“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”
-Cree Indian Proverb
We see the signs in weather patterns. Catastrophic storms, rising ocean levels, melting polar ice caps, shrinking forests, all are effects of global warming. The term ‘sustainability‘ has become a heroic catch phrase within the discipline of architecture…and rightfully so.
But can ‘green design’ be more than just the latest trend that corporate architecture paints onto its facade to promote business? What can architecture do as a social catalyst that changes the living patterns of the human race? Building construction and the growth of cities is one of the leading producers of waste, greenhouse gases and energy consumption. Can emerging digital processes and manufacturing technologies push architecture and construction practices away from the tradition of consumption and into a future of healthy stewardship of planet earth?
The automobile industry has moved in this direction with the development of hybrid and electrical vehicles. The recently completed ford factory has made a statement in green building techniques and production. Architecture is following, but there needs to be more than simply using recycled materials, reclaiming water, and planting an array of photo-voltaic panels on the roof.