What can or should architecture offer in a ‘world’ beyond human solipsism?
-Dealing with Anthropocentric crises in the framework of Hannah Arendt-
“The world is that what we, as human beings, construct in order to make life possible on earth”. Hannah Arendt writes in ‘The Human Condition’, “The conditions that we make are used to create a buffer or shield against the conditions that we inherit, our self-made conditions mediate between ourselves and the pre-existing conditions that we operate under”. The Modern Western city has developed over the past decades of great wealth into controlled utopia’s of well-being and humane comfort. This has come with a price. We are confronted with climatic and ecological crises in the reality of the anthropocene, and seem to be unable to adapt to, are frightened by the fact that the unknown wild has always remained as close to the surface as blood under skin.
According to the Indian writer Amitav Ghosh, “The Paris Climate Accord illustrates the inability to imagine a different world, while it’s full of technocratic solutions”. Koolhaas writes “The citizens the smart city claims to serve are treated like infants”. …”Why do smart cities only offer improvement? Where is the possibility of transgression?”
The world should be a stage for political action, Arendt wrote. Serving the small scale conversation, here and now. This does not mean two brand new cozy chairs opposite to each other. It needs a notion of melancholia. Find hope and expose beauty in the permanent presence of our deficiency.