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How will the idea of "emergence" shape future design? That will be discussed at the upcoming Atmosphere conference. / Image: U of M Archives & Special Collections

Seventh annual Atmosphere conference focuses on idea of Emergence

January 15, 2015 — 

Emergence is the theme for the seventh annual Atmosphere symposium. Atmosphere 2015 will be held February 5 – 7, 2015 in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba.

This symposium will examine how theories of emergence influence design and design thinking: How do different design disciplines think about, value, engage and operationalize theories of emergence? Themes such as designing emergence, human/non-human intersections, deliberately unstable and beauty and generosity will be explored.


Keynote speakers include:

  • Rod Barnett, Professor and Chair of the Master of Landscape Architecture program at Washington University
  • Eva Franch i Gilabert, Architect and Executive Director and Chief Curator of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City.
  • Hirini Matunga, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Māori and Pacifika) and Professor of Indigenous Planning at Lincoln University
  • Rafael Gómez-Moriana, Architectural Educator, University of Calgary’s term-abroad program in Barcelona and at the Council on International Educational Exchange
  • Nina-Marie Lister, Associate Professor (with tenure) of Urban + Regional Planning at Ryerson University in Toronto and Visiting Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University, Graduate School of Design
  • Timothy Morton, Rita Shea Guffey Chair of English at Rice University and most recently author of Hyperobjects (Minnesota UP, 2013)
  • Charles Rice, Professor of Architecture at the University of Technology Sydney


We are also pleased that we will have two guest speakers:

  • Nancy Levinson, Executive Director and Editor of Places
  • Garth Rockcastle, Founding Principal of MS&R and former Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Maryland


“Emergence is becoming. It is process, change, evolution. Emergence theory attempts to describe how things and the interactive systems that comprise all things can change and develop. It seeks explanations for the continual creativity of natural systems, social systems, urban systems, that are always surging forward, overcoming disturbance, growing, redistributing their energy, adapting to new circumstances, propelling themselves into the future, becoming more and more complex.”

Barnett, Rod. Emergence in Landscape Architecture


For more information about Atmosphere 2015 symposium, or to register online, visit



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