10: Not the End
After a while, I passed the New National Gallery. I had to stop. This is perhaps one of the most iconic buildings I know. What a vision Ludwig Mies van der Rohe had even back then. It was built in the 60s. I wondered if Mies would design this building today the same way he did back then? Or would a forward thinker like him simply choose a different, new way of designing - because the Anthropocene demands different solutions?
During my walk in the Anthropocene, I became more and more aware of this new age. And it became increasingly clear that this age is not simply "the same in green". It calls for a completely new way of looking at things. I had to think of Copernicus, how he discovered that the sun is in the middle of our planetary system and not us - our planet Earth. That was quite a bombshell! And now scientists from all over the world are talking about us as a geological force. Also, quite a bombshell! This messes up the whole relationship between humans, non-humans and the planet.... ufff. A lot of things need to be rethought. If we don't, we will design more Designosaurs.
As I passed the Schauron’s Philharmonic, I took a little bow, smiled and said "bye-bye" to this amazing piece of architecture. I was not wistful. This is an amazing piece of architecture, designed in a very different world. Beautiful as it is, we have to design differently nowadays.
I realised that I didn't want to talk further about sustainable architecture. Or talk about cooling/heating systems, smart homes, life cycles, strong and solid structures, high quality and therefore durable materials, reinterpretation of architectural history, the environment, creative drives, technical limits against a stable, constant and endless background.
I wanted to talk about architecture - only architecture.
I wanted to talk again about space, floor plans, volumes, surfaces, feeling good, atmosphere, fun, changing environments, lightness, our planet, animals, transience, our future, limits and guidelines, modesty, entanglement, temporalities and localities.
Because... isn't sustainability an inherent part of architecture?
It is my responsibility to do so. And I am looking forward to it.
With a smile on my face - and as every good but unfinished story ends - I walked into the sunset. Towards a new future.