Global Now / Week 7

Architecture Students Making Future Cityscapes from Wood?




Emma Pratte

Section: Cope

Global Now: Abstract

Headline: New Design Competition Explores Wood as Green Material for Urban Construction

Date:  10/17/2012

Source:  The Sacramento Bee

     Students from a number of different art school have been put to the test: make your city from wood.  Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC), and Parsons have made a competition called Timber in the City; Urban Habitats, a call to artists to make a mid-rise building from wood for the newly changing Brooklyn community of Red Hook. The winner will be awarded $30,000. 
      In our modern green-conscious era we have come to understand that we must consider sustainability in our construction. We must think about where we are getting our materials and, because all things end, where they will go when we are done using them. Wood is a great, green alternative to the steel and concrete that is commonly used now. It is said to be cheaper, it is renewable, versatile and easily lends itself to aesthetic purposes. They have even come up with ways to ensure durability and strength. 
     What does this mean for the city now? What is the objective with this competition? Will, by the time I am 80, the city look completely different? In this new, sustainable idea, where are we putting the materials from the building we ripped down in our attempt to be green? How/where will we get all of this wood? Will that cause a bigger deforestation problem? Undoubtedly. As Julie explained, we really mustn’t get rid of our history – we mustn’t be ashamed of the steel and concrete but rather embrace and work around it. If that is the intention, then I am on board but if the intention is to rebuild so that we have biodegradable city, then no. 


Global Issue:  Sustainability

Primary Design Lens: Urban Construction

Secondary Design Lens:  Design Education


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