The purpose of this blog is to serve as an online catalogue of ideas and thoughts as a way to explore thesis ideas. Along with posts that relate to possible thesis considerations, I will post things that are unrelated but small obsessions of mine at the moment.

A long-running obsession and current vague thesis idea are self-sufficient dwellings.This vague idea arrives from a slightly more specific one I had from last year: arctic embodiment and self-sustaining architecture.

Both the human body and the inhabited space are defined as vessels; through the idea of embodiment, the vessel is able to define the being itself.

Ideas of embodiment through architecture can be found in the high Arctic. Although “the true, north, strong and free” is embedded in the Canadian national anthem, there is a different reality being played out currently. The vast Northern landscape floats above the rest of Canada containing a history that has shaped the various issues that are occurring today, especially concerning the residents of the North. In Iqaluit, infrastructure is described as “stressed and broken, leaving humans and the environment at risk”.[1]

With a slew of infrastructure problems and where climate changes are more dramatically and clearly seen, practical as well as poetic solutions are urgently required. By challenging the role of the architect through notions of collaboration, taking the architect from mediator to facilitator, greater community involvement can be achieved. Environmentally sustainable and culturally appropriate solutions within the Arctic community will set the precedent for future generations to come. One possible precedent could be: minimalist yet thoughtful interventions such as considerate renovations that can take advantage of orientation, passive heat gain, wind, light and snow enabling self-sustaining homes.

I am still interested in self-sustaining homes. But not as a neo-colonistic and imposing housing system in Aboriginal communities, which was the direction I was headed in before. How and where are polite architectural interruptions welcome?


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