Infrastructure is the index through which we understand urbanization in relationship to the transformation of natural environments, the territorialization of economic states, and the transgression of political borders.
The industrial metropolis of the 20th century could not have existed without its fixed, centralized, technocratic, underground infrastructure.
What happens to urban patterns and market economies when socio-ecologic complexities change or when new infrastructural vulnerabilities emerge?
In other words, are we designing these emerging patterns of climatic change and population movements, or are they designing us?
Putting into question the idealized condition of cities, Bélanger proposes strategies of subtraction and synchronization to address emerging ecological indeterminacies through weaker forms of planning, and more contingent, counter-constructions, and through reflexive methods of design, and un-design.
Pierre Bélanger is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Co-Director of the MDes Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Cross-appointed in the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Advanced Studies Program, he teaches and coordinates graduate courses on the convergence of ecology, infrastructure and urbanism.. His first book, Landscape Infrastructure: Urbanism beyond Engineering will be published by MIT Press in 2015. Bélanger is Co-Director of OPSYS, an organization that produces knowledge, media, design and strategy in the conception, communication and construction of infrastructural ecologies.