Projective Views on Urban Metabolism Conference

Feb 07, 2014

The Doctor of Design program at the GSD, with the support of the Urban Theory Lab, the Energy and Environment Lab, New Geographies Lab, the Department of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the Urban Metabolism group at the GSD, are hosting a one-day conference entitled "Projective Views on Urban Metabolism". The concept of urban metabolism, aiming to grasp the continuous processes of energy, material and population exchange within and between cities and their extensive hinterlands, has been the subject of both extensive empirical research and, increasingly, critical discussion within the social and natural sciences. However, these interdisciplinary challenges have not yet been met with a synthetic response from the design disciplines. Through the lens of urban metabolism, the goals of this one-day conference are:  to reassess the planetary rescaling of contemporary urbanization processes; to unpack the transformation of spatial forms and structures, and on this basis, to track the emergence of new operative territories for design; and finally, to explore the agency of design in confronting these challenges. This event, has been organized by UTL members Daniel Ibañez and Nikos Katsikis, with the support of UTL member Ali Fard and other doctoral students at the GSD. It will take place in Piper auditorium at the GSD on Friday February 7th from 10am to 6pm.

The conference is also connected to the forthcoming issue of New Geographies, ‘Grounding Metabolism’, edited by Daniel Ibañez and Nikos Katsikis, scheduled for publication in May 2014. 


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Grounding Metabolism book launch at the GSD

Sep 04, 2014

UTL researchers Daniel Ibañez and Nikos Katsikis launched their recent volume, New Geographies 06: 'Grounding Metabolism', at the Loeb Library, Harvard GSD. This book aims to trace synthetic routes to design through a more elaborate understanding of the relation between concepts of urban metabolism and the formal, physical, and material engraving of metabolic processes across scales. The book is now available for purchase through Harvard University Press and popular vendors.

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New Geographies, Grounding Metabolism, book, launch, GSD

Daniel Ibañez and Nikos Katsikis, book presentation and symposium talk in San Francisco

Apr 11, 2015

Daniel Ibañez and Nikos Katsikis, UTL Doctoral Researchers, presented their book, New Geographies 6: Grounding Metabolism, at the SPUR Urban Center in San Francisco. During their visit to the West Coast, they also contributed to a “flash symposium” on urban metabolism which was co-organized by the Urban Works Agency  and the California College of the Arts (CCA) as part of the San Francisco Market Street Prototyping Festival. This event took place on San Francisco’s Market Street and included short talks by Christopher Roach and Neeraj Bathia (Urban Works Agency/CCA), Irene Cheng (CCA) and David Fletcher (CCA).

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Daniel Ibañez at the Boston Design Biennial

Aug 10, 2017

Ways of Wood: Expressing Material Flows is one of the four installations of the Boston Design Biennial 2017 exhibited now at the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Rose Greenway in downtown Boston. This design installation has been designed and fabricated by a team lead by UTL researcher Daniel Ibañez of Margen-Lab.

Resembling images of logs floated from forests to sawmills, Ways of Wood aims to create a link with North American landscapes of industrial extraction. The nine logs gradually transform across their length into contemporary interpretations of these raw natural materials, here shaped via computer numerical control (CNC) milling. Inspired by the social sculpture of Joseph Beuys and the site-specific land art pieces of Andy Goldsworthy, Ways of Wood explicitly visualizes the connection between contemporary design concerns and the processes of material sourcing through its formal and material configuration. Avoiding the association that wood is a generic and uniform material the installation also brings together diverse regional wood species, supporting the specificities and ecological diversity each and one of them entail.

Wood is one of many material flows necessary to sustain urban life. Typically black-boxed and commodified, the material is often detached from any connection to the landscapes, processes, and people fundamental to its genesis. While the project creates a public space for sitting or socializing, it also attempts to create a territorial re-connection between the sites of material circulation and extraction and the experience of the city, and between vernacular material sources and advanced digital design.


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Daniel Ibañez, Boston, Design, Biennial, wood, metabolism, Ways of Wood, Greenway, prototype, installation

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