Thursday, October 8, 2009

Post #3 for Kate Marolt

The presenter on Tuesday was one of the first people who have come it to talk who I really agreed with, and who made me think critically about several assumptions I have about the world. He also went into depth about this idea of complacency within the green movement, something that I had been thinking about in terms of recycling and mentioned in my last blog post. His questioning of the LEED certification model also gave me a lot to think about. My sophomore year I was a Chicago quarter mentor for the class Green Chicago, and we talked a lot about LEED certification and visited the green building on North Avenue just past Damen. At that time it seemed incredibly revolutionary and amazing (and in many ways still is), but I never have really questioned if that is enough, or even the best solution. When Edward told us that LEED certified buildings only perform marginally better than 'normal' buildings, as well as the fact that the use of the building might actually be a lot more important than the ranking it receives based on a universal checklist. We have a tendency to stick with what works, and of course the LEED system is better than nothing, but just because it is a good idea and a step in the right direction doesn't mean that it is the end; in fact, I feel as if it is a very basic step in the right direction, a preliminary idea that will hopefully lead to better ideas, ones that start creating new systems rather than working within the same tired system.
I also think that the commitment to the understanding that our lifestyle will have to change is important if we are going to be able to begin to think of ways to create new systems. No matter how we look at it, society is going to have to start thinking of new ways to live and new ways to conceptualize space and ourselves within space. As hard of a question as it was, asking what we want to change first, rather than what do we have to change, is a much better way of looking at the world rather than applying fix-ups in patches to the current system. The next step seems to me to continuously try and conceptualize a world very different than our own, without thinking about boundaries or realities at the moment.
The critique of our texts was also very important, and something I believe to be critical to education and analysis- these books are both great, but it is necessary to look at the underlying ideologies of the authors or the message the books are trying to get across. There are a lot of great ideas in there, which is the first step, but no real steps toward actually having a lot of the things mentioned come about. Even in Massive Change, when talking about a lot of the new technologies, they still exist mainly in laboratories and in isolated situations. What is it going to take to successfully conceptualize, create, and implement ideas that will subvert our current system into something new, unthought of, and self-sustaining?


  1. I agree that we will have to find ways to change our lifestyles. The more resources we use and start to run out of the more we will have to change. I have started to wonder lately if there will ever be a time when the lifestyle we choose to live and the techniques we use to exist in the world will ever be stabilized to the point where we don’t have to continue to find new ways to save the earth and all of its resources or are we past that point?

  2. When you wrote, "I also think that the commitment to the understanding that our lifestyle will have to change is important if we are going to be able to begin to think of ways to create new systems", I completely agree!

    The problem with our society today is that we honestly are comfortable. We don't "see" the point to change, so why invest all of this money and "give up" things that are accustomed to if we are fine today.

    Going along with this notion, I think that the presenter also made a good point in saying that the way we are acting and utilizing our resources today play a HUGE role in future generations. In my opinion, we won't be changing unless we realize what we are doing to our offspring.

  3. I thought the same thing about LEED as you. Everyone at DePaul had been pushing LEED and how great it was that the McGowan building had gotten a Gold certification. I think that the guest speaker was right in that a ranking doesnt make something good, it has to live up to what it was given as an award.
    -Adam Rosenquist