collaborative learning/collaborative living
Ecological, sustainable design will provide the methodological and technical focus of this studio.
This term we will have the unprecedented opportunity to collaborate with students and faculty from Urban Planning, Engineering and Environmental Studies on the topic of sustainable housing. Five courses including this architecture studio will address the real-life concerns of MUCS, a McGill student organization dedicated to realizing a sustainable student housing project. Students from each course will share their respective research in an interdisciplinary learning process in which architecture will play a pivotal role as the confluence of technical, social and environmental concerns. The whole group will be invited to come together at various points throughout the term both for formal presentations and informal discussions. Professors' lectures of general interest will also be highlighted for group participation, and linked web sites will assist information sharing.
Another unprecedented aspect of this studio will be the participation of sustainable engineering consultant Ronald Gagnon as a part-time studio instructor. Through lectures and desk crits Ronald will provide invaluable critiques and technical input during the design process.
conscious building requires the architect to think about the relation
between the building and the ecological and climatological system within
which the building functions. In a wider sense the architect must take
a standpoint on the relation between nature and culture. Opposing nature
against culture can never lead to durable solutions for our current environment
problems. We have to search for a meaningful symbiosis.
development is development that meets the needs of the present generation
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
Arising out of an increasing awareness of
the inadequacies and negative effects of past choices and related choice
mechanisms, sustainable development is ultimately concerned with assuring
human health and well-being now and in the future. Human existence depends
on our ability to draw sustenance from natural resources in ways which
do not destroy the natural systems which regenerate Earth. Throughout
history humans have impacted the regions in which they have lived. Until
recently, populations were small and the impacts localized; the design
and management of the community had effects only on the sustainability
of the local region. Since the industrial revolution, however, the growth
in industrial technology and activity, combined with the exponential growth
in population and the associated impacts of a growing consumption-driven
society, have become a threat to the stability and longevity of the earthÝs
regional and planet-scale ecosystems. Sustainable development is a call
for increased understanding of, and response to, the long term environmental,
social and economic effects of current development and lifestyle
look at design as a signal of intention. And we look in the future and
say that the filters of the future will not be on the end of pipes. They
will be in our heads.