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Oskar Gamböck

UNDERSTANDING THE ANTHROPOCENE THROUGH ARCHITECTURE

Oskar Gamböck . UNDERSTANDING THE ANTHROPOCENE THROUGH ARCHITECTURE afasia TU Braunschweig (1)

Oskar Gamböck

Anthropocene labels the geological age that is shaped by the influence of humankind. The term first appeared with mass appeal in a lecture by the Dutch chemist Paul J. Crutzen in 2002, where he remarked that “it seems appropriate to call the present man-made geological epoch the “Anthropocene”” (my translation, Crutzen). Thus, for the first time, he directly connected changes in the natural world, its biological, geological and atmospheric processes, with human influence; humankind was henceforth acknowledged as a geological influence factor. In critical discourse, anthropocene is, however, not an exclusively descriptive term. Rather, it is always tied to a mission. As Crutzen warns: “Scientists and engineers are faced with an enormous task: they must show society the way towards an ecologically sustainable management of the planet in the age of the Anthropocene. This requires appropriate human behavior at all levels and possibly also large-scale (…) projects (…). At this point in time, however, we are still largely walking on a terra incognita” (my translation and emphasis, Crutzen). Continue reading Oskar Gamböck