Keynote lecture on two strands of thinking in sustainability: advancement vs. apocalypse.
Ecological Urbanism Conference, Harvard University, 3 April, 2009
“Because you invited me here, we did some research. We looked first at antiquity and realized that 25 years before Christ there was already a profound knowledge about ecology and how people should build to be economical, logical, and beautiful. Vitruvius (1), for instance, was completely aware that the sun would cast shadows at different inclinations depending on the orientation of the site, and that his architecture should address these conditions (2). Since the sun was shining from the south, the hottest parts of Roman baths should also be in the south (3). This knowledge was not limited to individual buildings, but extended to the planning of cities that were effortless and logical, based on engagements with and an understanding of nature."
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