Push, Pull, Bend, Bind: Enacting Architecture Through Behaviour and Consequence
LANCELOT COAR, University of Manitoba
Informality in Bogotá: Housing, Rapid Urbanization, and Public Space
JORGE COLÓN, University of New Mexico
Poetic Action for Autism: An Intersubjective Approach


Fueled by our senses, we frame our world view with our experiences and memories. Through narrative and history, we are able to translate these experiences and memories into built form to connect to our society on a transcendental level. What happens, though, when built form lacks this inherent meaning and inhibits the socialization process of those who are classified “to have no sense of identity, and to inhabit an empty world?”1 This paper proposes to use our design sensibilities to understand the nature of materials, textures, and poetic experiences of architectural space for those with autism. This holistic and empathetic approach to design could enhance the environment for those who appear limited in their mental abilities.


Autism is classified as a specialized disorder in which those affected have minimal to no communication skills and no executive function. This unfiltered worldview allows those with autism to understand the inherent nature of things in a more concrete, primal level, making them bottom-up thinkers.2 However, because of our increasingly disengaged societal interactions, (through computer programs, video games, TV shows, partnered with the effects of medication) those with autism retreat into a world of their own. Thus, their world is experienced through observation rather than “doing,” and their interaction with the real world becomes static.


In our current means and methods of design, we are also experiencing through observation rather than “doing.” However, as architects designing specific one-to-one scale objects, we are able to enter the world of an individual and incite within that individual an intersubjective world view. One-to-one scale objects inform our architectural decisions in a metaphorical way – stretching the perceptions of those with autism that will reawaken their ability to interact with society.

1 Barbara Furneaux and Brian Roberts, Autistic Children (London: Routledge, 1977), 11.
2 Temple Grandin, “Dr. Temple Grandin” (lecture at the Character in Leadership event, University of Jamestown, Jamestown, ND, October 10, 2013).

Black Contemporary: Act of Construction
PETER P. GOCHÉ, Iowa State University
Experiencing the Three-Legged Stool: Social, Economic and Environmental Education
Through the Mariposa Redevelopment

MARIANNE BELLINO HOLBERT, University of Colorado-Boulder


Clouds of Action: Rethinking Urban Contexts as Differential and Participatory Fields 
HANNAH HOPEWELL, Auckland University of Technology


Inhabiting Difference: Integrating Rule Based Design and Cultural Ritual
JASON S. JOHNSON, University of Calgary
Exposing Experiences: Research Based Placemaking
JENNY KEMPSON, Framework Cultural Placemaking (Seattle)
Turbulence and the Creation of Home
GRAHAM LIVESEY, University of Calgary


Heaven on Earth: Transient Dwelling and Adaptation in Downtown Houston
GREGORY MARINIC, University of Houston
Digital Surrogacy in Ephemeral Sites
URSULA EMERY MCCLURE, Louisiana State University
Returning Anew: Sequential Experience in the Jewett Art Center
KEVIN MOORE, Auburn University
Patterning Temporary Atmospheres: Installations for the Experience of Sound and Light
CLAY ODOM, University of Texas
Photography as a Phenomenological Tool in Architectural Representation
ERIKA PETRIC, Technical University of Graz
Apocalyptic Architecture: Designing Within Resilient Detroit
ZIAD QURESHI, Iowa State University
Free Zoning: Designing a Framework for Typological Evolution and Continual Building Acts
GEORG RAFAILIDIS, State University of New York at Buffalo
Blind Spot: The User Usurps the Dwelling Act and the Designer’s Attention
NATALIJA SUBOTINCIC, University of Manitoba
Toward Anonymity in Architecture: An Augmentation of the Historical Project of Autonomy
JOSHUA M. TARON, University of Calgary
Call Before You Cut! The Importance of Tree Protection
ANNA THURMAYR, University of Manitoba


The Lightest Material

AARON J. WEINERT, Wentworth Institute of Technology


The Architectural Lessons of Anselm Kiefer’s La Ribaute: The Material of History and the Space of Dramatic Representation
STEPHEN A. WISCHER, North Dakota State University


Reclaiming Space

PAOLA ZELLNER, Virginia Tech


The 2014 Atmosphere Committee consists of: Lisa Landrum, Chair (Architecture), Rae Bridgman (City Planning), Alyssa Schwann (Environmental Design), Lynn Chalmers (Interior Design), Marcella Eaton (Landscape Architecture); with web design and graphics support from Thalia Andreoglou (Masters of Architecture student), and administrative support from Brandy O’Reilly (Faculty of Architecture, Partners Program).


Questions? Please contact Lisa.Landrum@umanitoba.ca


Atmosphere is generously supported by the Faculty of Architecture Endowment Fund and the following professional associations: the Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA); the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects (MALA); and the Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba (PIDIM).                  

Aspects of Atmosphere 2014 ACTION are being presented in collaboration with StoreFront Manitoba and aceartinc.