Goodbun G & Jaschke K (2012) Architecture and relational resources: Towards a new materialist practice. Architectural Design, vol. 82, no. 4, pp. 28–33
The article explores the relationship between the environmental question in architecture, resource scarcity, and recent new materialist theories in philosophy, political studies and urban geography. It argues that new forms of engagement with the sheer material dimensions of architectural practice require architectural practitioners to develop a relational and thoroughly materialist understanding of their practice.
The article finds that an emerging new type of architectural practice that combines design and historical-theoretical enquiry with social and political agency in creative and sometimes subversive ways fosters such a relational-materialist understanding of the built environment.
This article sits within the critical debate that problematises conventional notions of sustainability in architecture by foregrounding the political and philosophical dimensions of the environmental question. In particular, it engages with a lineage of post-human theory, from Stengers and Prigogine to political theorist Jane Bennett's recent work on new materialism.Jaschke co-authored the article with Jon Goodbun and both authors contributed in equal measure to the text. Images were provided by Jaschke and taken as part of the ECHO Ecological History of Architecture project during research in Italy and Arizona.
Forming part of the HERA-funded Scarcity project at Westminster University, the article is published in a special issue of Architetcural Design on the highly topical subject of scarcity and architecture.