Bonnie Zivcic

Climate in the Anthropocene Action

The climate of the Earth often comes under debate, about whether climate change is due to human impact or what are the extents that should be undertaken in order to combat the change in climate in consideration to other political factors.

For the climate debate to successfully move forward there needs to be change in the way in which the climate debate is approached and for the traditional ‘science-versus-politics repertoire’ (Latour 2013) to essentially change. At the moment the debate hinges around the two sides of science, the definite facts of nature, and politics, the ideology and passions of the people. Which is seen to for the time being to only impede with the definite facts of science. However to move forward into action the two sides must instead agree on the occurrence of the change in climate and work together in order to achieve a viable compromise and solution which uses parts of both sides, achieving political peace and progressing ahead.

Through the realisation of the change in climate new and further ideas and innovations can be thought of by designers from all backgrounds and put into action by both individuals and the community at large. For example the escalation of natural disasters or the rise in sea levels could see the event of floods in many urban areas. Hence this creates innovation through the design of resilient buildings/architecture to handle uncertainty and the changing conditions caused by the flooding. In order to create an urban environment which is resilient to flood conditions there needs to be adaptation and flexibility with diversity and on a large spatial scale. Through a feedback process the higher level spatial scale (of the city as a whole) will affect the success of resiliency within the lower level, (the buildings, transport network and business environments) and then in turn innovation in the lower level will also enhance the higher level as many small changes in a city inform progress towards a city well adapted to uncertainty. (Ryan 2010).

As flood resistant innovations made to a house can be applied to many homes within the urban area and therefore improving the city as a whole against floods (the higher level). For instance the “amphibious” house seen in the clip bellow from season 14 episode 7 in the Grand Designs TV series, resides next to a river and hence has been built with an adaptability enabling it to respond to the event of a flood and in a sense making the house flood proof. The design of the house involves creating a hole in the ground below the house of five metres, four metres under the water level. The hole is then lined and has another 150 tonne concrete box built within it which is designed to float as water fills the gap between the two when it floods.

(Clockwork Digital Visuals 2015)

Considering the rise in population over numerous cities around the globe it is now more necessary and viable for people to be able to bring resources together. In order to achieve a city that in the time of the Anthropocene where humans have such a large impact on the world, can use their actions to benefit the environment with a degree in flexibility.

Reference List:

Ryan, Z., Zevenbergen, C., Grau, D. & Kekez, Z.C. 2010, Building with water, Birkhäuser, Basel, Switzerland.

Latour, B. 2013, ‘Telling friends from foes at the time of the anthropocene,’ Lecture prepared for the EHESS-Centre Koyré- Sciences Po symposium “Thinking the Anthropocene” Paris, 14th-15th, November 2013.

Grand Designs UKTV 2015, Grand Designs Season 14 Episode 7 – River Thames:Floating House, videorecording, Youtube, viewed 20 August 2015, .

Clockwork Digital Visuals 2015, Grand Designs – Floating House, videorecording, Youtube, viewed 20 August 2015, .


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