The Carleton Climate Futures Design Lab
Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism AA514B
Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive , Ottawa ON K1S 5B6 Canada

Photo: field work by dog sled in the Polar night, Svalbard, 2019



Zach Colbert

Team members:

Josh Wallace, Monika Imeri, Shelby Hagerman, Matthew Nestico, James Nguyen, Jasmine Sykes, Connor Tamboro, Travis Strochinski, Ju Huang

The Carleton Climate Futures Design Laboratory combines design and scholarly research in an interdisciplinary setting to explore, anticipate and prototype climate futures in the built environment. This work elucidates productive linkages between architecture and politics toward elevating architecture’s capacity for political engagement both in the classroom and in the field.  Through the lens of ‘atmospheres,’ our research weaves together the technical, ethical and post-humanist challenges of our time at the scales of the building and the city. These endeavours intersect with preexisting extensive and international efforts spanning disciplines, ideologies and geographies to re-imagine the North American way of life to address the impacts of climate change and societal climate change adaptation. We seek to unite disparate conversations across disciplines and to examine the interdependent scales of the individual, the community, the city and the region through public consultation, symposia, design charrettes, publications and speculative architectures. Climate change is a planetary phenomenon and while the potential for climate change to impact low-lying, coastal cities is clear; the potential of climate change to adversely impact energy and housing market fluctuations, human migration patterns, regional ecosystem stability, and severe weather events will be felt in inland cities as well. This research provides an opportunity to examine and redefine 21st century practices and paradigms related to North American multi-family housing, urban design, and building construction practices. Additionally, we seek to identify and define civic architectural practice strategies, proactive approaches from within the architecture profession that engage stakeholders in laying the groundwork for climate change adaptation at community and municipal levels.

“The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.”

William Gibson