Nicolas Nova

Nicolas Nova. Photo © Alicia Dubuis


Nicolas Nova
In discussion with Tiphaine Abenia 

Monday 22 April 2024, 6.30 pm

If any building designed according to the currently dominant architectural principles is ‘zombie’, non-living, as it is based on technologies and energies that will soon be exhausted or too costly for the planet, how can we rethink our relationship with buildings and technology? What are the possible attitudes between the usual categories of cutting-edge technology, high-tech, and its antonym, low-tech?


Nicolas Nova is Professor at the Haute école d’art et de design (HEAD – Geneva), where he teaches and conducts anthropological research on contemporary cultures linked to the changes brought about by digital technologies and the environmental crisis. He is also co-founder of explorare, a prospective exploration agency. With a multidisciplinary background, at the crossroads of natural sciences, anthropology and artistic practices, he is interested in investigative approaches between ethnography and creation. His latest books are Exercices d’observation. Dans les pas des anthropologues, des écrivains, des designers et des naturalistes du quotidien (Premier Parallèle), and Fragments d’une montagne. Les Alpes et leurs métamorphoses (Éditions du Pommier).

Tiphaine Abenia is a civil engineer and an architect. She is currently an assistant professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (BE). She holds a Ph.D. in architectural theory from the University of Montreal and the University of Toulouse (2019). Her research focuses on liminal urban phenomena, non-extractive registers in architecture, and critical design tools. Her doctoral thesis, titled “Potential Architecture of Abandoned Large Structures (ALS): Categorization and Projection,” reexamined the entire life cycle of constructions and questioned the possibilities and limitations of architectural taxonomies in a context of resource scarcity. Tiphaine Abenia is a co-founder of the association ACĒ (Atelier de Conception Non-Extractive) and the Truant School (a para-institutional platform for research and intervention). She was co-curator of the French pavilion for the 17th Architecture Biennale in Venice with the project “Communities at Work” (2021).