Mr. Rich presented the attached paper and presentation at the Marion Dean Ross Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians in June 2019.
Change is inevitable in all forms of the environment. Our built environments are going through a process of change, that, if recognized as a cyclical process, can be managed in a manner that reduces or eliminates the severe impacts and suddenness of the change.
Panarchy, the process by which ecological and social systems grow, adapt, transform, and, ultimately, collapse over extended periods of time, is an adaptive cycle framework that can be used to understand and manage change. The 4 phases of the adaptive cycle include: entrepreneurial exploitation (r), organizational consolidation (K), creative destruction or “release” (Ω), and re- or de-structuring (α). The “release” phase can be broken down into abrupt, destructive change, incremental change, and transformational, learning change.
Applying the Principles of Future-Proofing to historic built environments guide the development of thoughtful interventions that minimize the destructive potential of the “release” phase of the adaptive cycle. The Principles of Future-Proofing are a broader understanding of resilient buildings and a useful tool for evaluating the resilience of historic buildings. The goal is to develop interventions that respect the historic character of our buildings while adapting them to a new and different and preventing abrupt, destructive change and slow erosion of integrity through incremental changes.
This paper will discuss the application of Panarchy and adaptive cycles to the historic built environment and the development of the Principles of Future-Proofing as tools to understand and manage change in the historic built environment. This paper presents several examples of future-proofing and recent projects completed by the author and demonstrate ways in which they are future-proof and demonstrate a controlled release phase which permits a building to continue to be in service.