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
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


The shrinking city represents a confounding inversion of the conventional understanding of continually growing urban centers. Confronted with such uncertainty, opportunities for action can be presented in times of risk. Current trends in popular culture have embraced the theme of the Apocalypse, reflective of a vibrant obsession among North Americans for the consumption of doomsday scenarios. This cultural expression of the Apocalypse parallels a sense of paranoia and pessimism, rooted in the perception of the uncertain future. Yet this obsession with Apocalypticism is not solely recent, with a presence that extends throughout North American history. Throughout history, architecture and design were reflective of the Zeitgeist, and optimistically responded to a popular perception of impending apocalypse with design actions of resistance.

The amazingly resilient city of Detroit, USA has survived and regenerated itself throughout multiple “apocalyptic” scenarios. Apocalyptic Architecture, an interdisciplinary research and design initiative, explored the richness and potential of Detroit’s historic, cultural, and spatial conditions - seeking to identify sensitive design opportunities in the face of the Apocalypse. The research initiative produced design actions responsive to both the current manifestation of apocalyptic paranoia and the context of the city of Detroit. Utilizing critical research and analysis of prior historic conditions and solutions, and a sensitive engagement of contemporary social and urban issues, varied and approachable interdisciplinary designs offered potential solutions of optimism. In the spirit of Kenneth Frampton - they produced a new “architecture of resistance” against Apocalypticism.1


This presentation intends to demonstrate how the action of collaborative interdisciplinary approaches facilitated responsive research and design goals. The research focused on activated design solutions for the unique spatial and demographic conditions of Detroit - a city ever resilient and innovative in the face of the “Apocalypse.” Research themes included post-industrial landscapes and brownfields; sustainable design practices through self-sufficiency, preservation, and adaptive reuse; and relevant history and theories - and developed a clear understanding of real-world design opportunities to address the perception of the Apocalypse.


1 Kenneth Frampton, “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance” in The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture. Hal Foster, ed. Seattle: Bay Press, 1983.

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.