The two volumes of proceedings transcribe the papers presented at the 2018 conference in Philadelphia, jointly organized by ARCC and EAAE. The conference was a forum to bring together architectural scholars and practitioners from around the world. The conference gave us an opportunity to reflect on what and why we research. The idea of Gross National Happiness speaks to a measure of the collective well-being of a nation. Introduced by the King of Bhutan in early 1970s as an alternative to the prevalent notion of Gross National Product and with a focus on the human, the revised concept identifies four pillars of happiness, outlined in Bhutan’s constitution: good governance, sustainable socioeconomic development, preservation and promotion of culture, and environmental conservation.
Recognizing the inherent relationship of the built environment to the tenets outlined in Bhutan’s constitution, the conference used the framework of Gross National Happiness to provoke thought and dialog about how the things we research, design, and make contribute to our collective well-being and the places in which we live. The theme served us well – the proceedings present an examination of the architectural dimensions of community at scales between intimately local settings and the broader global commons.
The timing of the conference aligns with major shifts in social and political agendas both globally and locally that impact our physical and social environment. The location, Philadelphia – sometimes referred to as the cradle of modern democracy – provides an opportunity to extend the conversation to consider the humanistic and environmental forward-looking gaze that is part of the spirit of the place.
Read the full breadth of topics discussed in the ARCC 2018 Proceedings, found below: