Resilience Theory and Praxis: a Critical Framework for Architecture

Main Article Content

Michelle Laboy
David Fannon

Abstract

The growing use of resilience as a goal of architectural practice presents a new challenge in architects’ responsibility for health, safety, welfare and poetic expression of human-building interaction. With roots in disaster response, resilience in the building industry emphasizes the preservation and rapid restoration of the physical environment’s normal function in the face of shocks and disturbances of limited duration. The focus on maintaining function, and/or rapidly returning to the status quo ante necessarily affords a narrow understanding of architecture and a limited view of the concept of resilience. While useful at certain scales of time and inquiry, this so-called engineering resilience approach is only one among many within the broad discourse across diverse disciplines such as psychology, economics, and ecology.  Drawing on the academic and professional literature of resilience outside the discipline, this paper explores the multiple competing frameworks represented; considers their influences and implications for architecture and the built environment at multiple scales; and examines the overlaps with existing discourse on change, architecture and time. The analysis of alternative concepts enables a critical perspective to move beyond the circumscribed, functionalist approach afforded by engineering resilience currently guiding architecture practice, towards a framework of social- ecological resilience that can fully embrace the richness of architecture, and results in a necessary and clear theoretical basis for the resilience of architecture over time in a climate of increasing uncertainty.

Article Details

How to Cite
Laboy, M., and D. Fannon. “Resilience Theory and Praxis: A Critical Framework for Architecture”. Enquiry The ARCC Journal for Architectural Research, Vol. 13, no. 1, Dec. 2016, doi:10.17831/enq:arcc.v13i2.405.
Section
Peer Reviewed Papers
Author Biographies

Michelle Laboy, Northeastern University

Michelle Laboy is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Northeastern University. With training in architecture, urban planning and civil engineering, her career integrates teaching, research and practice at the intersection of Sustainable Architecture and Urban Landscapes. Studying the cultural, technological and theoretical context of what she calls architectural ecology: her work explores how buildings integrate with landscapes to create sustainable and resilient ecosystems, and to actively engage people with the natural environment.

David Fannon, Northeastern University

David Fannon is an architect and building scientist whose work integrates research, analysis, and design to provide luminous, thermal and acoustic comfort while reducing resource consumption in buildings. He holds a joint appointment in the School of Architecture and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

References

Addington, Michelle. 2009. “Converging Behaviours.” In Energies : New Material Boundaries, edited by Sean Lally. Architectural Design ; v. 79, No. 3; Architectural Design (London, England : 1971) ; v. 79, No. 3. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley.

Almufti, Ibrahim, and Michael Willford. 2013. “REDi Rating System.” Arup. http://publications.arup.com/publications/r/redi_rating_system.

Banham, Reyner. 1984. The Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment. 2nd ed. Chicago : University of Chicago Press.

Benedikt, Michael. 1999. “Less for Less Yet: On Architecture’s Value in the Marketplace.” Harvard Design Magazine.

Berkes, Fikret. 2007. “Understanding Uncertainty and Reducing Vulnerability: Lessons from Resilience Thinking.” Natural Hazards 41 (2): 283–95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-006-9036-7

Blewitt, John, and Daniella Tilbury. 2013. “Resilience in Theory and Practice.” In Searching for Resilience in Sustainable Develoment. Florence, KY, USA: Taylor and Francis. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/northeastern/docDetail.action?docID=10747244.

Brand, Fridolin Simon and Kurt Jax. 2007. “Focusing the Meaning(s) of Resilience: Resilience as a Descriptive Concept and a Boundary Object.” Ecology and Society 12 (1): 23. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-02029-120123

Brand, Stewart. 1994. How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They’re Built. First Edition edition. New York, NY: Viking Adult.

