The Designosaur Story

03: Designosaur

Putting my thoughts on paper and drawing the figures (which were of course very scientific - no doubt about it!) absorbed all my attention. I had been sitting on this bench for quite a while, and then began to look around. I was surrounded by buildings, cars, roads - and some trees - but whenever I blinked, the images of the mines, the oil and the rubbish reappeared. I became more and more aware of what a dramatic new era we had created. I started thinking about the climate crisis, about climate justice, about the massive human interventions in the various systems and cycles of the planet, about the relationship between humans and non-humans and other horrific things that you really don’t want to deal with - but have to!

It started to rain. (Maybe it was just me crying - but I'm not sure if architects are allowed to cry. So, I suspected it was raining). I closed my sketchbook and watched the rain. I felt warm drops of water running down my face. (Okay, I was crying!)

At the same time my mind was buzzing with all sorts of questions: What do I like about these contemporary designed buildings? How did they arrive in the Anthropocene? Why do we allow them to stay? Are these contemporary designed buildings appropriate for today... or are these buildings just design...? What’s the best name for these buildings? Design… Design-osaurs - Designosaurs?

Intrigued by the term Designosaur I had stopped crying.

Maybe we should just call them that.... Designosaurs.

These buildings were well designed, with the requirements, ideas and attitude of the past and then stored in the Anthropocene - the present. That was the reason why they were so familiar to me on one side and on the other side they didn't fit here. So long as one doesn’t pay attention to the new environment of the Anthropocene - it just looks like good architecture. Yet, it's still a Designosaur, out of time. I opened my sketchbook

 and tried to put my thoughts on paper.

Okay - this building I just spoke to is not a CDB, it's a Designosaur. Obviously, the Designosaur has to leave the Anthropocene. But how could that be achieved? Mankind had never been confronted with anything like a Designosaur before. Besides, the Designosaur was quite big! And many people still like it. I couldn't just push it away or ban it. So, I had to find another way. First, I had to find out more about the Designosaur. And then, of course, I needed the help of other architects.

I decided to be very brave return to the Designosaur I had already spoken to. At that moment I felt like a little adventure boy. Not like Indiana Jones, more like that emoji with the chicks in the eggshell.