e. Matter: Resources
E. RESOURCES (ENERGY AND MATERIAL)
-As we see today, when there is a lack of money, people don’t hire architects. An architect is requested when there is a surplus. Could architects be more useful in times of lack of resources than in times of plenty?
-Today architects should be more useful than in 2007..
-What has happened is irreversible. We won’t come back to nothing. There’s no past when things were done the right way and that we should miss. We should remember all important things we have forgotten about, keep improving what works fine and research for new architectures to answer all key needs that haven’t been solved yet -which are the majority of basic questions.
-It is evident that we are a small part of nature. If we take care of our body health, why do we make the earth sick?
-Man has never lived in balance with his environment. He has consumed whenever he can. Increasingly, however, we live in an environment of resources scarcity and a huge surplus of people, production and construction. We should focus on how to address these two constraints so they become potentials. We should come to see ourselves, not as conquerors of the land but rather, as humble members and citizens of the biotic community.
-Architects have been one of the main agents in the entropy increase on the earth. From now on, can they help to diminish this entropy?
-Yes. Our goal is to build the minimum to fulfill someone else’s needs. In order to achieve this, our priority is to use energy that has not been transformed by man yet: sun, wind, rain... To make these energy resources available for everyone.
-In popular construction, as from pork, they make the most of everything. Now, not only must we work with resources that were considered rubbish, and make the most of all the resources that we have at hand, but to create new, organic ones. This will give birth to a new closed-cycle industry and craftmanship.
-Is ‘passive house’ the new energetic paradigm?
-No. We should change from passive systems to dynamic ones. Passive systems made sense in abundant and close material resources environments. We can't consume so much material any more.
-In the XXth century, most buildings were made under the premise that the flow of man-transformed energy was endless. Buildings were climatised using highly inefficient heating and cooling systems, electrical devices multiplied etc. Today, the building itself must solve these issues. That's why a construction that is identical in summer and in winter, in the night and in the day, makes no sense. We don’t need new paradigms, but a dynamic architecture.
-We are moving towards an architecture that is not an energetic blackhole, but that generates its own resources and gets inhabitable energy straight from the natural sources of its environment. Before, we depended on highly-centralized-and-contaminating producers. Now, thru intensive research, our whole territory can become a fountain of resources.
-We can stop being parasits and start living in symbiosis. It’s time to give back.
-Isn’t it more bio-logic to have fewer needs and not more needs?
-We know for a long time now that an economy based on ilimited growth is not viable in the long term. We must do architectures that don’t consume.
-How can we adapt to our environment with no resources consumption and no waste? On ungrowing. Coming soon...
-How can we stop climate change and enjoy all weathers? On meteorophilia. Coming soon...
-How do we move from resources as business value to resources as shared environmental value? On commons. Coming soon...
LITTLE PATHS (Case studies):
- Ungrowing (case study #3 part 1). Crafting energy and transforming matter: no waste and low energy organisms.
- Meteorophilia (case study #3 part 2). Climate change, seasonal living, atmospheric dreams and Dynamic Weather Systems.
EXCURSIONS (Short exercises for young builders while on a journey):
- Map the resources at hand in the nearby territory of your project.
- Ecologia. Ramon Margalef. Ed. Omega, 1974.
- El nacimiento del tiempo. Ilya Prigogine. Ed. Tusquets.
- The presence of the past. Rupert Sheldrake, 1988.
- Farewell to growth (Petit traité de la décroissance sereine). Serge Latouche, 2007.
- Energy and equity. Ivan Illich, 1974.
- The zero marginal cost society. Jeremy Rifkin. Palgrave Macmillan Ed, 2014.
- The architecture of the well-tempered environment. Reyner Banham, 1969.