Bruneau, Michel, Stephanie E. Chang, Ronald T. Eguchi, George C. Lee, Thomas D. O’Rourke, Andrei M. Reinhorn, Masanobu Shinozuka, Kathleen Tierney, William A. Wallace, and Detlof von Winterfeldt. 2003. “A Framework to Quantitatively Assess and Enhance the Seismic Resilience of Communities.” Earthquake Spectra 19 (4): 733–52. https://doi.org/10.1193/1.1623497
“Building Rating Systems - USRC.” 2016. Accessed June 27. http://usrc.org/building-rating-system.

Carrington, Damian. 2016. “The Anthropocene Epoch: Scientists Declare Dawn of Human-Influenced Age.” The Guardian, August 29. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/29/declare-anthropocene-epoch-experts-urge-geological-congress-human-impact-earth.

Chapman-Henderson, Leslie, and Audrey K. Rierson. 2015. “Disaster Resilience Rising Means the Time Is Right.” Disaster Resilience Rising Means the Time is Right Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH). http://www.flash.org/disasterresiliencerising.pdf.

Chen, Chaomei. 2006. “CiteSpace II: Detecting and Visualizing Emerging Trends and Transient Patterns in Scientific Literature.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 57 (3): 359–77. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.20317

Cowan, Henry J. 1966. An Historical Outline of Architectural Science. Architectural Science Series; Architectural Science Series. Amsterdam: Elsevier Pub. Co.

Cowee, Natalie Plagaro. 2012. The Typology of Adaptability in Building Construction. Lucerne School of Engineering & Architecture, Competence Centre for Typology & Planning in Architecture (CCTP) ; 1. Zürich : VDF Hochschulverlag.

Crutzen, Paul, and Veerabhadran Ramanathan. 2000. “The Ascent of Atmospheric Sciences.” Science 290 (5490): 299–304. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.290.5490.299
PMid:17734112

Executive Office of the President, Council on Environmental Quality. 2015. “Fact Sheet: Actions to Build Resilience to Climate Change Impacts in Vulnerable Communities.” The White House. https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/Press_Releases/July_09_2015.

Fergusson, James. 1907. A History of Architecture in All Countries. New York: Dodd, Mead and company.

Folke, Carl. 2006. “Resilience: The Emergence of a Perspective for Social–ecological Systems Analyses.” Global Environmental Change, Resilience, Vulnerability, and Adaptation: A Cross-Cutting Theme of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, 16 (3): 253–67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2006.04.002

Ford, Edward. 1997. “The Theory and Practice of Impermanence: The Illusion of Durability.” Harvard Design Magazine, no. 3.

“Framework for Resilience.” 2016. aiab106184. THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS: Sustainability Initiative. Accessed June 30.

Frascari, Marco. 1996. “The Tell-the-Tale Detail.” In Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture : An Anthology of Architectural Theory, 1965-1995. New York: New York : Princeton Architectural Press.

Giedion, S. (Sigfried). 1962. Space, Time, and Architecture. Cambridge: Cambridge, Harvard University Press.

Google. 2016. Google Books Ngram Viewer. Accessed June 24. http://books.google.com/ngrams.

Grabow, Stephen, and Kent F. Spreckelmeyer. 2015. The Architecture of Use : Aesthetics and Function in Architectural Design. New York : Routledge,.

Gunderson, Lance H. 2000. “Ecological Resilience—In Theory and Application.” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 31 (1): 425–39. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.31.1.425.

Holling. 1996. “Engineering Resilience Versus Ecological Resilience.” In Engineering within Ecological Constraints, 31–44. Ecological Constraints. Washington, D.C.: Washington, D.C. : National Academy Press.

Holling, C. S. 1973. “Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems.” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 4 (January): 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.es.04.110173.000245

Hosseini, Seyedmohsen, Kash Barker, and Jose E. Ramirez-Marquez. 2016. “A Review of Definitions and Measures of System Resilience.” Reliability Engineering & System Safety 145 (January): 47–61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ress.2015.08.006

Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. 2016. “Fortified Home.” https://disastersafety.org/fortified/fortified-home/.

