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  • Tongji Lecture: From Sustainability to Regeneration in Architecture

Tongji Lecture: From Sustainability to Regeneration in Architecture

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  • Date May 3rd, 2012 11:52
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  • Hosted by Tongji University, GIGA's Raefer Wallis presented 'From Sustainability to Regeneration in Architecture' to Tongji's Sino-Finnish College. The lecture introduced the concepts of MNI (Minimize Negative Impact), RESET, Regeneration, and maximizing positive impact to challenge conventional understanding and approaches to green materials and buildings.

    Current green design only slows the processes of deforestation, global warming, and pollution, though the problems still persist. To have a positive impact, regeneration is needed following 3 steps:
    - Damage Control
    - Support Regeneration
    - Evolve and Thrive

    Current green design practice hovers at Damage Control. Though Damage Control is the first and most effective solution when faced with an emergency, it only buys time to find a long-term solution. If you don’t find a solution, you die in 30 minutes instead of 5. Damage Control green building depletes resources and pollutes in 20 years instead of 5. The result is the same, just over a longer timespan. We have been in a state of damage control since the Industrial Revolution. We need to move towards a practice that supports regeneration. Raefer's presentation zeroed in on the processes needed to get there.

    It's no secret that Nature is the best designer we can learn from. There is no waste in the biosphere - all 'waste' is a critical element of regenerative cycles. Nature's 'waste' provides resources for other biological processes. Waste is simply a human invention. To achieve regeneration, designers must first eliminate the concept of waste. This is the starting point all design must begin with. 

    Following the lecture a lively discussion ensued focussing on the potential for green material production. The benefits and drawbacks of building durability and disassembly were also debated.



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