Lance Hosey didn’t start the conversation about Aesthetic, Ethics, and Design. Nor is this industry leader the only one speaking about these factors. What we have is a cultural realization that environmental concerns about global warming and natural resource depletion is driving a new aesthetic called the environmental aesthetic. Joining her voice to the conversation is Connie Svabo commenting and expanding on the parameters of environmental aesthetics that field leader Yuriko Saito establishes. Svabo establishes three specific types of emergencies of green practices within the realm of environmental aesthetics and lays out why each have weaknesses in establishing a true aesthetic for a sustainable future. Because the three categories are all being practiced and have real precedent examples, there is statistical evidence to evaluate and make assumptions about the future of environmental aesthetics.
Svabo lays out clearly that much design happening now has real environmental considerations. An example of this can be seen in the three categories: Coated Green, Green Core, and Green Stream. Briefly, Green core consisting of buildings that are turned into green machines yet largely maintain their preferred and culturally accepted aesthetic such as solar panels, green core consisting of recycled, or heavily natural materials such as rammed earth or recycled roofing, and green stream being waves of environmentally conscious trends in buildings that catch hold due to appeal or feasibility. What is interesting about these three categories is that they rarely meet in one contemporary material or green system.
One featured green system from LEEDs is the new district based Steam system going into the Amazon Building in Seattle. Here we see a “coated green” design that is significantly lacking “Green Stream” according to the article. It says that steam heating systems are only prevalent in major universities and the largest hospitals. This is one way to help counter the effects of climate change yet it is not reaching the “Green Stream” level as less harmful systems of heating. The intent of the article was to state that a push for district heating as it could lead to net zero heating. What is going to be valuable in the push for net zero on a global level is realizing that all types of green design [Coated Green, Green Core, and (though less) even Green Stream] are necessary.
One insightful perspective that sums up this argument is the voice of James Timberlake. In the Regenerative symposium he presented information on Bangladesh river delta and the rising water that is there. It had urban building in the background of man made pole houses. Though this image does not necessary speak to the merging of green systems, his take away was concurrent to the same argument. He stated that it is going to take both of the types of living to battle climate change; the same logic can be stated for the near future of the Green categories I have described above. It will take “Coated Green” to revamp the existing buildings, “Green Core” in places where these recycled and natural resources are most readily available, and “Green Stream” to get people using excited green practices in their construction if net zero is to be achieved on a global level.