monumentality may well need to be reconsidered. The question is, how? This panel will consider transformative design procedures – both risky and optimistic – that challenge accepted formats and redefine the parameters of architectural engagement. In trading programmatic determinacies for adaptability, finish for progression, or polish for opportunistic imperfection, does architecture expand its operating field and gain legitimacy as an instrument of change? Or is the acceptance of the architectural object's authoritative insolvencies too perilous a tactic in the contemporary environment?

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