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Timeline of Eric Nay

Published new article

Conference paper

Sociologically Reframing Le Corbusier: Settler Colonialism, Modern Architecture and UNESCO

Published: 20 July 2017 by Springer Nature in Putting Tradition into Practice: Heritage, Place and Design

doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-57937-5_140

In my current research I focus specifically on how Le Corbusier, the figure, was forged over the past century through architectural pedagogy as an institution and how Le Corbusier, almost inconceivably, still dominates the central narrative in how modern architecture is conceived, taught and reproduced. It is still Le Corbusier who shapes architectural discourse, structures historiography and is mimicked through performance as a performative norm. Le Corbusier’s figuration has also resulted in postmodern global practices that continue to devalue all non-compliant ideologies and pre-modern or anti-modern epistemologies - all the while quashing any alternative ways of being, or building, in the world that vary form the late modernist norm - specifically in relationship to ways of seeing and being in the Land. By subjecting this system of figuration (specifically within architectural education) to a number of useful, but unfamiliar lenses borrowed from the social sciences, I am interrogate how the scholarship of architecture, the framing of architectural heritage and the spatial realities of the built environment have eschewed any and all non-conforming frameworks through the canonization of Le Corbusier as an embodied institution. I draw specifically in my work from scholars working in critical race theory and settler colonialism who use architectural space and narratives as a methodology. The driving thesis behind my work questions how the pedagogy of architecture is able to remain geographically and ideologically grounded by this one dominant figure, Le Corbusier, and what types of knowledge production must be introduced to remedy this debilitating condition.

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Published new article

Competing Visions: The University, Innovation and Engineering after the Space Race

Published: 31 October 2013 by MDPI AG in Proceedings of The 3rd World Sustainability Forum

doi: 10.3390/wsf3-g001

This paper seeks to address critical elements of science, technology and the environment with a focus on the university as the economic driver of technological innovation. A fundamental knowledge and historical context is needed to place engineering and design innovation on a less speculative path, preserve the academy's integrity and keep capitalist enterprise in check. This paper relies on several key texts and prominent voices to present an argument based on differences of perception and expectations of outcomes within a goal of addressing engineering and design and innovation as an outcome, while viewing engineering's bearing on perceived competitiveness within an emergent and ever more ambiguous multinational global marketplace. Where, how and why ideas will be formed and transformed into innovative new technological solutions presents a major shift in the role of the university in the next century. Visible signs of progress in science, engineering and technology, like the devices we tether to our bodies to communicate with each other, benefit the individual and society at large, but physical evidence of technological transformation can also be destabilizing and blur our grounding in both historical and temporal realities. Innovative art and design practices that rely on technologically shifting frameworks and non-visible realizations of new technologies such as nanotechnology leave product design manufacturing and become new methodologies and products unto themselves. Successfully coping with monumental technological changes requires a giant shift that is not measurable through trending, malleable through branding or even close to being mediated through social networking as we are being led to believe. Design helps realize changes at a pace that humans can digest. Objects and interfaces mediate adaptation, disruptive or not. New design methodologies (research) and practices such visualizing quantitative data that is less than absolute begin to describe potential repercussions of technological change in bits that can be digested and managed, as well as explore the latent relationships between future risks and hopeful potentials through non-traditional means of representation. Fundamental questions about how we even can approach the cultural re-framing of the daunting problems facing society and the environment today are limited to using our limited and outdated tools and means of representation, which Thomas Kuhn would argue is a paradigm that needs to be overcome in itself. If innovation in engineering wrestled with the end of the patronage of the industrial military complex in the 1960's, we are now faced in the post communication age with an abundance of tools, an ease of dematerialization and unusual business models and means of monetizing experiences that we can barely recognize. The online course as the norm is still in limbo, not because of the absence of a face-to-face surrogate experience that will be of equal or better value, but because we still do not have an adequate working business model for monetizing the experience to make it profitable. How did we cope with this level of change last time around? Are we really up to engineering a new and innovative future?

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