Friday, March 6, 2009

Rethink Architecture Now !

Rethink Architecture Now !
by Annie McConnell, February 25, 2009

Humans have never respected the fundamental values of a human society. We have lost the sense of importance of family, we do not understand or respect our traditions, we have found ways to separate our societies into haves and have-nots, insiders and outsiders, good and evil, wanted and unwanted, friends and enemies, we rape other peoples' sisters, we kill other peoples' brothers and we have managed to disconnect ourselves from our instincts more than ever before in the history of humanity.
If we have lost our self-respect, how is it ever possible to feel sorry for something as small and seemingly meaningless as a single tree, a flower, or a bird, or even something as large as a forest, or an entire ecosystem? How do you expect anyone to feel remorse for vanishing species - whales, or seals that are in danger of extinction? Above all we have lost touch with our purpose in this world, as political and cultural creatures.

What follows naturally is our lack of respect for the environment. Consequently, what they now call sustainable architecture is just an illusion. I repeat: there simply cannot be sustainable architecture, unless there is a change of culture. Unless people discover the respect they have lost for themselves and their neighbor. And this they can only discover through a completely different way of life aiming at achieving cultural sustainability that will eventually lead to environmental sustainability
Sustainability cannot be achieved by individuals. It can only be achieved through collective effort. Therefore, a distinction must be made between the terms "green" and "sustainable." Green architecture is the first step towards sustainability. It is a type of architecture that will bring people closer to nature, both in principle and literally. Green architecture can offer people a helping hand in the effort for sustainability. However, its objectives have been misinterpreted. The main objective behind the idea of sustainable architecture must be to inspire humans to live in harmony with the environment.

Architects should eschew expensive sophisticated, so-called green techniques and materials. Instead, Green architecture must be globally affordable. It must be internationally adopted as the right way to build. That will help us change the existing western culture, by transforming people's lives through communicating to them the importance of maintaining life and saving energy resources.

I assert that green architecture must be an affordable product of scientific thinking, and I therefore encourage my architecture colleagues and myself to collectively wake up and do our job.

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