October 11-13, 2007 | Catholic University of American
Co-chairs: Luis Eduardo Boza and Michelle Rinehart
Rooted in the principles of humanism, stewardship seeks to improve life through the natural and built environment, for those living now and for those who will follow us. We are stewards of the earth, and each of us must assume personal responsibility for the welfare of the world, taking it as our obligation to respect both human life and the world in which we live. We must take active roles: as laborers, shapers, healers, seekers, teachers or counselors. For it is only through our creative and physical actions that we might improve the quality of human life and the world around us.
An holistic approach to stewardship requires that we think of ourselves as existing within a larger system. This internality requires an understanding that humanity is part of a larger and interconnected system. With increasing specialization architects, however, have been relegated to being stewards the physical environment, leaving those in other fields to serve as stewards of humanity, the economy, etc. Can and should architects adopt a more holistic approach to stewardship?
The 2007 Southeast Fall Conference invites papers and projects that address the idea of the architect/designer as steward. What are the philosophical and spiritual foundations of stewardship? How has architecture and urban design historically supported or undermined these foundations? What role must we, as architects and educators, play to fulfill our ethical obligations within a larger system? How are we poised to be agents of the collaboration necessary of successful stewards? Can environmental, economic and social justice be mutually exclusive of one another? Do existing and new technologies and innovative materials aid in fostering the architecture of stewardship? Ultimately, should an Architecture of Stewardship fundamentally change the way we practice and teach? If so, how?