Kahn, Louis I. 1955. “Order and Form.” Perspecta 3: 47–63. https://doi.org/10.2307/1566835

Kaplan, Stanley, and B. John Garrick. 1981. “On The Quantitative Definition of Risk.” Risk Analysis 1 (1): 11–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1981.tb01350.x

Keenan, Jesse M. 2014. “Material and Social Construction: A Framework for the Adaptation of Buildings.” Enquiry : The ARCC Journal of Architectural Research 11 (1).

Kennedy, Jim, Joseph Ashmore, Elizabeth Babister, and Ilan Kelman. 2008. “The Meaning of ‘Build Back Better’: Evidence From Post-Tsunami Aceh and Sri Lanka.” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 16 (1): 24–36. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5973.2008.00529.x

Kijewski-Correa, Tracy, and Alexandros A. Taflanidis. 2011. “The Haitian Housing Dilemma: Can Sustainability and Hazard-Resilience Be Achieved?” Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering 10 (3): 765–71. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10518-011-9330-y

Kieran, Stephen, and James Timberlake. 2008. Loblolly House Elements of a New Architecture. New York: New York : Princeton Architectural Press.

Kwinter, Sanford. 2001. Architectures of Time : Toward a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge, MA : MIT Press.

Laboy, Michelle, and David Fannon. 2015. “Learning Comprehensive Building Design through a Resilience Framework.” In Proceedings. Sheffield, UK: Sheffield School of Architecture.

Larson, Kent. 2000. Louis I. Kahn : Unbuilt Masterworks. Kahn. New York, NY: New York, NY : Monacelli Press.
“LEED Credit Library | U.S. Green Building Council.” 2016. Accessed June 30. http://www.usgbc.org/credits/new-construction/v4/pilot-credits?keys=Resilience.

Lewis, James. 2003. “Housing Construction in Earthquake-Prone Places: Perspectives, Priorities and Projections for Development.” Australian Journal of Emergency Management, The 18 (2): 35.

Lovell, Jenny. 2010. Building Envelopes : An Integrated Approach. New York: New York : Princeton Architectural Press.

Luthar, Suniya S., Dante Cicchetti, and Bronwyn Becker. 2000. “The Construct of Resilience: A Critical Evaluation and Guidelines for Future Work.” Child Development 71 (3): 543–62. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00164
PMid:10953923 PMCid:PMC1885202

Lyons, Michal. 2009. “Building Back Better: The Large-Scale Impact of Small-Scale Approaches to Reconstruction.” World Development 37 (2): 385–98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2008.01.006

Mannakkara, Sandeeka, and Suzanne Wilkinson. 2014. “Re-Conceptualising ‘Building Back Better’ to Improve Post-Disaster Recovery.” International Journal of Managing Projects in Business 7 (3): 327–41. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-10-2013-0054

McMorrough, John. 2006. “Notes on the Adaptive Reuse of Program.” Edited by Amanda Reeser Lawrence and Ashley Schafer. Re:programming, Praxis : journal of writing + building, , no. 8.

Minnery, Rachel, and FAIA. 2015. “Resilience to Adaptation.” Architect. August 4. http://www.architectmagazine.com/aia-architect/aiafeature/resilience-to-adaptation_o.

Mitchell, James. 1999. Crucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition. United Nations University Press. http://lib.riskreductionafrica.org/handle/123456789/297.
“Mitigation Assessment Team Program | FEMA.gov.” 2016. Accessed June 30. https://www.fema.gov/mitigation-assessment-team-program.

Moe, Kiel. 2008. “Extraordinary Performances at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.” Journal of Architectural Education 61 (4): 17–24. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1531-314X.2008.00183.x

Moneo, Rafael. 1978. “On Typology.” Oppositions : A Journal for Ideas and Criticism in Architecture 13: 22–45.
Mostafavi, Mohsen. 1993. On Weathering : The Life of Buildings in Time. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press.

“My Safe Florida Home Hurricane Inspection Info.” 2016. Accessed June 27. http://mysafeflorida.org/mysafefloridahome.html.

