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On Earth Day, We Reflect on Architecture's Relationship with the Planet

On Earth Day, We Reflect on Architecture's Relationship with the Planet

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.

© Shutterstock © Tom Hegen © COOKFOX. Image Yamuna River, in New Delhi, one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Iñaki Alday is co-director of the Yamuna River Project on urban ecology, which aims to recover the river and improve the lives of millions of people living in New Delhi.. Image © Randhir Singh+ 12

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.

Building Bigger Cities Means Digging Deeper Everywhere Else

 © Tom Hegen
© Tom Hegen

Why Nature Should be a Co-Author in Architectural Projects

Tidal Pools of Leça da Palmeira / Alvaro Siza. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
Tidal Pools of Leça da Palmeira / Alvaro Siza. Image © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

How the Dutch Use Architecture to Feed the World

 © Tom Hegen
© Tom Hegen

Iñaki Alday: The Planet is "At the Limit of Collapse"

Yamuna River, in New Delhi, one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Iñaki Alday is co-director of the Yamuna River Project on urban ecology, which aims to recover the river and improve the lives of millions of people living in New Delhi.. Image © Randhir Singh
Yamuna River, in New Delhi, one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Iñaki Alday is co-director of the Yamuna River Project on urban ecology, which aims to recover the river and improve the lives of millions of people living in New Delhi.. Image © Randhir Singh

The Carbon Cost of Key Raw Materials in Architecture

Sesc Pompeia / Lina Bo Bardi. Image © Fernando Pires
Sesc Pompeia / Lina Bo Bardi. Image © Fernando Pires

The Facts about Architecture and Climate Change

© Shutterstock
© Shutterstock

20 TED Talks on how Architecture can Change the World

Bjarke Ingels at TED. Image © TED
Bjarke Ingels at TED. Image © TED

Which Materials are Easiest to Recycle?

Casa Cubo / PHOOEY Architects. Image © Peter Bennetts Photographer
Casa Cubo / PHOOEY Architects. Image © Peter Bennetts Photographer

How Can Cities Help and Be Helped by Bees

 © COOKFOX. Image
© COOKFOX. Image

How Can We Reduce Carbon Emissions in Architectural Projects?

Westborough Primary School / Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture Ltd. Image © Anthony Coleman
Westborough Primary School / Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture Ltd. Image © Anthony Coleman

Tatiana Bilbao Speaks About Building and Living Responsibly

Funeraria Tangassi / Tatiana Bilbao. Image  © Iwan Baan
Funeraria Tangassi / Tatiana Bilbao. Image © Iwan Baan

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Cite: Niall Patrick Walsh. "On Earth Day, We Reflect on Architecture's Relationship with the Planet" 22 Apr 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/938116/on-world-earth-day-we-reflect-on-architectures-relationship-with-the-planet> ISSN 0719-8884
 © Tom Hegen

世界地球日,回顾建筑与地球的关系

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