Architecture Is the Clutch

Where ideas hit money and materials and space itself.

McMurdo Station on Ross Island, Antarctica (Courtesy Gaelen Marsden/Wikipedia Commons)

This interview with the sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson was conducted in late 2020, a few weeks after the release of his bestselling novel The Ministry for the Future.

Matthew Allen: With the pandemic, the protests and justice movements, and the election, there’s been a lot in the present to deal with, but it feels like soon it will be time to transition out of this emergency mentality. In architecture there’s been a renewed interest in care and maintenance, including maintenance of social life. How might this tie into some of the issues we need to tackle as a species, like the climate crisis?

Kim Stanley Robinson: In the middle of a pandemic it’s impossible, but yes, we’re in a space now where we can think about the future a little bit. I think the old normal is gone, but there will be pressure to capture back sociability. Social justice is very important, and designing for the least amount of carbon burn would be a form of care. The better our design is for not torching the biosphere, the better it’s going to be as human design, so there’s no dichotomy there. Si…

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