Heliomorphism: Inaugural Conference of the Harvard GSD Office for Urbanization

September 15, 2016
Harvard GSD

Jeanne Gang and Thom Mayne presented the Heliomorphism conference opening keynote. The architects showed work from their respective practices and discussed their relationship to the ideas of architect Ralph Knowles, the pioneering theorist of the “solar envelope.”

About the Conference

The topic of solar orientation and urban form is both perennial and, once again, timely. The discourses and practices of ecological urbanism have turned our focus to the terrestrial topics of hydrological connectivity and ecological function. Heliomorphism, the inaugural conference of the Harvard GSD Office for Urbanization, proposes to revise and extend the ecological urbanism agenda by returning to solar performance. Recent projects by a number of leading architects and urbanists have suggested new forms of urban order through solar orientation. In many of these projects, designers correlate the shape of the city to a complex and contradictory economy of solar performance.

Heliomorphism is convened by Charles Waldheim with Sergio Lopez-Pineiro and Daniel Ibañez.