How are new concepts for building tectonics helping chart a stronger sustainability trajectory for the design professions?
  1. Home
  2. What's On
  3. How are new concepts for building tectonics helping chart a stronger sustainability trajectory for the design professions?

How are new concepts for building tectonics helping chart a stronger sustainability trajectory for the design professions?

How are new concepts for building tectonics helping chart a stronger sustainability trajectory for the design professions?
By Editorial Staff -

The overall objective of The Plan Journal (TPJ) is to “enrich the dialog between research and professional fields, in order to encourage both applicable new knowledge and intellectually driven modes of practice.” (Maurizio Sabini, Editor-in-Chief of The Plan Journal)

 

THE PLAN JOURNAL LOOKS AT DESIGNERS’ NEW APPROACHES THAT EVEN BETTER SERVE HUMANITY WHILE PAYING REVERENCE TO OUR PLANET EARTH

We are presenting some of the ideas and aspirations from the Fall 2021 “The Good Material” themed issue of The Plan Journal that resonated with us. In the article “2 in 1 – A Playful Approach to the Sustainable Use of Building Materials,” the authors Angie Müller-Puch, Erik Hegre and Michael Innerarity ask: “What if we use and assemble materials in a way that they can serve multiple functions at one time?” In his article “Wood City: Timberizing the City’s Building Blocks,” the author Stephen Luoni asks: “What if cities were built from the only building construction system that sequesters carbon; is a renewable resource; and is capable of being ‘energy positive’ – wood?” In the article “Re-Emergence of the Vernacular: The Material Aspirations and the Vanishing Continuum of the Immaterial,” the authors Chaitra Sharad and Sanket Mhatre claim that “definition of any material’s sensual, social and symbolic worth often remains out of the scope for judgment.”

Finally, we share some current curriculum development resources generated by Stanford University.

>>We encourage you to browse The Plan Journal and explore The Good Material for yourself.

 

New approaches

In the article “2 in 1 – A Playful Approach to the Sustainable Use of Building Materials,” the authors Angie Müller-Puch, Erik Hegre and Michael Innerarity implore that “we should start to understand our buildings as toolboxes, as a part of a bigger lifecycle, constructed with elements users can flexibly use and exchange.”

 Angie Müller-Puch, Erik Hegre and Michael Innerarity, interior view: atrium façade, Harvard University Science and Engineering Complex. Courtesy of © Behnisch Architekten.Angie Müller-Puch, Erik Hegre and Michael Innerarity, interior view: atrium façade, Harvard University Science and Engineering Complex. Courtesy of © Behnisch Architekten.

Müller-Puch et al. conclude:

Sustainability should not act as a hindrance to architectural design but rather as a catalyst for reinterpretation and adaptation, so that by simply asking the question “what is this and for what can I use this?” new opportunities emerge. 

>> The abstract is available in THE PLAN Journal Volume 6/2021 – Issue 2 (in English)

The author Stephen Luoni of “Wood City: Timberizing the City’s Building Blocks,” explains that “unlike metals and plastics, wood is a biological nutrient capable of regeneration.”

 Stephen Luoni, Self Storage: in exchange for approvals, cities are requiring improved curb appeal in storage development through detailing, lighting, mixed uses, and other design features. Courtesy of © University of Arkansas Community Design Center.Stephen Luoni, Self Storage: in exchange for approvals, cities are requiring improved curb appeal in storage development through detailing, lighting, mixed uses, and other design features. Courtesy of © University of Arkansas Community Design Center.

Luoni continues to describe his work: 

Wood City develops sustainable pattern languages with architectural ambition for these building blocks of America’s low-density metropolitan sprawl. While patterns are aligned with new development trends redefining each building category, each pattern can link up using grammar-like rules to create new placemaking possibilities. Wood City essentially outlines an important yet untapped design market within multiple building sectors requiring greater applied research and the value-adding intelligence of design. Good design is capital.

>> The abstract is available in THE PLAN Journal Volume 6/2021 – Issue 2 (in English)

In the article “Re-Emergence of the Vernacular: The Material Aspirations and the Vanishing Continuum of the Immaterial,” the authors Chaitra Sharad and Sanket Mhatre explain that if “any material’s sensual, social and symbolic worth” … “are prioritized well, the architecture can continue to progress as a modest expression, adding a personality or realizing a life rather than producing alienating objects.”

 Chaitra Sharad and Sanket Mhatre, otla being added to an under-construction house. Courtesy of © the Authors.Chaitra Sharad and Sanket Mhatre, otla being added to an under-construction house. Courtesy of © the Authors.

Sharad and Mhatre suggest that their research: 

serve[s] to essentially develop a conscious understanding of the inherent immaterial values that can cultivate a better response to the demand and attitude of the contemporary act of building. This can also help the ongoing architectural discourse to effectively establish and communicate a link between the matter and the living.

>> The abstract is available in THE PLAN Journal Volume 6/2021 – Issue 2 (in English)

 

Building Decarbonization Learning Accelerator (BDLA)

Education is an incredibly powerful tool that can be used to guide the next generations toward a meaningful and purposeful life in design by teaching to create a future that respects humanity by innovating for a

“more sustainable and smarter physical environment.” “We need a better materiality and tectonics, optimizing performance and social and environmental sustainability, attuned with our current modern sensibility, way of life and aspirations.”
(Maurizio Sabini, Editor-in-Chief of The Plan Journal)

Stanford University has compiled free online BDLA resources that can be used for just that purpose– case studies, presentation materials, quizzes and exercises, reference materials as well as videos. These materials are available for mentors and/or educators to reference and/or creatively customize curriculum to prepare the designers of tomorrow to carry the torch.  

>>To learn more, check out https://bdla.stanford.edu

 

 Why support + read TPJ?

The Plan Journal is intended to disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking, and relevant research, studies, and criticism related to architecture and urbanism. The journal grew out of an awareness that academia is all too often engaged in research that’s disconnected from the real-world challenges that face different professions, and that research is only possible for a small number of professional organizations, and, even then, with limited platforms for its dissemination. The overarching aim of TPJ is therefore to enrich the dialogue between researchers and professionals so as to foster both pertinent new knowledge and intellectually driven modes of practice.

 

How does it work + why does it matter?

Prospective contributors are encouraged to submit proposals or complete manuscripts to the Editor-in-Chief. Subject to positive feedback, proposals can then be developed into complete manuscripts and submitted for review, using the dedicated portal on the TPJ website. 

After preliminary approval, manuscripts will be forwarded to suitably qualified people for commenting. TPJ is committed to following a rigorous double-blind peer review process using at least two reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief may also occasionally invite recognized academics, critics, or professionals (including members of the editorial board) to contribute to the journal without going through the peer review process, if warranted by the author’s reputation.

 

Keep up with the latest trends in the architecture and design world

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054