Toolkit for Today: Carbon Present

Seminar, in English, online, 11 July 2022 to 20 July 2022

We can’t escape the sun. Its rays caress and burn the earth. Deserts form where its heat is most intense. Ice forms where the sun’s warmth dissipates through its absence. The sun is a ubiquitous environmental phenomenon that is perhaps only matched today in its reach and impact by carbon dioxide. Humans on planet Earth inhabit a carbon present. The built environment, seen though this planetary lens, mediates the effects of these natural and human-made phenomena.

The 2022 Toolkit for Today enters into conversation with the inaugural CCA-WRI Research Fellowship Program and its annual theme of Above/Below/Between: Light on a Damaged Planet. It examines how carbon is shaping research on the built environment across scales, geographies, temperatures, materials, and ways of being. It approaches the ‘carbon present’ as an open-ended terrain that each of the four seminar leaders will help to define and materially characterize. It has the ambition of not treating carbon as an abstract entity and/or element, but reaching a level of precision that can help us understand how particular historical formations, contemporary locales, and other actors are responding to and shaping its characterization of the present. Carbon has become a new baseline condition for reality. The 2022 Toolkit offers participants a series of inroads to understand what it means for the scholarly objects, methods, and questions of architecture when they have to contend with an unavoidable human-made environmental condition.

To attend the seminars, please register via the link available on their respective pages.

Public seminars


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