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Doug Spencer

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

Doug Spencer, Pickard Chilton Professor and director of graduate education in the Department of Architecture, delivered an invited guest lecture on “Architecture: A Habitat for Homo Economicus” via Zoom for the Hong Kong University Department of Architecture’s Spring 2021 Public Lecture Series.

The talk critically engaged the concepts of “man,” “nature” and “environment” usually taken as given in ecological and environmental design, especially in relation to the racial, colonial and political economic suppositions embedded within these. Addressing in particular the current convergence of neoliberalism and environmentalism in design, Spencer argued that each is premised on sustaining the figure of homo economicus: an entrepreneurial, opportunistic, go-getting and ultimately unsustainable version of humanity.