Ethics in Place: Architecture, Memory, and Environmental Poetics

haiye ne yana
It is placed, it is placed, it is placed,
It is placed, it is placed, it is placed,
Now at the Rim of the Emergence Place, it is placed, it is placed.
At the hogan, blessedness is placed, it is placed,
At the rear, Turquoise Boy, it is placed, it is placed,
At the rear, White Shell Girl, it is placed, it is placed,
At the center of the hogan of soft goods, it is placed, it is placed,
At the hogan of all kinds of jewels, it is placed, it is placed,
Now sa'ah naaghei, now bik'eh hozhoo below the hogan,
it is placed, it is placed, it is placed, it is placed,
It is placed, It is placed, neyowo.

-- The Navajo House Blessing Ceremonial. Charlotte Frisbie, trans., Southwestern Indian Ritual Drama (Albuquerque: UNM Press, 1980), 191.

The ever-increasing production of memorial buildings, sculptures, cenotaphs, parks and gardens since World War I testifies to a century in which more people have been tortured and killed and more cities and ecosystems have been destroyed than during any other time in human history. This also points to the critical role that architecture and environmental design plays beyond personal comfort, shelter and efficient living--that is, as a vehicle for public memory, environmental stewardship, communal poetics and ethical reflection. But what does this mean in a context where the ancestral waters, healing skies and the embracing earth, as honored by her original inhabitants, have become "property" and "resources" waiting to be mined and tapped, moved and shaped by designers and their clients? How, for instance, in multicultural Arizona, does our selection of forms and materials, images and soundscapes influence the memory--and thus the ethics--of those who dwell and pass through this place? This international symposium along with its associated publications, a concurrent online university course, exhibition, performances, and a public discussion website prepare the theoretical groundwork and mission for a future international research center for Ethics in Architecture. We invite architects, philosophers, designers, ethicists, poets, lawyers, artists, and students from within and outside the academy to join us in mapping the history and theory of architecture as vehicles for memory, environmental responsibility, poetic visioning and communal ethical reflection.

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APH 598: Ethics, Memory and Place-Making
Spring 2004

An internet distance-learning graduate seminar offered through ASU Online. Prerequisite: a college-level diploma or degree in any field. Space is limited. Runs January 20 to May 12, 2004. 3 credits. Instructor: Dr. Gregory Paul Caicco.

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Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, ASU
Arizona Public Service (APS)
Herberger Center for Design Excellence, ASU
College of Architecture and Environmental Design, ASU
Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts, ASU
School of Life Sciences, ASU
Department of Religious Studies, ASU
\irginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, ASU
Department of English, ASU
Women's Studies Program, ASU
American Indian Studies, ASU
Indian Legal Program, ASU