Strategies for Sustainable Architecture
2013/2014, Semester 2
School of Design and Environment (Architecture)
Modular Credits: 4
This module deals with topics in sustainable architecture. It takes an
approach -- focusing not only on technological and environmental issues but also the social, cultural and historical dimensions -- to sustainability and the built environment. It also takes on
perspectives by examining and comparing the diverse practices of sustainable architectures in various Western and non-Western, developed and developing countries.
The objectives of this module are twofold. First, it seeks to provide students with an understanding of the diverse technological issues and design approaches in sustainable architecture and urbanism. Second, it situates these technological issues and design approaches in the broader social, political, historical and geographical contexts.
Underpinning the pedagogical objectives of this modules are two arguments. One, there are multiple socio-technical pathways to sustainable architecture and urbanism. Although not all pathways are equal, no single pathway is inherently “superior” to the other pathways and thus universally relevant or applicable. Two, the validity of any socio-technical pathway depends not just on the technological configuration of the pathway but how the technological configuration interacts with, and is appropriate to the broader social, political and geographical contexts. These two arguments will be constantly foregrounded in this module in order to avoid the pitfalls of technological determinism common to many sustainability discourses in architecture.
This module does not prescribe any easy design solution or “quick-fix” to problems of sustainability and the built environment. Instead, it describes sustainability-in-practice and promotes critical understanding of problems of sustainability in the built environment in their full complexity and advocates “questioning as a form of learning”.
There will be 8 weekly tutorials beginning in week 3. They are on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the weeks after lectures.