Architecture et Environnement
Tuesday 18th May 2021, 6.30pm
Urbanisation in the Countryside
Milica Topalović, Zurich
With nearly half of the total land area on Earth currently dedicated to some form of agricultural production, a focus on countrysides and on agrarian change is more urgent than ever. Many types of agricultural practices are linked to climate and biodiversity crises, exhaustion of natural resources, depletion of soil fertility, and disadvantaging local population. An awareness of the consequences of industrialisation of agriculture, including its addiction to pesticides, fertilisers and fossil fuels, is growing. These issues call for new approaches in design disciplines and practices too. But how can then designers respond? Can design become ecological, and go beyond-the-human and beyond-the-built, to engage with the environment as a whole?
Milica Topalović will talk about urbanisation processes in several countrysides in Europe and the world, and speculate on the possibilities for regional (agro)ecological design.
Milica Topalović is an architect and Associate Professor of Architecture and Territorial Planning at the ETH Zurich Department of Architecture. Her work in concerned with territories beyond-the-city and transformation processes they are exposed to, through the movement of capital, social restructuring, and environmental change. With researchers and students at the ETH Architecture of Territory, Topalović undertook many territorial studies and projects in Europe, South Asia and other parts of the world, in an effort to decenter and “ecologize” architect’s approaches to the urban, and urbanisation. In their recent work, they have been looking at regions marked by unsustainable agriculture and resource harvesting practices, in order to design their transitions toward territories organized around the principles of agroecology.
Illustration Gaëtan Amossé