As we recognize the 50th Earth Day, it is difficult to think of a time where our relationship with the Earth has been so different from normal. As we grapple with the worst health crisis in one hundred years, attention turns to the future of how we will live with each other, how global systems will operate, and in some cases, how profoundly positive it can be for the natural world when our exponential demands for oil, transport, and energy are curtailed.
But in time, the COVID crisis will pass, and the world will return to “normal”. The nature of that normal is, in part, the responsibility of architects and designers. What constitutes a “normal” relationship between us and the Earth? Is “normal” sustainable? Is “normal” ethical? Is “normal” even desirable? How will the Earth sustain a population of 10 billion, from a nutritional and shelter perspective? What impact is the construction industry having on the extraction of raw materials from the Earth? How can the architectural community enhance and improve the relationship between us and the Earth?
To further these thoughts, we present a selection of our content in recent months which speculates and investigates our relationship with the Earth. While varied, the articles, interviews, and presentations are linked by a common understanding of how architecture relates to the planet, its systems, and its global flows of climate, materials, and ideas. We therefore encourage you to take a moment today to absorb new ideas and outlooks on how important, and impactful, your role can be in shaping a healthy, sustainable, and ethical relationship between us and the planet.