Tag Archives: Sustainable Design

How Can We “Grow” Architecture Part I

GROW

Can we grow architecture?

This is a powerful term and can be implemented into all forms of design, however today we focus this word around architecture and how it can be implemented.

Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Grow

As designers it is important, especially in this decade, to pay attention to creating structures that include eco-friendly, sustainable methods, while still mastering the incredible aesthetics. In this article, we look at ways of improving living at a better cost while focusing on sustainability — reuse.

Discover some creative, interesting natural building materials that can be used to create the perfect eco home:

HEMPCRETE

Have you ever heard of HempCrete? This material is much like concrete, only it is made from the inner fibers of a hemp plant. Hemp is a fast-growing and replaceable plant that, mixed with lime and water, can be used to create thermal and biocompatible walling. This results in a strong lightweight material which is fireproof, waterproof, and well-insulated.

Take a look at the use of HempCrete in Cape Town

MYCELIUM

100% natural, Mycelium is a building material of the future. It incorporates the root structure of fungi and mushrooms. This is then used to grow around other natural materials such as straw in form or cut up corn stalks and hemp, and then when dried over a couple of days, it results in the creation of strong, durable, lightweight bricks.

CARDBOARD

Cardboard, incredibly popular in the design world, grants designers no limit. As with everything, it has its pros and cons, but could it be utilized to construct a building? The answer is yes.

The sky is the limit

Cardboard can be protected from weather conditions effectively with the use of breathable, waterproof film. Finished with wooden cladding boards, it can be ultimately weatherproof. It is a great way for an architect with the aim to construct according to sustainability, cost, and approaching urban areas.

Cardboard extends itself even more in a creative way of fulfilling many design elements by its use for interiors, objects such as architectural models, tents, even fashion – the sky is the limit.

Ever popular party in Portugal, Boom Festival had outstanding eco-friendly approaches throughout the event. From well-designed luxury cardboard tents (known as the cardboard village) to compost toilets and use of solar energy to power the event. Below is a link to the Cardboard Village and view more of their approaches here: Boom Festival Environmental Approaches

Cardboard Village - Boom Festival 2018
Cardboard Village – Boom Festival 2018

Another great example of cardboard housing is the “Wikkelhouse” in Amsterdam by Fiction Factory. There are many ways in which sustainable design can be implemented, don’t be afraid to “go green.”

It’s the future.

Design for Change

Architectural Design, amongst all other types, has the ability to be “life-changing” and better yet, able to change the world. Many designers often focus on aesthetic features and generating some form of income.

Design falls into two categories: aesthetic design and problem-solving design, although problem-solving design can still be aesthetically pleasing. 

AESTHETIC DESIGN

This refers to how we think and feel about a product or design. The first impression plays a big role here when something is nice to look at therefore aesthetically pleasing. A common example of aesthetic design is certain high heels and their visually appealing style, opposing to the endless pain women go through wearing them. As someone once said, “beauty is pain!” 

Below are the three categories of aesthetics:

VISUAL AESTHETICS

This is visually appealing design consisting of elements such as colour, pattern, shape, balance and texture. Humans are very visual therefore designers often aim to create things that are beautiful and nice to look at.  

MATERIAL AESTHETICS

These are the materials used in the design with elements such as texture, weight, comfort and shape. This refers to the sleek design of the new watch you just bought or your new jacket that you shouldn’t have bought, but couldn’t resist. 

SOUND AESTHETICS

This refers to the sounds of the design. For example comparing two different speakers. Another example is the start of the engine of a car. You will hear the difference of sound. 

PROBLEM-SOLVING DESIGN

In order to solve problems with any form of design, you need to have a strong understanding of whats happening around you. Following social media, the news and conducting research can help gain some insight. Some of the main topics to target with design (for change) are:

HOMELESS

In the past, designers have creatively approached homelessness with design strategies to supply shelter and housing. How can you as a designer approach this? 

NATURAL DISASTERS   

Think of ways to act after a disaster. For example, there was an earthquake resistant school designed in Thailand. Prevent fires by designing communities surrounded by fire breaks. 

ENVIRONMENT

How can we conserve the planet with design? Think green design, recycling, sustainability. Solar powered designs have become a very effective approach. 

CRIME

Crime is a global issue. Architectural design can be utilized to create safer environments. Cities can be designed in ways that are better for surveillance. 

Think bigger remember that your idea could change someone else’s life. Collaborate with other designers and address social/environmental issues. Create projects. Design for change.

