Taubman College

Faculty Directory

Teaching Areas:

  • Architecture Theory
  • Contemporary Philosophy
  • Design Research

As a Research Fellow for the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Etienne's research considers the consequences of climate change on urban settlements and develops potential design responses. Dr. Turpin is Principal Investigator, with Assistant Professor Meredith Miller, of the Architecture + Adaptation: Designing for Hypercomplexity research initiative, which explores architecture's potential response to inundation in Southeast Asian megacities. In the spring of 2012, Dr. Turpin and Professor Miller led the INDUNDATION Bangkok/Jakarta research studio for Taubman College, with the generous support of CSEAS and the International Institute. The initial phase of research will be published as Architecture + Adaptation: Jakarta (forthcoming from Universitas Indonesia Press, 2013).

Etienne is also a lecturer in architecture at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Michigan, where his current research focuses on the turn to the Anthropocene within geological discourse and its potential effect on architecture and design; this research is part of a longer study of the relations among architecture, philosophy, and geology, entitled Terrible is the Earth. This research also informs his hyperstitial study of misery and cumulus landscape aesthetics as they are explored in the theoretical-fiction manuscript North of Architecture, currently in preparation with Lisa Hirmer.

As the Taubman College 2011-2012 Walter B. Sanders Fellow, Etienne curated The Geologic Turn: Architecture's New Alliance. Etienne is currently editing the proceedings of the symposium, as well as a number of additional essays, interviews, and design projects, for the book Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy (forthcoming from MAP Office/MAP Books Publishers, 2013). During the Sanders Fellowship, Etienne also developed research from the Bentley Historical Library's Albert Kahn Papers and the Hatcher Graduate Library's Joseph A. Labadie Collection for his contribution to the 2012 Fellows exhibition, Stainlessness. The exhibition materials and associated publication consider the iconography of steel in North American architecture, urbanism, and consumerism at the end of the 19th Century, focusing on sites of extraction (Sudbury Basin), production (Pittsburgh), extrusion (Chicago), and circulation (Detroit) that constitute the relays of mineralization in the Anthropocene.

Etienne Turpin completed his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, where his doctoral dissertation analyzed Georges Bataille's concept of expenditure in relation to post-Kantian aesthetic commitments, as advanced by the American artist Robert Smithson. Prior to his doctoral research, he completed an M.A. (Philosophy) at the Université d'Ottawa and a Bachelor of Humanities at the College of the Humanities, Ottawa, Canada. In addition to philosophy, his teaching and research areas include architecture theory, design research, political economies of land use and resource extraction, aesthetics, modern and contemporary art, contemporary philosophy and philosophy of nature, and post-industrial environments of desolation. Prior to his position as the 2011-2012 Walter B. Sanders Research Fellow at Taubman College, he taught in the graduate programs for Architecture and Landscape Architecture in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, as well as Art History and Visual Culture in the Department of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Etienne is also founding editor of the architecture, landscape, and political economy journal Scapegoat; he is a sustainability research expert for the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute; and, his research, writing, and other public projects are collected online at www.ANEXACT.org.

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