Michael Osman: Nature's Economy: Architecture, Environmental Regulation, and the Science of Ecology

If ecology is modernity's replacement for the ideal notion of nature, then understanding architecture's role in the process of its formation is critical in framing the contemporary debate on sustainability. This lecture will address the early history of ecological science and its dependence on systems of representation that were developed through the architecture of the science museum and the modern laboratory.

Michael Osman is an architectural historian whose work centers on the technological, environmental, and economic aspects of architecture in the 20th century. Currently he is an assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design. Previously, he taught at the Yale School of Architecture and has received numerous grants and fellowships including a National Science Foundation Doctoral Research Grant and a Fulbright Fellowship. His writings have been published in Grey Room and Thresholds. Recently, Osman presented "Preserved Assets: Becoming Imperishable" at Oberlin College as part of a public working conference for a book tentatively titled Governing by Design: Architecture and Crisis from Modernization to Sustainability.