A Holistic State of Mind
After graduating from my Master's Sustainable Design program from Philadelphia University (now known as Jefferson University), I undoubtedly received the question "Oh Congratulations! what did you study?" which is usually followed by a blank stare and the fear to ask what it is. Sustainability is a quite general term that I personally didn't know what it meant until I was well into my undergrad studying interior design. Then, I took a leap of courage in my graduate studies to learn more about it.
What I learned is that its a mindset, a thought process, to find interconnected problems that are waiting to be resolved with innovative solutions. There is this discourse between statistical concrete information and artistic creative expression. I knew that I wanted to understand how to calculate water consumption and energy loads and at the same time design in a meaningful compelling way. The biggest challenge is understanding what truly is sustainable, because you could be doing everything by the book but then discover that you are not on the right track at all. I had a great discussion about this with Scott Kelly, an astounding architect and co-founder of Re:Vision Architecture. We talked about the consecutive steps taken that we take to believe are the right direction for an ideal green building.
These steps are:
1. Building's envelope - thermal mass of walls, windows, and ceiling.
2. The type of HVAC system
3. Renewable energy
However, that is not the case every time. It all depends on the climate, the location, orientation, the surrounding infrastructure, etc. The right questions must be asked every time, because like vegetation is different everywhere so is design.
Now that the analysis of systems have been done, the next thing that must be fully considered is the design direction of a building. Systems and Experience should not be a juxtaposition but an integration of both powerful components of design. We can look to the past for ideas, but at the same time we should ensure a design methodology that is innovative and inspiring.
To explore everything stated above, I illustrated it through an animation to further understand what its like to be a sustainable thinker.
Thank you for reading, I promise lots of good posts coming soon! Trying to juggle between blogging and 9-5 work is certainly a challenge but I love and enjoy sharing these posts with you! Hope you have an amazingly sunny weekend!