January 27, 2006

A lecture to architects

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"... The idea was that when faced with abundance one should consume abundantly - an idea that has survived to become the basis of our present economy. It is neither natural nor civilized, and even from a "practical" point of view it is to the last degree brutalizing and stupid "

Wendell Berry
from: The Art of The Commonplace - Part I: A Geobiography - A Native Hill


Architecture, ethics and sustainability

The following quote is from a lecture titled (Re)defining The Edge by Susan S. Szenasy, editor in chief of Metropolis magazine. The talk was delivered on September 8, 2004 at the University of Oklahoma, where she was invited by the Architecture and Urban Studies department to deliver the first in its Bruce Goff Lectures, to a select group of architecture students and to members of the local American Institute of Architects.

In this lecture Szenasy reflects on her preparations to teach a course in design ethics at Parsons School of Design in New York and she applies that thinking to current issues of designing for sustainability.

"I see old patterns everywhere--patterns that no longer look and feel as if they could tell the story of who we are, who we have become as individuals, as professionals, as citizens, as members of families and communities, as inhabitants of our small, blue-green planet."

"Patterns are fascinating things. You might be looking at one for some time and see nothing, but all of a sudden you shift your point of view or see a new detail emerge, and the pattern starts taking shape. It might be unfamiliar or even strange for a while, but somehow you know you are looking at something you have known was there all along, yet it is also entirely fresh. Let me tell you what I'm seeing in these first tender years and months and days of the 21st century."

"... Everything I talked about here implies a personal choice made by someone who considered more than his own welfare and his client's needs. As an editor, my job is to ask questions. So the question I ask of you now is this: how will you prepare yourself to make hard choices? And as a follow-up, what can you contribute to making a new pattern which reflects the 21st century ethos of environmental sustainability and social equity? Are you willing to take part in redefining the edge?  

Web Link - View a PDF of the full lecture by Susan S. Szenasy

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Photo of the week

Redbud Wind - energy project archive - Updated 1/20/06
Click the wind turbine icon see progress notes
for the Redbud Wind I site at Enid, OK.

George Beggs 12/2005 - Feedback is welcome

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