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Expanding the Notion of Care in Architecture: Recovering a More-than-human Third Landscape in Kyoto

Part 2 Project 2023
Annan Zuo
University of Cambridge | UK
Drawing on de la Bellacasa’s (2017) Speculative Ethics of Care, this design research project aims to expand the conceptual framework of care in architecture by incorporating the presence and agency of both human and non-human entities.

With the declining landscape of Kyoto’s Satoyama (Japanese for the area between mountain foothill and arable flat land), chosen as the project’s physical context, the area’s sika deer, woodlands, Kyomachiya (Kyoto’s traditional townhouse), and local remaining residents are reconceptualised as a neglected more-than-human assemblage, a Third Landscape that requires care. Over a period of 60 years, this project progressively disassembles and reassembles the abandoned residential structures (Kyomachiya) of Kyoto. In a twofold process, it integrates the remaining occupied buildings into a communal living environment while returning materials and spaces to the natural ecosystem to facilitate landscape recovery.

Overall, this project defines ‘care’ as our individual and common ability to provide material, social, and ecological conditions that allow the vast majority of more-than-human entities to thrive. Care is about the right balance between extreme environmentalism that “does nothing” and over-humanisation of nature that “does everything.” Care here, in a more-than-human context, is to reconstruct interdependency between species and entities and sustain engagement through consistent co-maintenance.

Annan Zuo

Conrad Koslowsky
Sabrina Puddu
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