How I met the Designosaur
Hello, I am an architect. And this is the record of an astonishing encounter I had when I became involved with the Anthropocene thesis. Like most of us, I grew up and was socialised in the geological epoch called the Holocene. The stable, constant - and supposedly endless - geological period that has lasted for the last 11,700 years, which most likely has come to an end. Climate change is just one indicator of this assumption. Within these last 11,700 years, humans transformed from "one species among others" to the "dominant geological force" on this planet.
To describe this new role of humans, the term "Anthropocene" emerged. It is a controversial term that is still much debated. Nevertheless, the sciences agree on one core message: humans are deeply involved in a global change - humans have become the dominant geological force. That's a pretty amazing fact! Yet it is also somehow very abstract and disturbing.
So, I decided that I needed to find out more about the Anthropocene and how it effects my design practice as an architect. I have always felt that Architecture should be contemporary, and if my design is to be contemporary and the Anthropocene is the new epoch, we live in then I wanted to know all about it. I wondered, what was the best way to familiarise yourself with something completely new? Something abstract and yet very present at the same time?
I decided to take a walk - a walk into the Anthropocene.
My plan was to look at some of the beautiful, well-made, accurate and innovative buildings. The buildings that are constantly praised in magazines and online. I wanted to find out how they deal with the new conditions. It was on this journey that I bumped into the Designosaur. Of course, at first, I didn't know that I had met a Designosaur. But after a while it became very obvious. And soon enough, it became clear this encounter was a story that reflected back on me.
My journey began with an innocent walk through the Anthropocene and ended in an intense, emotional and exhausting discussion. Full of surprises and assertions. Nevertheless, it was one of the most enlightening encounters I have ever had.
But let's start from the beginning. Are you ready for a whole new experience? One walk, ten chapters. Welcome to the Anthropocene!