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- Aug 2018
Marcus Vitruvius, the classical Roman architect, defined architecture in proportion to the human body—an ideal building, as he saw it, had to reflect the ideal dimensions of a man. Today such anthropocentric design, indeed male-body centered design, seems irrelevant, perhaps even irresponsible, as the magnitude of our self-inflicted environmental disasters poses fundamental challenges to architects and designers. If the human body was the correct proportion for architecture for Vitruvius, what should the scale of design be that addresses today’s environmental challenges? Climatic change, species depletion, and oceanic pollution are worldwide problems. What is left of Vitruvius’s ideal of human reach has stretched to new global scales and millennial time frames. How can architecture conceptualize a planet on which humans have become involved in vast geological forces?
Framing a post-humanist question for architecture. What would this mean in service design?