Posts filed under ‘Publications’

My Review of The Environment and International History

Scott Kaufman, The Environment and International History, (London: Bloomsbury, 2018).

Environmental History 25:3 (2020). PDF

May 25, 2020 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

The Power of the Periphery: How Norway Became an Environmental Pioneer for the World

Anker, Frontpage, CUP 2020

New York: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Abstract

What is the source of Norway’s culture of environmental harmony in our troubled world? Exploring the role of Norwegian scholar-activists of the late twentieth century, Peder Anker examines how they portrayed their country as a place of environmental stability in a world filled with tension. In contrast with societies dirtied by the hot and cold wars of the twentieth century, Norway’s power, they argued, lay in the pristine, ideal natural environment of the periphery. Globally, a beautiful Norway came to be contrasted with a polluted world and fashioned as an ecological microcosm for the creation of a better global macrocosm. In this innovative, interdisciplinary history, Anker explores the ways in which ecological concerns were imported via Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962, then to be exported from Norway back to the world at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

Reviews

Anders Dunker, “Den norske dobbeltmoralen,” Ny tid, summer 2020, p. 4-5. [Page 1], [Page 2].

Get the book:

US $ | Eur € | Brit £ | Can $ | Open Access (free download).

February 14, 2020 at 2:55 pm Leave a comment

My review of Climate in Motion

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Deborah R. Coen, Climate in Motion: Science, Empire, and the Problem of Scale, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018).

H-Environment Roundtable Reviews, Jan. 17., 2020. [PDF]

January 17, 2020 at 10:06 am Leave a comment

Gas and Bees: An Evident Proclamation

Cover_-Design-with-Life-web“Gas and Bees: An Evident Proclamation” by Anna Bokov with Nina Edwards Anker, Peder Anker, Mitch Joachim, in Mitchell Joachim and Maria Aiolova, Design with Life:  Biotech Architecture and Resilient Cities, (Barcelona: Actar, 2019), 36-38.

Get the book here.

December 13, 2019 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

Computing Environmental Design

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“Computing Environmental Design,” Computer Architectures: Constructing the Common Ground, 1945-1980, Theodora Vardouli and Olga Touloumi (eds.), (London: Routledge, 2019), 15-34.

Read Ebook online here (requires library access).

This is the long version of this article. Download PDF of the article here.

Abstract

In December 1964 the Boston Architectural Center organizedthe first conference on the role of computers in architecture – an issue that designers had been pondering since the 1950s. The questionat stake in such debates had been the relationship between artists and machines. Environmental design proved to be an unlikely question that emerged in the discussion, with architect and designer Serge Chermayeff noting that with computers environmental complexities could now come under the purview of architecture. Only a year earlier Chermayeff had published the seminal book Community and Privacy: Toward a New Architecture of Humanismwith Christopher Alexander, wherethe two authors had argued for a humanism that placed environmental concerns at the forefront. At the conference Chermayeff argued that computers constituted a critical tool for analyzing and comprehending environmental complexity, allowing for the integration of the built within the natural environment. “Our survival depends upon our ability to master new complexities” he argued, “with the best technology at our disposal.” This optimism with respect to how computers could help in solving environmental problems was shared among modernist designers, most notably by Richard Buckminster Fuller, but also among ecologists and biologists of the period. Computers could order both the human and natural environment using the same language, thus bringing landscape and architectural design in dialogue. Yet computers of the time were cumbersome to work with and getting access to them was not a matter of course. The architects’ musings about computers ultimately had to do with imagined futures for the design disciplinesand not so much thepractical exigencies of the time. By focusing on Serge Chermayeff’s critical response to the introduction of computers as tools for grasping and communicating complexity, this paper will interrogate the emergence ofcomplexity as an aesthetic and design problem, formative for the introduction of computing to architectural design.

November 27, 2019 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

My review of Environmental Design

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Avigail Sachs, Environmental Design: Architecture, Politics and Science in Postwar America (Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, 2018).

Journal of Architectural Education, Nov. 8., 2019.

Download PDF

 

November 6, 2019 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

Computing Environmental Design

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“Computing Environmental Design,” in The Culture of Nature in the History of Design, Kjetil Fallan (ed.), (London: Routledge, 2019), 44-57.

This is the short version of this article. Download PDF here.

Abstract

In December 1964 the Boston Architectural Center organizedthe first conference on the role of computers in architecture – an issue that designers had been pondering since the 1950s. The questionat stake in such debates had been the relationship between artists and machines. Environmental design proved to be an unlikely question that emerged in the discussion, with architect and designer Serge Chermayeff noting that with computers environmental complexities could now come under the purview of architecture. Only a year earlier Chermayeff had published the seminal book Community and Privacy: Toward a New Architecture of Humanismwith Christopher Alexander, wherethe two authors had argued for a humanism that placed environmental concerns at the forefront. At the conference Chermayeff argued that computers constituted a critical tool for analyzing and comprehending environmental complexity, allowing for the integration of the built within the natural environment. “Our survival depends upon our ability to master new complexities” he argued, “with the best technology at our disposal.” This optimism with respect to how computers could help in solving environmental problems was shared among modernist designers, most notably by Richard Buckminster Fuller, but also among ecologists and biologists of the period. Computers could order both the human and natural environment using the same language, thus bringing landscape and architectural design in dialogue. Yet computers of the time were cumbersome to work with and getting access to them was not a matter of course. The architects’ musings about computers ultimately had to do with imagined futures for the design disciplinesand not so much thepractical exigencies of the time. By focusing on Serge Chermayeff’s critical response to the introduction of computers as tools for grasping and communicating complexity, this paper will interrogate the emergence ofcomplexity as an aesthetic and design problem, formative for the introduction of computing to architectural design.

 

June 10, 2019 at 1:31 pm Leave a comment

My review of Images of Egypt

9788253040813Mari Lending, Eirik Arff Gulseth Bøhn, Tim Anstey (eds.), Images of Egypt, (Oslo: Pax, 2018).

Arkitketur N, 101 (2019), 112.

Download PDF (in Norwegian)

March 13, 2019 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

My review of Malarial Subjects

41HUNhe6dGL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Rohan Deb Roy, Malarial Subjects: Empire, Medicine and Nonhumans in British India, 1820–1909. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017).
The American Historical Review, 124: 1 (Feb. 2019), 229–230.
Download PDF.

February 7, 2019 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

The Architecture of Closed Worlds

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Commentary” in Lydia Kallipoliti, The Architecture of Closed Worlds, (Zürich: Lars Müller Pub., 2018), 175.

December 6, 2018 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

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