Is Sustainable Architecture Alternate Reality?

By Tim Nguyen.

Architecture has always been in a miasmic balance between aesthetics, class, and sustainability where capitalism is the typical victor.

Luckily, there has been a slow shift towards some sense of equilibrium that allows for voices beyond the old cultural harbingers of rich, white, cis-hetero male architects, and in that societal shift, sustainability is becoming an ever present point of conversation.

In and ideal world, no architecture is the most sustainable architecture, but that’s for an alternate reality.

To reach sustainability, architecture needs to focus on the highest qualities possible. Look to the American suburban boom for low-quality buildings. These homes were built as fast as possible, for as inexpensive as possible, and in doing so, created this new means of “fast, cheap design” that lead the way for other cultural atrocities such as fast fashion and the gig economy.

Design must also think beyond idiosyncratic programming, and focus more on highly flexible, hybrid designs that are universal. Spaces malleable to the needs of all people, and for anything that may come in the future. In example, we can look to olympic stadiums and parks. These large follies serve an incremental purpose and then become abandoned structures for local governments to figure some use for.