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RSD11–7 focus areas

Reimagining the intentionality of architecture

RSD Focus & Hubs, RSD11, RSD11 Programme

Reimagining the intentionality of what architecture is and what/whom it is for.

For approximately two decades, the discipline of architecture has been undergoing a “Cambrian explosion” (Kipnis, 2015) of outcomes influenced by methods, tools, and techniques driven by exponential growth in digital technologies. Latent in these developments are potential transformations of the role the discipline plays in the built environment: expanding design considerations to include possible future scenarios for the life of architecture, decentering the primacy of human purpose and agency in the built environment, and utilising the complex dynamics of systemic relations to reshape spatial environments and humans’ roles in them.

What opportunities, and troubles, lie within these possibilities?

Now that the architecture discipline seems to be arriving at a period of digital sobriety in its modes of practice and generative methods, critical perspectives are needed. In what ways might architects begin to settle into a broader territory of operativity and awareness, and what would this mean for the discipline and its practices? Can this intense period of augmenting design processes and their outcomes also afford ways of reimagining the intentionality of what architecture is and what/whom it is for?


  1. Davidova, M. (2016). Socio-environmental relations of non-discrete spaces and architectures. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD5) 2016 Symposium.
  2. Ferrando, F. (2019). Philosophical posthumanism. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  3. Kipnis, J. (2015, October 5). [Symposium contribution]. In D. Ghertovici (Chair), ArchAgenda debates: Setting the agenda for 21st century architecture and design [Symposium]. Chicago Architecture Biennial 2015.
  4. Sørensen, S.. (2017). Towards embedded architectures: Informed non-standard and information-based design. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD6) 2017 Symposium.

Thanks to those who have proposed and developed the focuses: Christopher Daniel, Gareth Owen Lloyd, Dulmini Perera, Sally Sutherland, Ben Sweeting, James Tooze, Jeffrey P. Turko, and Josina Vink.

Reimagining the intentionality of architecture

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