Quote of the week
10/19/2005 08:11:00 AM | Author: baloghblog
(from icon)

Boring:
sustainable design

The only design project that’s really sustainable is the one you don’t do. The idea that you can save the planet by consuming resources is absurd. If you want to be really sustainable, buy an old house, fill it with antiques and walk everywhere. It’s the job of politicians to stop global warming, not architects and designers, whose micro interventions can’t make any real difference. The phrase “environmentally friendly” is meaningless. And stop talking about sustainable design, because it’s boring.
I know its blasphemy but you have to admit, on the grand scale, its true.

(via grist)
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6 comments:

On 10:24 PM , Tim of Suburbia said...

Never thought of it that way, but I guess sustainable design is just another techno-fix that will never come to fruition on a scale anywhere near what will be required.

Still, I think doomers like me will be suprised at the power of the market. People will never purposefully buy old homes, fill them with antiques and walk everywhere on a large scale, pro-actively, instead, market forces will force us to buy less expensive smaller properties, scavange for hand-me-down furnishings and park the family truckster because we can afford to put $100 into each tank.

 
On 8:44 PM , Anonymous said...

Lets get real here! Don't you have a mind of your own? do you have to "follow the leader in everything you do on this earth? Get a life and use that mind that your parents paid out the kazoo for! The answer is decenralize, and deconsumerise. instead of going in the direction big brother has programed you to go in the direction of intelligence. Find the reasons that things are and change them to meet your demands. Anyone who waits for the government to "fix" things deserves to be placed on the front lines in the oil wars. Sustainability is not a farce it is your option and you best begin to accept that fact!

 
On 10:11 PM , baloghblog said...

sheesh anon, I think that you misread this quotes meaning, and obviously didn't take the time to read the rest of my blog. I am 100% for sustainability, but the question that this quote begs is "is it really sustainable to use new resources to build a 'sustainable home'?"

It is like an oxymoron. Depleting resources to save them. The idea presented here is that you should purchase an already built home, fill it with previously used products that can be recycled, and walk to work/play. This, instead of buying a prefab "sustainable" home, a brand new Prius, and driving everywhere.

I tend to believe that this blog is proof that I don't "follow the leader", and have been out in front of many issues relating to sustainability. I don't plan on running for the hills though. I don't think that the solution to our problems lie in hiding from them. I believe that our only hope for salvation is community, not the government.

 
On 10:05 AM , j&c said...

The quote is correct that that way is more sustainable than building new "stuff," but how practical is it really for everyone to buy old homes and antiques? There really aren't enough to go around. Even if there were, these things have only a limited life span and need to be replaced eventually.

I see sustainable design as a second best answer to the problems facing us today, one that is practical.

Tim, you will be surprised at what markets can do. In fact, the demand for sustainable products is the main driver today. It's not a technofix, it's more of a design philosophy that is being incorporated more and more, and there are many signs that the momentum for it is getting stronger.

 
On 10:08 AM , Anonymous said...

Wow baloghblog, you're right about sustainable design. I'm knee-deep in it myself .. suffering from the sort of dumbing down you get when you study anything formally. It struck me early on that the problem with sustainable design, as a trend, is that a lot of people are trying to maintain the same complicated lifestyle they're used to WHILE "greening" it. This is the reason it's gotten so boring - and it never works doing it this way. It assumes you understand all of the connections. But "all the connections" are a mystery and I've come to believe they always will be, best to discern what the "laws" are and follow them. This usually leads to a radically simpler lifestyle, right? I've also noticed that there's a ridiculously similar phenomenon going on with people's ideas of a healthy diet. Many hope that by eating junk food with less fat and sugar in it they will be safe from the negative effects of eating junk with a lot of sugar and fat in it. The results are similar to some high-tech LEED buildings that leave occupants nonetheless completely undernourished.

 
On 8:12 PM , baloghblog said...

Agreed anon. Welcome to the blog, I look forward to hearing more of your comments!

Although, I do believe that sustainable building is better than conventional building. The quote is to help you change your paradigm when thinking about sustainability.