Hootman’s role within the USGBC is yet another hallmark of the sustainable design director. Many architects who championed green design early on in their firms often played significant roles in the development of the USGBC’s local chapters, as well as the national organization. For example, Ritchie has served for the past five years on the materials and resources technical advisory group for the USGBC’s LEED program. Another well-trod track for architects who have advocated green issues in their firms is the AIA’s COTE, which exists as one of the AIA’s “knowledge communities” with branches in the many local chapters. Sandy
In April 2006, the actor Brad Pitt and the nonprofit organization Global Green USA launched a sustainable design competition in hopes of spurring the redevelopment of New Orleans, post-Katrina. It certainly isn’t shocking that a Hollywood star, albeit one with a home in New Orleans, would want to raise awareness about the devastated city, but perhaps it is surprising that a celebrity could so meaningfully engage the sustainable design community with such a gesture. Pitt, it seems—like Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore—has become a sort of sustainability guru for the larger public, even narrating the on-going sustainable design television series
Former President Bill Clinton took the stage at the U.S. Green Building Council’s sixth annual Greenbuild conference in Chicago yesterday morning and, before a crowd of 6,000 people who gathered to hear his keynote address, described the green building movement the nation’s largest economic opportunity since the country mobilized for World War II. “It’s not going to be easy, but we have to move away from the carbon economy,” Clinton said, adding that he considers green building to be “perhaps the most important cause we can be involved in today.” In a lightly political speech—we are facing an election year,
Sustainable Design: Ecology, Architecture, and Planning, by Daniel E. Williams, FAIA. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2007, 304 pages, $75. High-Performance Building, by Vidar Lerum. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2007, 304 pages, $70. The Designer’s Atlas of Sustainability, by Ann Thorpe. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2007, 225 pages, $29.95. We seem to have two camps emerging in the nascent field of sustainable design: an informed one that remains sensitive to the high aims of architecture, ecology, and site, and then one we might call “design services 2.0,” a kind of appliqué of green technologies onto
After three years of contentious negotiations, the Czech Republic city of Brno has agreed to restore the Tugendhat Villa, a landmark of early Modernism designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and completed in 1930. The house, which currently operates as a museum, will close October 31.
In Los Angeles, a city known for its dearth of public spaces, architects have expressed the issues of privacy and transparency in the home in often-unusual ways, typically motivated by a perceived break with architectural tradition.
Topped/Tapped Out These unresolved issues still linger in the rush to develop a new urban world, where the United Nations estimated in June that more than half the world’s population now lives in cities. Given the recent building boom, critics and theorists have written relatively little on the skyscraper, especially outside of the contexts of the WTC and such places as Dubai or Guangzhou. No wonder Koolhaas’s Delirious New York, which turns 30 years old next year, still reigns as provocative reading in architecture schools. Even Koolhaas builds more than he writes today—and some of his more recent proposals for
The skyscraper has had more comebacks than Cher. From its humble, naive beginnings in Chicago after the fire of 1871; its idealistic representation in early European Modernism; its apex as the glam symbol of American corporate eminence; its bimbo phase in Postmodernism; its more recent dalliance with high-tech engineering; and culminating with its supposed demise on September 11, 2001, the skyscraper is one helluva contender.