Thursday, October 8, 2009


I was very taken by Edward Ozimek as a speaker on sustainable architecture Tuesday. He had such a fresh perspective that reminded me to remember to take a second look at the world around me. I think it is easy to become complacent and therefore its important to acknowledge what motivates us and ask why. The example of the featherless chicken stuck with me for the next few days and pushed me to analyze sustainability within differing contexts. It seems that the idea of sustainability gets naturally linked to questions of ethics, although there is no real reason that the two should go hand in hand on a definitional level. The basic concept of sustainability is living in a way that meets out current needs but does not compromise those of the future. There are no rules set that determine how this should be done. It is thought that sustainable living should be morally conscious, is this because of the environmental movement that it has been strung along to? We get so turned off by the image of the featherless chicken because it is seen as so “unnatural”. However, the reason that we have to become more focused around sustainability is because we have brought ourselves so far from the natural through the development of society. So why is it shocking for us to see a featherless chicken but not hundreds of miles of highway or skyscrapers? And I don’t believe we can state that it is because these developments have come straight from human hand because we altered the landscape dramatically in order to get to the point where concrete cities are normal.
I also loved the example of the three expanding house plans from 1900, 1950 and 2000. It was an appropriate follow-up to the question of whether we are prepared to change our current lifestyle. This falls directly in line with what was discussed in class about our degree of comfort. We may need to step outside of this lifestyle we have grown accustomed to in order to open up to change. We get so stuck in the norm and hold on to the idea that we should be doing or living somewhere because its what we have done for years. How are we to change if we grasp onto the predictability of the future?


  1. I also felt that the three different house examples was a unique way to put our society's expansion into reality. It was astonishing to see that 5/6 people lived in such a small house when 2/3 people can "barely" live in something 3 times that size.

    I wish that more people could understand, that our huge mansions aren't necessary!

  2. I love the way that you put the featherless chicken and skyscrapers and highways into the same human-made category. I wish that I would have thought of it that way when he showed us the image; not that I feel completely differently about it, but it puts a spin on it that I hadn't really considered. How do we decide what is and what isn't natural, and who gets to decide? While these are the same questions I asked myself the first time I saw it, I now feel I can consider it in a more well-rounded sense, perhaps also adding restored landscapes and gardens to the idea...