In this study, I develop a theory of landscape archaeology that incorporates the concept of “animism” as a cognitive approach. Current trends in anthropology are placing greater emphasis on indigenous perspectives, and in recent decades animism has seen a resurgence in anthropological theory. As a means of relating in (not to) one's world, animism is a mode of thought that has direct bearing on landscape archaeology. Yet, Americanist archaeologists have been slow to incorporate this concept as a component of landscape theory. I consider animism and Nurit Bird-David's (1999) theory of “relatedness” and how such perspectives might be expressed archaeologically in Mesoamerica. I examine the distribution of marine shells and cave formations that appear incorporated as architectural elements on ancient Maya circular shrine architecture. More than just “symbols” of sacred geography, I suggest these materials represent living entities that animate shrines through their ongoing relationships with human and other-than-human agents in the world.
This short paper describes and reflects on how the teaching of the concept of Universal Design (UD) has developed in the last decade at the Institute of Design at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO). Four main changes are described. Firstly, the curriculum has evolved from teaching guidelines and principles to focusing on design processes. Secondly, an increased emphasis is put on cognitive accessibility. Thirdly, non-stigmatizing aesthetics expressions and solutions that communicate through different senses have become more important subjects. Fourthly the teaching of UD has moved from the second to the first year curriculum.
This paper investigates how architectural school competition juries assess Universal Design. The method used is a case study of 18 recent architectural school competitions in Norway. The results show that most competition briefs ask for Universal Designed buildings. In 8 of the 18 cases, Universal Design is mentioned as an assessment criterion. In 11 of the 18 cases, Universal Design is commented on by the juries in the jury reports, but only in 3 of the cases, do the juries assess this aspect consistently on every competition project. The overall impression is that some amount of uncertainty looms concerning how Universal Design should be assessed in the competition stage. Based on the findings, future juries should concentrate on orientation and overview prior to technicalities and details.