Why Aesthetically Pleasing Buildings Are More Sustainable Than You Think
Challenging the Assumption That Eco-Friendly Materials Are Always the Best Option for Sustainable Structures
When we think about sustainability we always think about using better materials. And while that is certainly a good way to think about it I came across the following thought this past weekend,
“Architects are preoccupied with everything but Architecture. It is thought that using ecological materials is the way to do sustainable architecture, but that is completely wrong. Making beautiful buildings that people want to preserve is the way to create truly sustainable buildings that last hundreds, thousands of years”
- Paraphrasing from a video in Instagram.
So let’s break this down,
“Architects are preoccupied with everything but Architecture”
This one hit hard — and it was the beginning of the video. It is true, I see the architects around me, and myself in my job as an architectural designer, worrying about everything around the design, but not the design itself. It seems like there is almost no time for design in the way modern firms are structured. Perhaps the ones with big star — chitects, and big budgets have more time — but I think they just have more optimized systems (powered by money and more employees) that give the illusion of more design. Architects tend to give the client the timelines they want to hear at the expense of staff and, ultimately, design time. Not saying designs aren’t thought out or sophisticated — but firms do tend to fall back on “what they have always done” or “the way they do things” and stamp those excuses as their “style”.
This conversation can be triggering for some readers, and that is not my intent. So, the core of the argument is, Architect’s don’t spend enough time designing — to the detriment of everyone. Architect’s need more time for design.
It is thought that using ecological materials is the way to do sustainable architecture, but that is completely wrong.