Obama, Barack. 2013. “Executive Order 13514: Preparing the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change.” Code of Federal Regulations. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/01/executive-order-preparing-united-states-impacts-climate-change.

Obama, Barack. 2013. “Presidential Policy Directive -- Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience.” Office of the Press Secretary. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/12/presidential-policy-directive-critical-infrastructure-security-and-resil.

Pendall, Rolf, Kathryn A. Foster, and Margaret Cowell. 2010. “Resilience and Regions: Building Understanding of the Metaphor.” Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society 3 (1): 71–84. https://doi.org/10.1093/cjres/rsp028

Pérez Gómez, Alberto. 1983. Architecture and the Crisis of Modern Science. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press.

“Rebuild by Design.” www.rebuildbydesign.org.

“Resilience.” 2016. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. Accessed June 28. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/resilience.

“Resilience - The American Institute of Architects.” 2016. Accessed June 30. http://www.aia.org/practicing/resilience/index.htm.

Resilience Building Coalition. 2016. “Preparing To Thrive: The Building Industry Statement on Resilience.” http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.nibs.org/resource/resmgr/Docs/WHRS_SignatoryReport_final.pdf.

“Resilient Design Guide: High Wind Wood-Frame Construction Edition.” 2015. FLASH.

“Resilient Design Strategies.” 2016. Resilient Design Institute. Accessed June 30. http://www.resilientdesign.org/resilient-design-strategies/.

“ResilientCity | Resilient Design Principles.” 2016. Accessed June 30. http://www.resilientcity.org/index.cfm?ID=11900.

“Resilient Design Strategies.” 2016. Resilient Design Institute. Accessed June 30. http://www.resilientdesign.org/resilient-design-strategies/.

Rockefeller Foundation. 2016. “100 Resilient Cities.” Accessed June 28. www.100resilientcities.org.

Ruskin, John. 1892. The Seven Lamps of Architecture. Brantwood ed. New York: C. E. Merrill & Co.

Scheffer, M., S.H. Hosper, M-L. Meijer, B. Moss, and E. Jeppesen. 1993. “Alternative Equilibria in Shallow Lakes.” Trends in Ecology & Evolution 8 (8): 275–79. https://doi.org/10.1016/0169-5347(93)90254-M

Scully, Vincent. 1992. “Louis I. Kahn and the Ruins of Rome.” MoMA, no. 12: 1–13.

Tierney, Kathleen J., and Michel Bruneau. 2007. Conceptualizing and Measuring Resilience: A Key to Disaster Loss Reduction. Emmitsburg, MD: National Emergency Training Center.
“Understanding Resilience.” 2016. aiab107411. THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS: Sustainability Initiative. Accessed June 30. http://www.aia.org/aiaucmp/groups/aia/documents/pdf/aiab107411.pdf.

Walker, Brian, C. S. Holling, Stephen R. Carpenter, and Ann P. Kinzig. 2004. “Resilience, Adaptability and Transformability in Social-Ecological Systems.” Ecology and Society 9 (2). http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol9/iss2/art5/.

Walker, Brian, and David Salt. 2012. Resilience Thinking : Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Washington, US: Island Press. http://site.ebrary.com/lib/alltitles/docDetail.action?docID=10729958.

Wang, Wilfred. 2003. “Sustainability Is a Cultural Problem.” Harvard Design Magazine, no. 18 (Spring/Summer).
WBDG Secure/Safe Committee. 2016. “Natural Hazards Mitigation.” Whole Building Design Guide. Accessed June 30. https://www.wbdg.org/design/resist_hazards.php.

White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes. 2016. White House. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/05/10/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-public-and-private-sector.

Wu, Jianguo, and Tong Wu. 2013. “Ecological Resilience as a Foundation for Urban Design and Sustainability.” In Resilience in Ecology and Urban Design: Linking Theory and Practice for Sustainable Cities, 2013 edition, 211–30. Dordrecht; New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-5341-9_10

Most read articles by the same author(s)