The SAGE Handbook of Architectural Theory documents and builds upon some of the most innovative developments in architectural theory over the last two decades. Bringing into dialogue a range of geographically, institutionally and historically competing positions, the book examines and explores parallel debates in related fields. The book is divided into eight sections. Creating openings for future lines of inquiry and establishing the basis for new directions for education, research and practice, the book organizes itself around specific case studies to provide a critical, interpretive and speculative enquiry into the relevant debates in architectural theory. A methodical, authoritative and comprehensive addition to the literature, the Handbook is suitable for academics, researchers and practitioners in architecture, urban geography, cultural studies, sociology and geography.
Chapter 31: Introduction: Whither ‘Earthly’ Architectures: Constructing Sustainability
Introduction: Whither ‘Earthly’ Architectures: Constructing Sustainability
Questioning Sustainable Architecture
To reflect on the prehistory of sustainability is not to find ‘precedents’ of practices that give us tips for the present. Rather these reflections aim to mobilize critical perspectives on the shifting definitions of the term and on the practices that are advanced in its name so as to guard against absolutes. Can architects have partnerships with techno-scientific fields without subsuming design to managerialism and anti-intellectual postures? Can ecological problems be debated in architectural circles without resorting to eco-determinism? Can architects embrace an ethical imperative without resorting to moralistic prescriptions or grand metanarratives? Maybe, but to walk between these fine lines it is important for both the profession and academia to constantly ...