GBE will be featuring three posts highlighting projects from the recently published book Designed For The Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World. The book asks the question: “What gives you the hope that a sustainable future is possible?” Featuring responses by 80 innovators spanning architecture, urban planning, landscaping, journalism, and also environmental leaders, the resulting book is a compilation of their interesting ideas on how to create a better future.
Create models that mix old and new; they will be better accepted.
Aziza Chaouni is founding principal of Aziza Chaouni Projects and assistant professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, and she chose several eco lodges that she visited in a visit to the Sahara and Arabian Deserts as her sign that a sustainable future is possible.
These structures seemed to combine the old and new. “They were made to survive in an environment that has nothing for you.”
Some of the eco lodges actually gave back to that unforgiving environment, through their ventilation or even sewage systems. Some used the surrounding landscape as heat mass to help condition the interior.
“Each offered simple but effective lessons: use solar chimneys, catch the wind and run it through the floor or walls, orient yourself in terms of the sun, use traditional percentages for building openings. Each side of a building—east, west, north, south—has clear rules for the local craftspeople… Their designs are rooted in reality, in common sense.”
So much of the “advanced” building practices we see today are actually adaptations of older methods. These older methods were born of necessity, and now are chosen for efficiency.
Photo: Henrik Chulu, Creative Commons, Cropped