Thursday, April 30, 2009

Directives for Architects

So what's the role of architects in all of this?

Architects often become the de-facto landscape designers, because the majority of money in any development budget is spent on the buildings. Any landscapes design, much less integrated landscape design, is a often a tired afterthought. To go beyond sustainability, we need to step past this paradigm! The following notes are from a talk I gave at the University of Massachusetts in September 2008

As architects for a resilient & thriving future, here are your tasks:

• OBSERVE - prolonged at thoughtful observation instead of protracted and thoughtless action

• DESIGN the simplest, most functional, and most vital built 'environments' possible.

• INTEGRATE your buildings with the landscape so that they functionally interconnect with as many living systems as possible

• REGENERATE openly seek out and heal the damage and oppression done to living systems -- both internally and externally.

• LEVERAGE your work to do the greatest good for the greatest number of beings for the longest amount of time by EMPOWERING people to design with you. Spread your energy and knowledge and excitement through the networks as fast as possible.

Ask yourself:
- What is the simplest solution? what's the most functional? and what will serve the interests of all life-giving forces on the planet and meet their needs in the most harmonious way?

Whad'ya all think? Do these directives resonate with any of you architects out there?

1 comment:

Elijah said...

in terms of design, not only simple and functional, but permanence is also important. in order to build a healthy house, we need to step away from the 10-30 year cycle of renovation and repair and concentrate on well-built structures that can stand the test of time. the technological aspect is also important, i.e. considering how to build technology into new structures without over-building- using simple, low or no power functions wherever possible. power systems are where this gets tricky- coming up with the right combination of power generation and not relying solely on overly expensive and inefficient technologies (like relying solely on photovoltaics).
have you considered expanding on these points and creating a more thorough guide that could be used both by architects and by people designing and building their own projects? it would be very helpful to combine our collective knowledge bases in this manner and come up with a way to spread these concepts and practices in an easily digestible form. there are lots of resources for these things, more by the day, but the combination of futurist building practices and permaculture design needs to take a step forward in the collective consciousness.
it would have to be climate-driven, i.e. different practices, plant catalogs, etc. by climatic region, power systems by environment, water usage and sources, etc.
lets talk!