Special Issue "Sustainable Architecture"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2014)
Prof. Dr. Volker M. Welter
Professor, History of Art & Architecture, Ellison Hall 2834, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106-7080, USA
Interests: californian architectural history; Western/European architectural history from the 19th century onwards; Zionist and Israeli architectural history; the modern city since the 19th century; history and theory of sustainable architecture; contemporary architecture and architectural criticism; modern architecture in relation to philosophical and sociological thought
For quite some time now sustainability has been an important paradigm in architecture. Yet in contrast to Modernism and Postmodernism, for example, which rather quickly created memorable designs and agreed upon conceptual parameters, sustainable architecture seems to struggle to define itself through exemplary, identifiable buildings, images, and ideas.
Depending on time, place, and architect or author, sustainability in architecture can mean the renewal of Modernism, the return of traditional ways of building, the continuous innovation of materials, technology, and construction methods, the reorganization of human life along collective lines, or a path to individual salvation. Accordingly, is sustainable architecture an architectural practice, a method, a style, a social, economic, or even aesthetic principle? How can sustainable architecture be defined other than as in reaction to existing ecological problems, especially when considering that mankind may face ecological issues that are still unknown? Looking back at decades of experiments and sustainable buildings, do the efforts amount to a history of sustainable architecture with recognizable patterns and emerging questions worthwhile the attention of the historian? Or is all that remains a collection of discarded, even if quaint designs?
Contributions are invited that critically analyze sustainable architecture from historical and contemporary perspectives while addressing questions as those outlined above and issues of comparable focus. Papers on any period, geographical area, and type of architecture, and of any methodological approach (including biographies of protagonists of sustainable architecture) will be considered, except those that specifically discuss contemporary technical solutions to current ecological problems.
Prof. Dr. Volker M. Welter
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.
Book Review: The Solar House: Pioneering Sustainable Design. By Anthony Denzer. New York: Rizzoli, 2013
Arts 2014, 3(3), 303-306; doi:10.3390/arts3030303
Received: 18 July 2014; Accepted: 19 July 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014| PDF Full-text (242 KB)
Arts 2014, 3(2), 279-297; doi:10.3390/arts3020279
Received: 10 May 2014; in revised form: 6 June 2014 / Accepted: 10 June 2014 / Published: 13 June 2014| PDF Full-text (4483 KB)
Article: Learning from Mardin and Cumalıkızık: Turkish Vernacular Architecture in the Context of Sustainability
Arts 2014, 3(1), 175-189; doi:10.3390/arts3010175
Received: 2 January 2014; in revised form: 25 February 2014 / Accepted: 25 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014| PDF Full-text (586 KB)
Arts 2014, 3(1), 15-26; doi:10.3390/arts3010015
Received: 27 October 2013; in revised form: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 17 December 2013 / Published: 3 January 2014| PDF Full-text (1261 KB)
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Sustainable Development, Architecture and Modernism. Aspects of an Ongoing Controversy
Authors: Han Vandevyvere and Hilde Heynen
Affiliation: Unit Transition Energy & Environment, VITO NV, Boeretang 200, B-2400 Mol, Belgium; Tel. +32 14 33 58 68; E-Mail: email@example.com
Abstract: In some discourses on sustainability, modernism is blamed for its technocratic beliefs that supposedly generated a lot of the problems the world is facing today. In this paper, we react to this viewpoint in different ways. First we clarify the issues that are haunting current architectural discourses by unraveling the logics behind the viewpoints of the so-called constructivists on the one hand (those who are convinced that the call for ‘green buildings’ is but another screen behind which the same old power structures hide) and the technical environmentalists on the other hand (those who are convinced that the threats posed by climate change are such that immediate action rather than further reflection is needed). We will offer, secondly, a new framing to these debates by relying upon the modal sphere theory of the Dutch philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd. This new framing will allow us to reconnect, thirdly, with the discourse of modernism, which, we will argue, is all too often conflated with a technocratic paradigm – a partial, incomplete and even misleading representation. In conclusion, we present a different framing of modernism, which allows to understand it as a multilayered and multifaceted response to the challenges of modernity, a response that formulated a series of ideals that are not so far removed from the ideals formulated by many advocates of sustainability. We are thus suggesting that the sustainability discourse should be conceived as a more mature version of the paradigm of modernism, rather than its absolute counterpoint.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Dissolution of Hierarchy - A Further Development of Sustainable Architecture in the Time of Climate Adaption?
