UO Today guest: Erin Moore
Erin Moore, associate professor in the Department of Architecture and in the Environmental Studies Program. Moore’s professional practice, research, and teaching explore architecture in the context of environmental ethics, fossil fuel consumption, carbon sequestration, and climate change. Moore contributed to the UN’s first “Experts’ Summary Report on Harmony with Nature Addressing Earth Jurisprudence” which was presented to the UN’s Division for Sustainable Development in 2016.
“Moore is one of two Americans among 12 global experts in art, media, design, and architecture asked to contribute to the UN’s first “Experts’ Summary Report on Harmony with Nature Addressing Earth Jurisprudence,” which was presented to the UN’s Division for Sustainable Development recently.”
Student work from the University of Oregon Department of Architecture design studio “Lines, Pipelines, and the Contested Space of Fossil Fuel Transport in the Pacific Northwest” is featured in an article by Eric de Place at the Siteline Institute. The students’ work is also published and available to view as a PDF or to purchase as a book HERE. Student work: Susanna Davy, 2016. The top drawing shows the route of coal that is extracted in the North American interior and shipped by train to Pacific ports for export to Asia. The bottom drawing includes a tube that aspirates coal dust from the Pacific East to the Pacific West. Points of resistance marked on the map are carried down to indicate pinch points on the tube.
Many thanks to University of Oregon architecture and environmental studies students who contributed rich ideas in support of the United Nations Harmony with Nature Initiative. My own response to questions about what it would mean to practice architecture from an Earth Jurisprudence perspective is here. Responses from others in design disciplines are here.
The Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center was completed in 1962. Since then, the Mendenhall Glacier has retreated nearly 1.75 miles, leaving a large lake between the vistors center and the nearest edge of the glacier. In this studio, students were asked to work in small groups to propose designs for a new visitors center based on principles of glaciology, climate science, and landform building. University of Oregon Department of Architecture, 2016.
Ice, Time, and Tourists Student Work (PDF)
FLOAT’s Borrow Stools are designed to be split and burned. With their matchstick legs and accompanying axe, the stools are meant to connect the everyday experience of wood with global carbon cycling—from photosynthesis in forests to carbon sequestration in wood products, to carbon emissions from combustion. The Borrow Stools take on the beauty, function and danger of that bound-up carbon and energy. Design: Erin Moore/FLOAT architectural research and design.
The TKE Sleeping Cabin is made from a single layer of locally logged and milled tongue-in-groove hemlock. It is anchored to the ground—to layers of forest humus and glacial clay—with pins. The bottom line is that the massive timber in the walls and floor are sequestering carbon dioxide equivalent to that emitted by generating energy for a more conventional home for year. The longer story is that the owners did a very careful job choosing someone to selectively harvest this wood from a standing forest and a surgical anchoring of the cabin in the forest without permanent scaring from excavation or concrete. FLOAT can take credit for material and schematic design. Schematic design: Erin Moore/FLOAT architectural research and design; Construction detailing: Frank Moore. Completed June 2013.
Erin Moore interviews Sonia Dhillon-Marty, inspiration and force for Community Week 2013: Material Equilibrium (Japan, October 2013), here in Metropolis Magazine. http://www.metropolismag.com/Point-of-View/September-2013/Q-A-Sonia-Dhillon-Marty/
I believe that other material things are just as ephemeral as these cast buttons. Like buttons and souls, buildings and material objects also only exist for the time between when they are “cast,” taking timber from forests, steel from ore, and gypsum from chalk mountains, and when they are “re-melted,” when wood waste is burned for energy, scrap steel is smelted, and gypsum is returned to the soil. The individuality of material things is ephemeral, existing only between the time of their assembly and the time of their disassembly. In my mind, designing and making are processes of temporarily borrowing materials before they are returned to the metaphorical button maker’s ladel, or to what I see as the ecological “whole.” Design: Erin Moore/FLOAT architectural research and design