Lance Hosey is an American architect. But not a common one: he is considered one of the pioneers of green and a sustainable design leader. Recently, he launched an address to his fellow architects of ArchDaily, motivating them to choose green solutions even when they seem to be the most difficult to obtain and to be imposed. But above all, he tried to draw to himself and to his lifestyle and way of working all the other architects still busy thinking that sustainability concerns only energy.
"Life would be easier if there were more sustainable designs and leadership by architects and designers, but in fact there isn’t" admitted Hosey. A sad admission for who believes that design is not separated from sustainability, but is instead the key of it. In his latest book The Shape of Green, Lance examines the recent performances of the professional group to which he belongs, showing a lack of commitment on sustainable topics from the insiders. It is not only the youngest to join it, but also the biggest names in the profession, justifying costly extravagance in the name of an abstract art related to architecture.
Lance’s critical turns also to the training model that should educate future architects. School doesn’t prepare and doesn’t educate on costs and needs that a green building must have. Moreover, in many schools the subject of sustainable design is an optional course only for students of the third year, instead of being mandatory and integrated with the program. Perhaps, Lance continues, much blame is due to the fact that, according to a recent survey among American population, most of the people do not perceive the threat of climate and environment as a threat. The latter will also exist according to the targets of the research, but certainly not above American territory; only the poorest countries are involved directly with consequences of climate changes.
Thus, for a long time, it was believed that sustainable design should be untied by beauty, being content instead of simple styles. Attempts to bring style to the level of sustainability have created aesthetic clichés such as rattan furniture, the walls in wood pulp, instead of works to get inspired and able to create a sensory link capable to remain in our memories. If therefore beauty and sustainability must go hand in hand with design, it must be both attractive and efficient. In his book Hosey illustrates works, products and buildings, born and built with this in mind that effectively marry his idea. These are all design challenges which have their feet firmly on the ground and that the community of designers and architects can win promoting sustainability and beauty.