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Obscure: Dwelling in the View

Thursday December 3rd, 2015

This installation aims to open up the ambiguities in how we imagine and respond to our place in the environment. Upon CNC milling and construction, it will be exhibited along Sherbrooke St as one of many installations forming a part of the Sherbrooke Street corridor project, one of the research-creation initiatives within the Practices of Urban Resilience research project. As an inhabitable camera obscura with the form and function of an architecturalised roof pentamirror, the installation draws attention to the problematic reduction of the environment to image and the idealised separation of humanity from the ‘natural’. Interrogating our relationship to the environment is essential as we build and dwell within cities in the face of human-induced climate change. Developing an ethical and sustainable relationship with our surroundings that acknowledges our embodiment within the complex ecological systems that sustain us and the planet is the fundamental challenge we are faced with.

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FARMM, the Facility for Architectural Research in Media and Mediation, is a McGill University School of Architecture research hub that aims to unite researchers and students from within the School of Architecture and across the McGill campus with academic, institutional, industry, and professional researchers from around the world.

Fabricative knowledge

Research-creation and scholarly activity within FARMM is premised upon the assumption that to know is to know through making. It is a formidable mode of knowledge production that is unequivocally technologically situated. A central component of this discourse is the fact that architects, artists, and designers have the capacity to bring unique, relevant, and critical approaches to the use and development of technology that reshape society’s worldview in imaginative and ethical ways.

Research-creation: technics, design, and technology

Through project-based activities, the FARMM community is interested in an interdisciplinary research approach that explores the cultural role, philosophical implications, and creative or poetic capacities of new technologies within design and design-related fields. FARMM seeks to develop, frame, and understand innovative approaches to design and to promote the adoption and use of new technologies for design in an ethical and thoughtful manner relative to issues of cultural and environmental sustainability, architectural and urban design propositions, collaborative and artistic practices, and technological development. We aspire to provide world-class training environments for researchers and students alike.

Interdisciplinary Technics

FARMM is founded upon productive interdisciplinary collaboration bringing together multiple methodologies from architectural and urban design, artistic practices, and humanities-based scholarship to computer science and engineering. Design, whether characterized as ‘integrated’, ‘comprehensive’, or ‘sustainable’, is a complex and inherently collaborative endeavor. The technical, political-socio-cultural, and vital regimes exist in a complex mutual exchange. As such, the scholarly, applied, and creative investigation of our relationship to the environment requires a constellation of perspectives and methods.