Arch+ The Great Repair
Facing the devastating ecological, political, social, and economic consequences of this development, we are at a crucial tipping point where knowledge and praxis no longer go together: Fifty years after the publication of The Limits to Growth, the urgency of the ecological crisis is a fixed staple of mainstream discourse. Yet resource exploitation and environmental degradation continue unrelentingly. The construction sector, which contributes to almost 40 percent of global CO2 emissions, is responsible for massive resource and land consumption, and causes extensive losses of natural space as well as biodiversity. In 2020, the total mass of all human-made materials exceeded the mass of all life forms on Earth for the first time. Concrete accounts for nearly half of this anthropogenic mass. In view of scarcity, destruction and loss, it is high time for a new vision of society – also and especially in architecture.
The ARCH+ issue therefore focuses on strategies of repair to reduce exploitation, to care for what already exists, to repair what has been damaged, and to conserve resources. Following the concept of the “repair society” (Reparaturgesellschaft) formulated by the architectural preservationist Wilfried Lipp in 1993, the project calls for a “Great Repair.” The material and social crisis of capitalism is countered by the alternative narrative of repair which includes practices of care, maintenance, and reparation. Here, repair does not simply mean the restoration of an original status quo but aims at a regenerative transformation toward a better state. It is nothing less than a reorientation of the foundations, norms, processes, and goals of our economic system toward economies of repair and care to re-embed the economy in society and, in turn, in the natural environment. In other words, the Great Repair is about the “art of living on a damaged planet” (Anna Tsing).
This reader-issue in German, will be followed by an issue on practices of Repair and an English compilation, which will come out in May 2023.
Co-edited by Florian Hertweck and Marija Maric.
With contributions by Kader Attia, Pierre Caye, Stefan Krebs, Jason Moore, Raj Patel, Silke Langenberg, Andreas Malm, Markus Miessen, Sarah Nichols, Andrew Russel, Paulo Tavares, Oxana Timofeeva, and many more