“Although quality of life is partially correlated with income, it is possible for Household Economies to make decisions that lead to lives of comfortable sufficiency rather than stressful accumulation. Quality of life is highly idiosyncratic, and each household can determine a balance of social, financial, and ecological returns which is most fulfilling. From this perspective, Social Equity includes universal fulfillment of the most fundamental human needs along with broad access to meaningful work, while respecting the enormous range of life circumstances and personal goals which may drive people to seek different kinds of livelihood.”
- Mission Statement of the Conservation Economic Model on Social Equity
Going Green. Just what does it mean? To contemporary Architects, it is the infant left on the porch – like it or not, once the door is open it dare not be ignored; and for good reason. From a professional standpoint, clients demand Green designs. From a legal perspective, revised codes and ordinances require attention to Green concepts. And fashionably speaking, Green is keen. Morally, however, it is appropriate to manifest a sense of balance throughout the built environment and sustain systems to the benefit of all parts… to a degree. Ideally speaking, a Green system is, in essence, a mechanism of relationships that can be sustained indefinitely. Sustainable design, as the name implies, promotes such a relationship among associated elements in order to achieved and maintain balance in a closed system. For the Architect, charged with the task of designing human environments, the responsibility is especially profound.
Architecture is the product of necessity, tempered by economy, unleashed through the creative spirit of Man’s limitless mind. Traditionally defined, the profession is the art and science of erecting buildings. Today, it is more widely considered to be the conception of place where the structures themselves are only a part of an assemblage that re-defines space to enhance human experience. The profession has thus evolved to a religion of sorts, with its own set of ethics filtered by surrogates through individual moral interpretations applied to each design effort. Sustainability being a concept increasingly inherent to the ethic, it is fitting therefore that Architecture and its clerics encompass a broader concern that includes resource conservation, environmental impact, human health, and social benefit, in addition to functionality, appropriateness, aesthetics, and cultural significance… with the inevitable degree of creative prowess. Where the built environment meets the natural realm, there is a tendency toward deference now emerging from an age of defiance. Man’s mind tempers the ability to do a thing, against the rectitude of its accomplishment. Ego has not been abandoned; it has merely been challenged by higher bars of excellence.
continued, Part 2 - The Capital of the Mind...
In its entirety, this essay was first published in June 2004 as the inaugeral post of my first internet blog. It has hung out there in veritable obscurity ever since. I thought it time to revive the essay as well as bind it the new established site of its original author... pröst!