Architecture in context
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Today, technology and science have elevated us as humans to incredible heights; we have gone places that centuries ago would have been undreamed of. We have landed a man on the moon, an unmanned rover on mars, and now have begun to explore the outer reaches of the galaxy looking for the origin of the known universe. When you think of the universe in general, architecture seems pretty insignificant, but it is an important element that keeps our society interconnected. "Design manifests culture, and culture rests firmly on the foundations of what we believe to be true about the world." (Van Der Ryn, Cowan, pg 9) Today architecture appears to be diverting in two directions: one is aiming towards an external image focused on aesthetics, with the space it creates internally and its resource consumption being secondary. While The other is focused on a more sustainable design, based on reducing resource consumption, but lacking attention to aesthetics and spacial quality. "Even the most advanced advocates of ecological design are still struggling with ways to integrate environmental technology, resource conservation, and aesthetic content. Without all three components in place, there is little chance for a truly enduring architecture. A major factor contributing to the longevity of buildings that have survived from the past is their fusion of nature and art." (Wines, pg.9) In society today it is evident the pressure humans put on nature to provide and protect.Considering this problem, I began to wonder how we, as human beings, could do this to the environment. Because, "after all, whatever we do to nature comes back to us in the end."(David Orr, Seminar 2003) This led me to consider the practice of sustainable architecture. Sustainable Design has been used in rural areas of undeveloped countries for decades, but has never become mainstream; In part, due to price increases and inconvenience. My thesis seeks to explore this balance, a balance between the built environment and the natural environment. To apply modern design and sustainable design to create a beautiful and environmentally friendly building. The resulting architecture will be enduring and serve to better the way of life for humans and the environment. My goal is to design architecture that is sustainable, spatial, experiential, and has an aesthetic quality, architecture that creates a statement as the only viable solution for a particular region. "The best way to make real architecture is by letting a building evolve out of the culture and place." (Samuel Mockbee, 107). I will be designing a structure in Telluride about 2 blocks from the town gondola. I feel this area will have impact on the surrounding community as far as public use and pedestrian interaction. I will design a sustainable education center on the site. It will use an abandoned building on the site to reinforce the reuse of materials an recycling of space. This exploration will concentrate on the compatibility of sustainable architecture and aesthetics in design, as well as a hands on educational tool.