Clark Brockman, our new Visiting Professor from SERA architects in San Franscisco will give two public lectures at SSoA on the 5th and 7th of February. This will be a rare opportunity to hear how key architects and cities in the the USA are tackling sustainable resource use in their cities and buildings – demonstrating potential ways forward for other cities.
‘Optimizing Resource Systems at City Scale’ - Tuesday 5th February 2013 at 6pm, in Lecture Theatre 04, Lower Ground Floor, The Arts Tower
Cities are finding themselves on the front lines of simultaneously addressing climate change and improving the human condition. Either one by itself is a tall order- addressing them together is an immense undertaking. Cities are the right scale to focus on these vexing issues – large enough to generate and manage large system flows but potentially small enough to govern these. Traditionally cities have operated within the limits of resources available to them. Cheap energy and industrialization have, however, globalized all systems, even those that clearly operate more efficiently at local scales- skewing our notions of what an optimal system is at local scale. Cities have thus turned into “in-and-out” machines that use energy, water and other valuable resources only once, and then seek the cheapest way to get rid of the waste generated. Optimizing systems at optimal scales is a rapidly developing strategy being tested in enterprising cities around the world, to counter this trend. This lecture explores radical, new thinking in relation to resource flows, highlighting the Eco Districts initiative in Portland, Oregon, USA, and its potential implications for cities everywhere, including Sheffield.
‘The Changing Role of Architects in the Built Environment’ - Thursday 7th February 2013 at 6pm, in room 16.03, Floor 16, The Arts Tower
Architects are at the nexus of integrating the human-built environment into the natural world, while also optimizing the built environment for human utility – fundamentally, we build things for people. Present day architecture, and built environment projects in general have tended to move away from a place-based approach due to the temporary system disruption of cheap energy and industrialization. However, Architects are now in an ideal position to provide many types of place-based solutions needed today, from resource conservation, to reducing carbon emissions, to (re)localizing wealth. The task of the architect is growing far beyond that of simply ‘making buildings’. Architects can change the way people use resources, interact with the natural world and build community, through their skills in communication and multi-disciplinary integration. Architects, by nature, are natural synthesizers and integrators – we now need to expand our reach, and focus on wider collaboration to realize our growing potential. This lecture explores the integration of architecture into the larger built environment, and the changing role of system scale in the architect’s work.
You can find more details about Clark’s work on SERA’s website.