Welcome to the life of a Designer Pt 2

REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED

Design is a powerful journey – embrace it and wear your passion. Step out of your comfort zone and stop trying to be perfect. Remember that dreams are never too big.

CONTINUE TO GROW

The world is ever-changing and always introducing the bigger and the better.  As a designer, you can never stop learning. Below are a few pointers on how to stay in the loop with trends, programmes, news, the business!

YouTube tutorials, as well as online courses, are useful for learning new programmes. Alternatively, you can read top design magazines such as VISI, HOW, Icon, Architectural Digest, Dezeen and the list goes on! Following social media is a no-brainer, especially in this day and age and being involved in the design world. Then it’s up to you whether you want to follow or lead!

SET GOALS

Firstly, as a designer, it is crucial to trust yourself and never doubt your capabilities. This applies to all fields of design. Have passion in your career and you will never refer to it as “work.” Secondly, you cannot achieve the desired outcome without setting a goal. It is important to know what you want.

DESIGN AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Part 1 strategised from specifically an architectural point of view. Fortunately, there are other sustainable alternatives such as the following:

  1. Reduce waste. Ask yourself whether your product will be durable and long-lasting, or will it be recyclable?
  2. Choose your materials wisely. Make use of renewable materials such as woods that can be restored by the planet quickly.
  3. Publish online. At this point in time, all eyes are online – you know, the place with all the memes? Print less and get connected!

ATTRIBUTES

As a designer, having a positive perception of yourself is the greatest asset. This helps with overcoming challenges, reaching your goals and avoiding doubt. Remember that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

 

Wildetecture blog by Tarryn Hardwicke

Welcome to the life of an Architect Pt 1

THE PEOPLE

The most important factor is the people that will be using the space that is designed. Each structure has a different purpose. Did you know that Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, originally made the game as an architectural simulator with living people to see how they would adjust to the buildings created? Following this, Maxis and EA Games discovered the idea and it took off.

COFFEE

Treasure it! Long nights and hard work. Every architect enjoys a good cup of coffee. It’s definitely perfect for every scenario such as long nights, meetings or site missions with clients!

PATIENCE

When working on a project it’s important to focus on the present rather than the future outcome, therefore the process will be more productive. Don’t expect things too early.

RULES

Push the boundaries and be spontaneous. We all learn with basic rules such as projects and exams but in the outside world, it’s important to negotiate and explore.

STYLE

When it comes to a personal style, stay open-minded. Remember that clients may request something different and you have to adapt. Notice the word adapt. Your style will always be in your work one way or another.

ENVIRONMENT

We are at a time where sustainable design can always be implemented in some way. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Recycled Materials
  • Eco-Friendly Lighting
  • Use of local materials/sources
  • On-site waste management
  • Building placement
  • Designing buildings with natural light and air-flow

 

Wildetecture blog by Tarryn Hardwicke

Sustainability and art-chitecture

…and does it change the nature of architecture?

What is sustainable architecture and what is its purpose? Sustainable architecture aims to reduce the effect of buildings on the environment through moderating the use of materials, energy and overall use of space while also taking the future generation into consideration and creating a greener, more sustainable future for society while still creating a paragon!

Human health and the environment (present and future) drive architects towards sustainable design. Architecture differs now during the 21st century than it did in the past. Technology is advancing at a rapid pace which benefits architects enormously when it comes to sustainability.

The two topics under discussion today are, does building in a sustainable manner affect the true art in architecture? Here we look at wasteful buildings vs sustainable buildings and whether in today’s society, waste can be viewed as distasteful. Secondly, we look at the various ways an architect can go greener.

There are many debates over whether sustainable architecture shows its true colours when it comes down to an artistic perspective. Then again, as the world evolves, so does society, and as we evolve so do our views. Perspectives change the way in which we see and feel about certain things due to certain circumstances, such as pollution etc. Sustainable design, done effectively, has the ability to better the future, therefore this is something truly beautiful.

Sustainable design starts with the conscious decision for change.

Use of recycled materials

Reduce the use of volatile organic compounds – Non-toxic materials

Use local materials/sources

Bear in mind energy use and pollution

Integrate vegetation into structures

Make use of natural sources such as sun, wind and energy

Urban gardens

Building placement – structure it around peoples everyday lives

Waste management on site

Solar panels, wind turbines, solar water heating

Designing buildings that encourage natural light and/or air flow

In conclusion, each day designers are initiating fresh ideas and the future looks promising. The design world has boundless possibilities. This article is merely a conjecture.

Written by Tarryn Hardwicke