Work Conference – No More Building as Usual: Architecture Beyond Carbon and Greed

On June 24, the Rotterdamse Academie van Bouwkunst hosted the work conference No More Building as Usual: Architecture Beyond Carbon and Greed. Next to plenary presentations by Maria Lisogorskaya (Assemble), Maarten Gielen (Rotor) and Winne van Woerden (Commons Network), five sessions framed open conversations in which the academy community defined several positions that architects and urban designers can take up in the face of eco-social challenges.

Charly Blödel was part of the session of Building Rituals: Circular building, non-destructive construction and regenerative materials are coming to define tomorrow’s architecture. What are the new protocols, values and aesthetics we should get familiar with? With a.o. Estelle Barriol (Studio ACTE), Charly Blödel (Nieuwe Instituut), Maarten Gielen (Rotor), Roxane van Hoof and Claudio Saccucci (Studio Verter), Edgars Jane (KCAP), Laura van Santen (La-di-da) and Sven Schouten (student).

The built environment is one of the largest drivers of natural resource depletion, ecosystem destruction, rising temperatures and more extreme weather conditions, and increasing socioeconomic inequality. Designers and other actors in the production of space play an important role in this and are responsible for developing alternative building practices that help counter these negative trends.

On Saturday June 24 the Rotterdamse Academie van Bouwkunst organised a gathering to discuss new roles that architects and urban designers can take up. How can we give shape to a different planning, design culture and construction industry? How can we learn to have positive footprints before a carbon lockdown goes into effect? What does it mean to approach the (built) environment from a perspective of regeneration? What type of architects do we want to be? And how can we do so in a healthy work culture? We want to explore a way of working that goes beyond the competitive model of individual success and soloist genius, towards one of collaboration around socio-ecological ambitions.

Architect Edgars Jane who participated in the session of Building Rituals reflected on the programme of the conference in his article ‘RADICAL SUFFICIENCY: is this it?’.