Normally, scientists travel around the world without paying too much attention to the places where they meet. But sometimes they take their time and leave the non-places like hotels and conference rooms. In their article "The wrong trousers. Radically rethinking climate policy", Gwyn Prin and Steve Rayner evoke the image of Kinkakuji, the Buddhist Golden Temple, in the Northwest of Kyoto. The sight of this temple teaches them a different lesson.
To learn more about their approach, just google the article. It's worth a read, and serves well as an intro to the Hartwell paper and the like. But what I like most is the contrast the authors evoke here between thinking about climate at large from a non-place and the insights you might gain from random glimpses outside the conference places / offices / institutions.The approach to Kinkakuji, Kyoto’s famous Buddhist Golden Temple, in the north-west of the city, deliberately depresses expectations. The visitor is therefore unprepared for the splendour of the temple, and the impact of its shimmering form across the water that surrounds it being all the greater. That moment of unexpected discovery means that the memory of the beauty of Kinkakuji will live long in the mind. This is one example of a principle found across Zen architecture which tends to favour restraint—glimpses rather than panoramas—to evoke a more powerful effect: As Christopher Alexander and his colleagues put it, “The view of the distant sea is so restrained that it stays alive forever.”