Doctoral Program Conference: #decoding, “Operating Between Fixed Protocols and Dynamic Ecologies”

Power inscribes order on space through codes. Bureaucratic codes measure and normalize dynamic ecologies and constitute the substrate of any infrastructural system, organization, and praxis. They striate space and punctuate time to increase efficiency, maximize profit, reduce risk, and maintain order in cultural, social, economic, and political spheres. #decoding gauges the agency of spatial practices in relation to the challenges and capacities prompted by codes and protocols. Organized by students in the Doctor of Design Studies program, this conference investigates the impact of codes, concerned with mapping of environments, demarcation of legal territories, operational protocols of logistics and risk management, and codes of building and subtraction. By exposing the spatial and socio-cultural implications of micro-politics embedded in the hidden codes and protocols, we speculate about the potential agency of design practices mediating between processes of normalization, and the live, complex, and unpredictable ecologies of human habitation. 

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– Harvard GSD Advanced Studies Program and Doctor of Design Director’s Office

– Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

– Harvard University Center for the Environment

– Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities

– Harvard Asia Center

– Harvard GSD Master in Design Program, Urbanism, Landscape, Ecology concentration

– AECOM Americas

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or events@gsd.harvard.edu.