Industrious ecologies: Reclaiming the subjectivity of the city
Please send your abstract (300 words) till 15th of April 2014 to email@example.com
This conference will extend ideas first presented at the conference 'Re-industrialisation and a progressive urbanism' organized by the Master of Architecture Programme, Plymouth University in June 2013 [http://plymarch.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/re-industrialisation-and-progressive-urbanism-conference-update/]; it is inspired by a number of connected themes: urban re-industrialisation; industrial ecology; and the circular economy; it looks at how these themes result in different structures creating a theoretical and practical framework for urban regeneration and building design.
The idea of industrious ecologies is inspired by the notion of ' industrial ecology' which consists primarily of finding synergies between different elements of the production processes in different, often completely unrelated, technologies and companies. Rather than a linear process, from raw material to product / waste, industrial ecology is looking for a symbiotic relationship in which the waste of one process is a resource for another . This kind of thinking about industry should obviously appeal to everybody seriously interested in environmental issues. However, we believe that the potential of this approach is a lot bigger. In the term industrious we go beyond conventional notions of industry and production to describe our relationship between an individual and their work, looking for a sustainable, democratic and inclusive socio-economic structure, able to re-create a city as a political subject. In using the term ecologies we are interested not in a single set of relationships between different material flows but in the wider connections between individuals, society, technology and nature that include all human and non-human actors.
The idea of industrious ecologies is fundamentally connected with an idea of a knowledge based economy, occupying the gaps between academia, design studio, research laboratory and consumers. It focuses on a knowledge produced in-between, in a process of translation from one economical entity to another. This conference will also seek a further understanding of the concept of a circular economy as a ”‘functional service’ model in which manufacturers or retailers increasingly retain the ownership of their products and, where possible, act as service providers—selling the use of products, not their one-way consumption” (The Ellen MacArthur Foundation). An industrious ecology could become a 'machine of inclusivity' constructing urban subjectivity that cannot afford to 'waste' its citizens or their environment. The concept of industrious ecologies is also a tool to stimulate urban synergies in any field: social, cultural, economic and political; and to build a city as a political, democratic and egalitarian subject.
We welcome papers seeing re-industrialisation and urban synergies as a path leading to a better, more just and equal but also economically and environmentally more effective city.