Hedonistic sustainability through architectural alchemy
Below are two inspiring TED talks by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.
“Sustainability has grown into being this neo-protestant belief that it has to hurt in order to do good, like: «You’re not supposed to take long, warm showers and you’re not supposed to fly on holidays ’cause it’s bad for the environment» – and gradually you get this idea that sustainable life is less fun that normal life. So we thought that it might be interesting to focus on examples where a sustainable city actually increases the quality of life.
Architectural alchemy: “the idea that you can actually create, if not gold, then at least added value by mixing traditional ingredients.”
Zira Island: “where urban development usually happens at the expense of nature, in this this case it is actually creating nature”
The eight-house: “a three-dimensional urban condition that allows public life (…) to invade the private space of the urban block and reach the penthouse of the city.”
“Public debate about architecture quite often contemplates the final result, the architectural object (…) We copied the format of the comic book to tell the stories of behind the scenes, how our projects evolve through adaptation and improvisation. (…) What we try to say with «Yes is more» is to question this idea that the architectural avant-guarde is almost always negatively defined as who or what we are against. The cliché of the radical architect is this sort of angry young man rebelling against the establishment, or the idea of the misunderstood genius frustrated with that the world doesn’t fit in with his or her ideas. Rather that revolution, we’re much more interested with evolution…the idea that things gradually evolve by adapting and improvising to the changes of the world. (…) Darwin is one of the people who best describes our design process; his famous evolutionary tree could almost be a diagram of the way we work. A project evolves through a series of generations of design meetings. At every meeting there’s way too many ideas, only the best ones can survive. Through a proess of architectural selection we might have a very beautiful model and a very practical model and we mate them into mutant offspring.”
“Coco Chanel said that flattery is the highest form of compliment, and if Hollywood starts ripping off sustainable architecture to portray science fiction, it could be a sign that we are moving towards hedonistic sustainability.”