Architecture in its classical meaning is understood as a meaningful integration of the use (utilitas), stability (firmitas) and aesthetic beauty (venustas) through design for (re)making and (re)shaping of buildings, urban spaces and the built environment. Sustainability understood as a development paradigm aspires an integrative attitude towards the social, the economic and the environmental concerns to unfold development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." While fully acknowledging the diversity of perspectives in both domains, this book focuses upon the integrative potential of architecture and highlights the ways in which it can contribute to the further development of the sustainability paradigm.
With ‘architecture and sustainability’ in the title, and not ‘sustainable architecture’, the importance of the dialectics between the two is acknowledged as a more productive approach: What is the value of sustainability for architecture, and vice versa? In what ways the emergence of sustainability paradigm has influenced architecture? What are the architectural perspectives on sustainability? While taking stock of these dialectics as a broader framework for advancing integrated design, the book is centered on one particular question: How to generate sustainability concepts from architectural perspectives? The book makes the case for sustainability as an integrative framework with design as the most appropriate (synthesis) field for exploring and dealing with this integrative endeavor. For such exploration, sustainable design should begin with change of ‘attitude’, followed by ‘rethinking’ of existing paradigms and the development of new strategies. This implies using issues of sustainability, ecology and energy as catalyst for creatively ‘rethinking’ conventional notions of ‘enclosure’, ‘tectonics’ and ‘program’, and thereby, generate new or alternative conceptions and expressions of sustainability.
The book presents, and takes stock of, recent developments in research, theory and practice of architecture that demonstrate such rethinking. Forty-four contributions by over a hundred authors (researchers, practitioners and academics) from around the world are assembled in this book as chapters. They offer critical perspectives on architecture and sustainability relationships, and in the process, unfold integrative pathways for addressing the issues and challenges of the ecological age.
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