Like past expos and world’s fairs, the 2010 Shanghai Expo, open now, has served as a spark for architectural experimentation on a global scale. Some of these experiments are breathtaking. The UK’s pavilion, “The Seed Cathedral” by Thomas Heatherwick, is the standout.


In "Forest Architecture," Allison Carruth notes the possibilities of a new kind of sustainable architecture. But her conclusion is key, particularly, that the scale of these bulidings may be more transformative than their style. Perhaps the new sustainable design should have as its motto, "more style, less substance."


Why aren't the facts compelling? This was a question asked by the moderator at the 2009 Sustainability Summit, a gathering of 100 leading architects, engineers, and city officials hosted by the Design Futures Council in Chicago this past month.


Architecture, historically, has dedicated itself to permanence: in the 19th century to monuments and memorials, in the 20th century to symbols of corporate ascendance. Yet cities are in a constant state of formation & transformation—both physical and cultural.

Laura Crescimano's picture
Laura Crescimano
Laura Crescimano is a designer at Gensler and a lecturer at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. At the intersection of research and architectural design, Laura's practice focuses on the political and social power of space. Laura’s projects include: the master plan & sustainability action plan for a “One Planet” community in Stockton CA; “Public Space & Protest: Mapping Form & Action,” a study of the contemporary city funded by the Julia Amory Appleton Fellowship; and “Stroke Pathways” a multi-disciplinary analysis of the geography, structure and dynamics of care. One of the Design Futures Council's 2009 "Emerging Leaders," Laura received her BA from Yale University and Master in Architecture from Harvard, where she received the Alpha Ro Chi Medal for Leadership.