The Architecture and Design department is hosting the annual conference “Sustainable Design Week 2017” on October 4, 5 and 6, 2017.
Theme: “Sustaining a dialogue”
Proposition: This year's Sustainable Design Week hopes to posit the necessity of sustaining a dialogue among the many disciplines that play a role in shaping the built environment and posits the potential of this multidisciplinary mode of operation as a platform for innovation. The term sustainable itself has been used and misused in a variety of contexts and applied to a wide range of approaches, and as of late criticized and replaced by other terms. The fact remains that the environmental crisis has brought about a new awareness of the various social, political, economic, and ecological factors.
Format: Two panels / round tables, one at the urban scale and the other at the building scale, will consider the role of the design disciplines in both contexts and will further question whether we are at a moment of paradigm shift in disciplinary terms. The two panels, consisting of guest speakers as well as AUB faculty, will focus on socio-economic, ecological, and climatic issues, as interdisciplinary themes. We hope this approach will engage the students and faculty in a discourse on the topic that could help better define our position on this issue. The guest speakers will be invited to hold short workshops for students.
Day 1 (Wednesday):
• Workshop Launch with about 12-15 third year architecture students
• 5 pm – 7 pm: the first panel / round table, as follows:
“Urban scale”: Jose Luis Vallejo, David Benjamin + Nadim Farajallah, Najah Saliba, Mona Fawaz
Set against the backdrop of Beirut, a city that has had its fair share of war and conflict, Sustainable Design Week and the workshops hope to engage the manifold challenges Beirut and similar cities face today.
Perhaps what characterizes Beirut these days is an intensely neoliberal condition, in which a paralyzed public sector is completely ineffective in providing basic services, resulting in environmental pollution, a refugee crisis, and congestion, to name only a few.
Day 2 (Thursday):
• Continue the workshop with the students;
• 5 pm – 7 pm: the second panel / round table, as follows:
“Building scale”: Philippe Rahm, Bernhard Sommer + Issam Srour, Jad Tabet (tbc)
In the '90s, in response to global environmental concerns, architects and design teams responded by designing “green” buildings endorsed by certain certification systems (LEED, BREEAM, etc).
In the past decade or so as scientists have impressed the connection of energy consumption in the north to destruction of bee habitats in the south, architects and design team members have begun to connect the initial one off architectural dimensions to ecological and systems thinking. From this perspective, it is relevant to look at how the building envelope acts as a dynamic interface between climate, the interiors and eventually the person.
Day 3 (Friday):
• Finalize the workshop + an exhibition
The invited guests:
Jose Luis Vallejo
Jose Luis Vallejo is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia GSAPP. He is co-founder and co-director of the firm Ecosistema Urbano established in 2000 in Madrid.
The firm's approach can be defined as urban social design by which they understand the design of environments, spaces, dynamics and tools in order to improve the self-organization of citizens, social interaction within communities and their relationship with the environment.
Since 2010 he has been faculty at Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Cambridge and Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in New York.
David Benjamin is Founding Principal of The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia GSAPP. Benjamin's work combines research and practice, and it involves exploring new ideas through prototyping.
Focusing on the intersection of biology, computation, and design, he has articulated three frameworks for harnessing living organisms for architecture: bio-processing, bio-sensing, and bio-manufacturing
The Living has won many design prizes, including the Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League, the New Practices Award from the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter, the Young Architects Program Award from the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, and a Holcim Sustainability Award.
Philippe Rahm is a Swiss architect, principal in the office of Philippe Rahm architectes, based in Paris. His work, which extends the field of architecture from the physiological to the meteorological, has received an international audience in the context of sustainability.
He started teaching architectural design at the GSD (Harvard University) in Fall 2014. In 2002, Mr. Rahm was chosen to represent Switzerland at the 8th Architecture Biennale in Venice, and was one of the 25 Manifesto's Architects of Aaron Betsky's 2008 Architectural Venice Biennale.
He was Headmaster at the AA School in London in 2005-2006. His recent work includes the First Prize for the 70 hectares Taichung Gateway Park in Taiwan currently under construction and office building of 13000 m2 at La Défense in France for the EPADESA.
Bernhard Sommer teaches and researches in the field of Energy Design as an Assistant Professor at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.
Prior to this, he was Assistant Professor at TU Vienna´s Institute for Building Construction and Design and teacher, researcher and project manager at Hyperbody, TU Delft. He further was lecturing at the University of Lincoln, UK.
He is founder and principal of Exikon arc & dev, an independent architecture practice based in Vienna. Its aim is to use latest planning technologies to integrate engineering skills into the architectural design process.
He was awarded the Arch+ Prize 2000, the MAK Schindler fellowship and the prize for Experimental Tendencies in Architecture. He chairs the committee for urbanism and sustainability of the Austrian Chamber of architects in Vienna.