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Christopher Hight

Resilience in Sci-Fi

I was at a conference called Ambiguous Territories at the Taubman School of Architecture at University of Michigan and Chris started his talk referencing two books that I quickly realized we needed to talk about further for the program.

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The Drowned World’ by J. G. Ballard, and Seveneves’ by Neal Stephenson.

The two books we’re discussing are The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard, and Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. The two books were published over 50 years apart. The Drowned world was published in 1962 and Seveneves in 2016. 

Both of these books are prime candidates for this show because they each do two things. The two books discuss an evolving Earth climate as well as an evolving human species. There is also quit a bit of difference within these two books. We see very different reasons for the climate change that’s taking place, the plot lines occur over drastically different time scales, and the How’ and What’ that occurs to human evolution is different. That is why they were so great to read together.

Christopher Hight

Christopher Hight is an associate professor at the Rice School of Architecture, where he is pursuing design research on the nexus of landscape, ecology, and emerging electronic urbanisms. He has been a Fulbright Scholar and obtained a masters degree in the histories and theories of architecture from the Architectural Association, and a Ph.D.from the London Consortium at the University of London. He has published and lectured internationally. At Rice he is the editor of the Architecture At Rice book series and organized the fourth Kennon symposium, Modulations. He is the co-editor of AD: Collective Intelligence in Design and author of Architectural Principles in the Age of Cybernetics (Routledge, 2007).

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