Thursday, January 28, 2010

Literary Dose #42

"Architects have more to offer their clients and society than they realize. Integrating design morphology, material science, and environmental sustainability will undoubtedly inform everyone what is possible or achievable in the built environment, in a manner not previously seen. A focus on architectural science (distinct from building science) must equal our overwhelming obsession with form. It must become the foundation by which to certify a new architectural expertise -- comparable in breadth and scope to medical research. The National Science Foundation should be the logical choice to fund such research but -- incredibly -- it does not recognize architecture as a science! We must demand that our representative organizations, such as the AIA, lobby to change this.

Today's broad societal concerns -- global warming, greenhouse gases, resource depletion -- will focus greater public attention than ever before toward architects for answers and innovative solutions. Should they fail, such attention will quickly be redirected elsewhere. The US Green Building Council, Architecture 2030, and Architecture for Humanity all raised broad public awareness on these issues well before any of the professional organizations did. This is not a coincidence but a wake-up call. Talking about green design can only go so far. Metrics derived from controlled testing -- automobile fuel mileage or appliance energy ratings, for example -- enable those with ideas to speak above the fray. Those who now seek government-funded building programs but fail to address the opportunity for digital design process change will have missed the point."
- "The Digital Design Ecosystem: Towards a Pre-Rational Architecture" by Paul Selestsky (senior manager of digital design in SOM's New York office) in Provisional: Emerging Modes of Architectural Practice USA, edited by Elite Kedan, F. Jonathan Dreyfous, Craig Mutter (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009, pp. 44-45)