Authors: Kasper Albrektsen * and Mads Harder Danielsen
Affiliation: Faculty of Architecture and Design, Aalborg University, Østeraagade 6, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: email@example.com; Tel.: +45 – 40511540.
Abstract: The theme of sustainable architecture has been one of the most dominant topics within architectural discussions in the 21st century. A discussion where the dominating trend recent years has been the emphasis on technological solutions that can utilise nature to solve problems: Here the prominent conception of nature has been a mechanical conception with focus on utility where the primary task of a building is to protect nature from man. Contrary to this conception of nature is a contemporary trend - climatic adaption. Here a building’s capability to embrace not only protection of the nature, but also its ability to adapt to a given context and embrace its processes is of importance in order for serve as a means of solving contemporary climatic caused problems. The link of climate adaption with sustainable architecture therefore gives rise to a clash of conceptions of nature as the term of adaption indicates a closer and more dynamic relation between culture and nature!
This text seeks to investigate how this clash can contribute to a further development of sustainable architecture by asking: How can a holistic conception of nature further develop contemporary sustainable architecture towards a focus on climatic adaption?
Keywords: holism; sustainable architecture; hierarchy; landscape; climatic adaption
Type of Paper: Article
Title: Framing the field: The Award for Sustainable Architecture
Authors: Ceridwen Owen * and Jennifer Lorrimar-Shanks
Affiliation: School of Architecture & Design, University of Tasmania; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: email@example.com
Abstract: In this paper, we explore the effect the increasingly powerful discourse of sustainability is having on the field of architecture. The term ‘field’ derives from Bourdieu’s conceptualisation of fields as dynamic spaces of social relations tending towards transformation or conservation. While the overlapping fields of sustainability and architecture have historically been characterised by resistance, shifts in environmental discourse towards complexity and systems thinking and the inclusion of cultural, social, political and economic concerns within the broader mandate of sustainability signal a more synergistic ideological terrain. We use methods of narrative analysis to explore these shifts through the localized discourse of the award for sustainable architecture within the Australian context, and offer a brief comparative analysis of the sustainable architecture awards discourse in Britain and North America. As arguably the most public elucidations of the profession’s ideology, architecture awards are a productive place in which to explore constructions of ‘sustainable architecture’. The narrative analysis reveals a trajectory towards assimilation supported by the positioning of sustainability as fundamentally a social as well as an environmental practice. Contentions surrounding the ultimate disappearance of the award, however, reveal a more perverse relationship between sustainability and architecture.
Keywords: sustainability; architecture; awards; Bourdieu; discourse
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
Type of Paper: Article
Title: From Differentiation to Concretization: Towards an integrated theory of sustainable architecture
Author: Graham Farmer
Affiliation: School of Architecture Planning and Landscape, The Quadrangle, University of Newcastle; UK; E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The commonplace interpretation of technology is based on a strong differentiation between technical and social realms. An alternative approach is presented that argues for their reconciliation, in order to develop an understanding of sustainable architecture in its full complexity. Drawing on the work of the philosopher, Andrew Feenberg and in particular his two-level theory of instrumentalization, sustainable design practice is conceptualized as a process whereby technical and social considerations seamlessly converge to produce ‘concrete’ artefacts that fit specific contexts. How this happens currently, together with the possibility that it might happen in other ways, is a crucial point for researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to consider. If the development of technology is to be sustainable in the broadest possible sense, then it has to deal actively and consciously with the way in which existing strategies, techniques and technologies are coded, and how new ones might be recoded in an acceptable way. Under contemporary conditions, the two levels of instrumentalization are increasingly differentiated, but this paper argues for integrative design practices and for a process of technical concretization that would potentially facilitate very different types of technological development.
- David Serlin, Department of Communication, La Jolla, USA
- Karen Koehler, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA 01002, USA
- Mark M. Jarzombek, School of Architecture and Planning, MIT, USA
Last update: 9 July 2014