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Environmental Design: The Latest Architecture and News

How Landscape Architects are Taking on Embodied Carbon

Landscape architects have started conversations about embodied carbon. There is a realization that we can no longer ignore the grey parts,” said Stephanie Carlisle, Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum and the University of Washington, during the first in a series of webinars organized by the ASLA Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee.

The grey parts are concrete, steel, and other manufactured products in projects. And the conversations happening are laying the foundation for a shift away from using these materials. The landscape architect climate leaders driving these conversations are offering practical ways to decarbonize projects and specify low-carbon materials.

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“An Architect’s Traditional Lane is Pretty Limiting”: In Conversation with Johanna Hurme of 5468796 Architecture

What about architecture in North America – its history, policies, but also building codes – makes it particularly vulnerable to the global housing crisis? And how can those inherent flaws be counteracted with purposeful residential design and a more inclusive approach to the architecture discipline?

In a presentation at World Architecture Festival 2023 under the programme theme ‘Catalyst’, Johanna Hurme and Sasa Radulovic, Co-Founders of Winnipeg-based 5468796 Architecture, showcased how these and other questions are key to their building style and also addressed in their forthcoming book platform.MIDDLE: Architecture for Housing the 99%.

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Utopian Practice, Political Power, and Community in Architecture: An Interview with Olalekan Jeyifous

After being awarded the prestigious Silver Lion for his contribution to this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous shows no signs of slowing down. Currently in the midst of preparing his entry to the next Sharjah Architecture Triennial, he also recently celebrated the opening of Climate Futurism, a group exhibition that highlights the power and efficacy of artists’ methods and processes to imagine a more equitable future – and is working on a public monument to former United States Representative Shirley Chisholm as part of New York City's She Built NYC initiative, among other projects.

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Archi-Tectonics' Asian Games Park Rethinks Hangzhou's Ecological Future in China

In 2018, Archi-Tectonics NYC and !Melk were announced as the winners of a competition to develop a masterplan transformation for the Hangzhou Asian Games Park 2022. Spanning 116 Acres, the now-completed project includes an expansive Eco Park and seven buildings. Although its initial purpose was to serve as a venue for the Hangzhou Asian Games 2022, the team extended its vision far beyond this event, charting a new path for the city’s environmental future.

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Energetic Retrofitting: A Solution for Environmental Obsolescence in Architecture

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Architecture is a continually evolving form of human expression influenced by cultural and contextual factors. While many of the problems we face today aren't directly linked to architecture, it has the ability to provide or facilitate solutions to these challenges. This has been evident throughout history, as societal issues have played a significant role in shaping our built environments. For instance, during the Victorian era, the infamous "Great Stink" led to the modernization of London's drainage system and urban layout. Similarly, the 2008 recession gave rise to the sharing economy and coworking spaces. Nowadays, the climate crisis is transforming the way we conceive architecture, seeking to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and cities to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives. Given this backdrop, what challenges should we expect in the future?

Everything Is (Not) Architecture: Environmental Design and Architecture’s Slippery Slope

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

There’s no shortage of slippery slopes in the architectural lexicon: “architectural” and “architectonic” hover near the top of the list. Problems invariably arise when the modifier supplants the modified. This happens more than you’d think, especially of late. A wholly separate issue arises when owing partly to a linguistic slight of tongue, architecture is understood as something distinct from the building, eschewing physical inhabitation. 

Yasmeen Lari Receives the 2023 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for Architecture

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced that Professor Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan’s first female architect, will receive the 2023 Royal Gold Medal for architecture. The award, one of the highest honors for architecture and the first to be personally approved by King Charles III, recognizes Yasmeen Lari’s work in championing zero-carbon self-build concepts for displaced populations. The Royal Gold Metal will be officially presented to Yasmeen Lari in June 2023.

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A Living Capsule on The Moon and a Garden Home in Colombia: 10 Unbuilt Visionary Houses Submitted to ArchDaily

This week's curated selection of Best Unbuilt Architecture highlights visionary homes by the ArchDaily community. From a prefabricated house to supporting Ukraine war victims, a modular multi-story house highlighted during the Dutch Design Week, and a villa "shaped" by the Dubai coastline wind flow, this round-up of unbuilt projects showcases how architects move forward from the conventional residence concept to project alternative habitational standards in responding to harsh environments, nature, and technology.

Featuring firms like architecten van Mourik, Archigardener, DKTV, Exint, Kalbod Design Studio, Lana Alk habbaz studio, Mitchell Designs Architecture, Mossawi Studios LLC, Void, and Team Group, the following list explores homes at different scales and varying stages of their development. Whether competition-winning projects or ongoing planned execution, each project develop a vision of living generated by unique site conditions and technical possibilities.

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Ecological Materials: Towards a New Economy

The world’s most primitive construction materials are being used to create the most advanced buildings. In light of environmental crises, architects are focusing their efforts in designing better built environments for people and the planet. The results may often seem ‘greenwashed’, failing to address the root of ecological distress. Environmentally responsible architecture must aim not to reverse the effects of the ecological crisis, but instigate a revolution in buildings and how we inhabit them. Essays from the book The Art of Earth Architecture: Past, Present, Future envision a shift that will be a philosophical, moral, technological and political leap into a future of environmental resilience.

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What is an ESG Metric and How Will it Change the Future of Design?

Architects assume a significant amount of responsibility when it comes to considering designs that will be successful for not just their clients, but any person who inhabits or is impacted by their spaces. Topics of sustainability, social inclusion, economic opportunities, and overall urban equity, have consistently been top of mind in recent years, ultimately creating a new holistic approach to designing for a better future, that many people are referring to as Environmental, Social, and Governance metrics, more commonly known as ESG.

How Design Can Help Ensure All Communities Benefit From Climate Adaptation

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

The urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has never been greater, and getting there is going to require bold steps for buildings, infrastructure, and communities. Incremental reductions are not enough; we need to focus on full decarbonization, which means removing carbon emissions caused by our built environment. 

These big changes in the way energy is generated and used will raise important questions about who benefits and who pays. Technology-focused incentive programs can wind up leaving our most vulnerable communities behind, exacerbating a legacy of underinvestment and health disparities, while also failing to reach the essential goals of a complete energy transition. Instead, we need holistic solutions that put disadvantaged communities first and transition buildings that would otherwise be left out, leading to bottom-up market transformation that benefits everyone. 

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