“A teaching and research alliance to design socio-ecological transitions”

Conférence au Centre for Sustainable Communities, University of Hertfordshire.


From the Centre for Research in Building Cultures, Centre of Excellence in Architecture, Environment & Building Cultures, Grenoble School of Architecture and the Université Grenoble Alpes we are pleased to present the following guest speakers:-

Anne Coste, Nicolas Dubus and Stephane Sadoux

Please note that, for one time only, this seminar will take place on Wednesday not Thursday


Energy transition scenarios set quantified targets at different maturities and suggests paths to achieve these targets. It is the role of design disciplines to translate these paths in spatial terms.

Prevailing spatial planning logics are based on a technical and centralised approach of innovation – a trend which is illustrated by the photovoltaics and windfarm boom and has led to a loss of diversity in landscapes. The energy transition is a spatial issue that needs to be addressed in all its complexity, through the various design scales it touches upon (from the building to the region) and based on a new economy, particularly in rural areas. These issues have significantly altered the authors’ research methods and pedagogical practices and have led them to develop a “socio-energetic territorial ecosystem” approach. This concept refers to a locally grounded, holistic and systemic approach which aims at integrating the technical, human and social dimensions of energy through the design of space. Local synergies are identified and visualised in a “social model”.

This presentation will be based on a “chrono-systemic” timeline showing the interrelationship between architectural design teaching and the evolving socio-ecological context in which it has taken place over a ten year period. The progressive transformation of the authors’ pedagogical approach, which aims at linking teaching and research, will be illustrated through a recent research programme led by the Centre for Research in Building Cultures and the Mater of Architecture and Building Cultures at the Grenoble School of Architecture.


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