ATMOS/5 Ecology & Design Symposium at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba

Taking place from February 7-9, 2013 at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, this symposium asks a great many questions. How do we teach and practice ecology in design disciplines today? How can we or how do we make ecology relevant in our design practice and scholarship? How and when do issues of ecology challenge our existing modes of scholarship and practice, in design disciplines? What are the emerging opportunities and dilemmas in design practice and pedagogy when dealing with ecology?

As long as design, through perception and production, engages the environment, the issue of ecology is extremely critical to all design disciplines today, in pedagogy and in practice.

An attempt to construct a singular belief and or to establish a coherent design method in relation to ecology would only be a futile effort. Such an attempt may even undermine the organic, dynamic and evolving nature that is imperative in our understandings of ecological phenomena.

It is also true however, due to the fact that everything is related in ecology, that a large number of our design practice and education have lost their rigour and focus when faced with contextualizing the “ecology” in “design”: the challenge of putting the understandings into the context of design teaching and practice. What are the ways that design can play an active and critical role in an ecological context?

Many papers have been written and many provocative theories have been (re)constructed around the issues of ecology, stimulating and challenging designers and educators. How are we then putting them into practice, in pedagogy and production? What are the threads of ecology that are relevant to design thinking and practice? How can we construct such relevancy through design? The symposium invites critical thoughts and works from scholars, educators, practitioners and students that reflect the nature of ecology and design – their relationship. The forum will chart diverse paths at work to inform and inspire new directions in practice and education of ecology and design.

Confirmed keynote speaker thus far are: Georges Descombes, David Gersten, Maria Aiolova, Mark DeKay and Kai-Uwe Bergmann.

For more information and to register, please visit