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Thün and Velikov’s practice RVTR opens Infra Eco Logi Urbanism Exhibition and Book a Lunch at UTK’s Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture

Thün and Velikov’s practice RVTR opens Infra Eco Logi Urbanism Exhibition and Book a Lunch at UTK’s Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture

Associate Professors Geoffrey Thün and Kathy Velikov announce the opening of their solo exhibition, and associated launch of their recently completed monograph, Infra Eco Logi Urbanism: A Project for the Great Lakes Megaregion (Park Books, 2015). The opening and reception will take place October 5 2015 at the University of Tennessee’s Ewing Gallery for Art and Architecture. This is the fifth showing of the Infra Eco Logi Urbanism travelling exhibition, which showcases Thün and Velikov’s research on megaregional systems and speculative design proposals for the Great Lakes Megaregion. The event also will include a day-long series of gallery talks with architecture and landscape architecture students, focusing on questions of regional vision, the future histories of the TVA program, and emerging relationships between the University of Tennessee, Oak Ridges National Laboratories, the broader ecologies of the Tennessee Valley watershed and the futures of a regional urbanism. The exhibition at the Ewing Gallery will run through November 3 2015.

The book, Infra Eco Logi Urbanism: A Project for the Great Lakes Megaregion, includes contributions by Taubman College faculty Robert Fishman who contributes a historical forward entitled “Scaling Up”, and an afterward by John McMorrough entitled “Atoning for Educability Through Delicate Beauty”. The work is published by Park Books in Zurich, and distributed in the USA by University of Chicago Press. To order a copy of the book visit: http://www.amazon.com/Infra-Eco-Logi-Urbanism-Megaregion/dp/3906027724

Infra Eco Logi Urbanism is the result of a three year program of design research that reconceptualizes the boundary of the Great Lakes Megaregion (GLM) and examines the metabolic material and non-material flows within this territory through a range of lenses to expose the economic, energetic, mobility, technological, aqueous, atmospheric and intellectual exchanges that constitute various ‘ecologies’ present within the region. Within this field, their work positions design as an agent capable of producing significant change through interventions within its constituent systems, structures and actor networks. The design manifesto leverages the anticipated yield of near future renewable energy towards alternate social ends and imagines the future of urban centers and peripheries through this lens. In this détournement, a new infrastructural network is knit within current systems, linking grid-tied high-speed rail, environmental remediation and emerging industry sectors, while staging a series of urban-scaled architectural artifacts designed to organize flows and house new public megaregional institutions. The proposal begins with a restructuring of the highway’s constituent DNA from a simple, single-purpose and single-access surface to an intelligent network of bundled modes of mobility, energy and services. This viaduct is networked with other local and international systems of conveyance, transit and transport, forming an open andinterconnected corridor. Situated as a fragmentary urban utopia, infrastructure is appropriated for social and inclusive ends, bringing together diverse populations of individuals to constitute a megaregional public from which alternative political and architectural formations emerge. To illustrate the potential of this re-tooled, bundled network, three major points of intervention are explored at an architectural scale in Chicago, Detroit-Windsor and Toronto.

The exhibition of Infra Eco Logi Urbanism has been supported through major funding via a (2009-2012) Research/Creation grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and subsequent support for the exhibition preparation from the University of Michigan UMOR Artistic Productions and Presentations program, the Université du Québec à Montréal and Ryerson University.