Ashby Dialogue “Adapting to the Future: Architecture and Sustainability” April 7th, 2014
April 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
IARc’s department chair, Anna Marshall-Baker, lead a discussion in a series of faculty-student conversations, the Ashby Dialogues, called “Adapting to the Future: Architecture and Sustainability” on April 7th from 5-7pm in the atrium of the Sullivan Science Building. The conversation about sustainability in future architecture posed a lot of questions and comments from faculty and students alike.
One question was ‘When the “green” trend ends, what is next?’ One person answered that sustainability cannot be a trend for our generation; he said that for our parent’s generation it is just a fad because there isn’t as much at stake, but for the millennial generation, sustainability is a must. We must make changes and we cannot fail. Also, a point was made that unfortunately, design tends to favor aesthetics and style over the importance of designing a place where a human can thrive. This is why sustainability seems like a fad right now, because being “environmentally conscious” is “in”.
Another person asked “Is the integrity of architecture lost when ignoring sustainability?” I thought this was a great question and very relevant to the topic at hand. The group then discussed the government’s attitudes toward green building, ego vs. affinity, “starchitects” and hostility at the municipal level, commercialism and selling the idea of sustainability to the general public, as well as affording sustainability.
The conversation came to a conclusion with one main point. It’s not just the government’s attitudes or the general public’s attitudes about sustainability that need to change, it’s our own. It’s our responsibility as designers to have the attitude that sustainability cannot be a trend in design; it must be the only way to design.
contributed by Sarah Harris [4th] year