In the endless debate between the old and the new, does sentimentality get in the way? How do we reconcile the desire to preserve the urban landscapes of the past with the need to meet the living needs of the present?
While I am, in theory, a big proponent of the digital humanities, I'm also frequently underwhelmed by projects sold under that label. That's why I was excited recently to find a low-key, creative, straightforward example of how the internet can contribute substantively to humanities scholarship.
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."
A recent New York Times profile of architect Roald Gundersen, the founder of Wisconsin-based Whole Trees Architecture, left me reflecting on the meaning of sustainable building in the early 21st century.
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.