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Theory Forum: Thinking Resilience.

Sheffield School of Architecture

We have the ambition to position SSoA as an influential ChangeMaker in transforming the current unsustainable society driven by values of consumerism, to a resilient one based on values of shared social responsibility. Resilience is usually defined as…


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We have the ambition to position SSoA as an influential ChangeMaker in transforming the current unsustainable society driven by values of consumerism, to a resilient one based on values of shared social responsibility. Resilience is usually defined as the capacity to recover from a crisis or a shock. Rather than bouncing back to the status-quo, we define resilience as the transformational and connective capacities of communities to live well through times of ecological, economic and social crises.

Architecture straddles many disciplines and requires synthesis of many variants. This makes us especially well placed to contribute to the understanding of resilience. However, whilst most schools of architecture along with research centres investigate mitigation strategies to these shocks they do not yet address ways of adapting to them and the role of resilience in achieving successful transformation.
At SSoA we are proposing to focus some of our research, on strategies that help to build up local resilience to the major societal changes such as climate change, scarcity and demographics, at a neighborhood level. We propose to do that through establishing school wide Building Local Resilience research platform.

As we begin to develop this shared research platform we are mindful that such an endeavour must be rooted in the nature of the research we have already accumulated, and that the collective value of our work should be greater than simply the sum of its parts.

The Theory Forum 2013, Thinking Resilience invites the research staff of the school to present their past and current research through the lens of Local Resilience. The students are invited to examine and test, identify overlaps and discrepancies, debate and challenge the research questions, the research methodologies and the knowledge that we have accumulated and evaluate how well this body of research supports the understanding of Local Resilience.

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