Rethinking architecture as a catalyst for sustainability

  • YEAR
    Thomas, Leena
    2015 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers
    Design Education and Design Research


This paper proposes an alternate approach to considering the role of the architect against a backdrop of climate change, urban expansion and evolving technology, as the remit of architects is increasingly marginalized by other professions. Using the case study of architectural design studio investigations for the Master of Architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney on conflicted sites in Australia, the paper address the implications at two levels: 1. Opportunities where architecture and strategic urban interventions become catalysts for sustainable practices. 2. Insights and outcomes from this pedagogical approach to sustainable architectural design education. Developments on conflicted sites are laden with social, ethical, political and environmental concerns that intensify the environment and often contradict with sustainable development and intelligent environmental performance. The design studios explored in this paper challenge the traditional approach (in both academia and practice) of considering efficiency or technical building environmental performance in isolation. They offer opportunities for deploying design thinking in a strategic manner to develop resilient architecture in the context of climate change and current debates.


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