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Associate Professor Luca Finocchiaro
The “Sustainability” work package in TransARK has been built over a series of reflections coming out of a long tradition
at NTNU in integrating environmental concerns in architectural education. In WP 4 students are called to take on the
burden of the uneasy relation between built and natural environments in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Beyond
energy and emissions accounting, in WP 4 students are called to define, on the basis of both intuition and science, new
architectural paradigms able to
The continuous development of new technical solutions for improving buildings’ energy performance and maximizing re-
newable energy generation in buildings has made possible in the recent decades to imagine new architectural scenarios
that would be able to markedly reduce the
of the built environment. The idea that en-
vironmental footprint of buildings could be totally eliminated, by resorting to the use of green materials and components,
can also easily be converted into market operations and speculation processes. The consequent consumption of terri-
tory revitalizes the process of substitution of the natural environment with a man-made one whose future environmental
behavior is still hardly predictable on a global scale today.
The identification of sustainable design with the use of standards and ready-made components has also led profession-
als and architecture students to suddenly become more concerned and thirsty of existing know-how regarding sustaina-
bility, rather than developing their ability to observe and generate their own solutions. Students are often more concerned
with investigating the meaning of the word sustainability without bearing in mind that the word itself loses any significance
in the absence of a
with a specific system. The role of architectural education cannot be limited into making
students aware of environmental challenges and existing solutions, creating a workforce of people able to resort wisely to
ready-made commercially available components and solutions in order to meet tomorrow’s society’s challenges. Instead,
we need to shape architectural practitioners who are able to go beyond energy and emissions accounting and to create,
on the basis of both intuition and science, always
Sustainability is a call to include environmental concerns in the production of built forms. It is a call for symbiosis with
nature based on the objective laws of physics that govern the physical environment. This presumes “a change in our ap-
proach toward materiality, away from an understanding of material as exclusively physical and tangible, to include both
the physical and the non-physical – climate, sound or economics as well, as wood, steel or glass”
(Farshid Moussavi).
In WP 4 students are called to take the burden of the uneasy relation between built and natural environments in both
qualitative and quantitative terms. In order to aim for a radical shift
in their way of producing architecture, it is fundamen-
tal that their “comfort zone” of action as designers is exposed to the burden of environmental impact. In WP 4 the use of
architectural tools such as
, physical expressions of the students’ brain logical connections,
is combined with the use of digital
able to predict environmental performance and impact of pro-
posed solutions.
1. Dan Chodorkoff “Education, Sustainability, and Utopia.”
2. Farshid Moussavi “The function of form.”
3. Jack Mezirov, “Transormational learning.”