In October of 2021, The European Cultural Centre hosted the third edition of Shaping the City: A Forum for Sustainable Cities & Communities, in tandem with the Venice Architecture Biennial 2021 titled Time, Space, Existence.
Divided into four themes of conversation, Shaping the City tackles contemporary urbanization and key issues in the city, presented through the perspectives of a group of academics, urban planners and designers, architects, and policy makers,” that bring forth a unique, global perspective.
Among the 212 architecture firms that were invited to present at the 2021 Time Space Existence Exhibit, and as the first and only architecture firm from the State of Louisiana, NANO’s Founders Terri and Ian Dreyer were one of the panelists at Shaping the City; their presentation, “Existing, Surviving, and Thriving on the Edge” was part of the “Climate Change and Resilient Cities” subtheme.
We must position ourselves, however precariously on the precipice of reason by challenging societal norms, existing geographical and economic limitations, to usher in solutions of a renewed age of design based upon intention and performance.
Historically, Architecture has shifted in reaction to environmental risks. For example, New Orleans had to embrace a mixture of native and Afro Caribbean-based architecture to weather storms and the tropical environments more successfully than the European structures, altering building methods that were brought across the Atlantic.
Today’s world brings with it increased foresight through a combination of scientific understanding and technological advances, pushing Architecture and design to the cusp of proactive and preventative, working with nature rather than against it, but more needs to be done.
Shelter, health, and safety are inherent to a prosperous city. Architecture is limitless and is necessary for the existence of our civilization, but reflection and existence can only be tested in that liminal space of the unknown. We are in the liminal.
Click here to learn more about the Shaping the City Symposium in Venice.
New Orleans is a uniquely sited city, bounded by various bodies of water – Lake Pontchartrain to the north, the Mississippi River to the south and west, Lake Borgne to the east fed from the Gulf of Mexico – a geographical and cultural edge that is a catalyst for renewed design initiatives thwarting climate change.