Looking back at season 2 from the cutting floor

Ecogradia
Looking back at season 2 from the cutting floor
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Looking back at season 2 from the cutting floor

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Ecogradia
Looking back at season 2 from the cutting floor
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Season 2 of Ecogradia has come to an end. Before we move on, let’s take a peek at some of the talking points that didn’t make the cut in the last ten episodes. Here is what was left ‘unsaid’.

This bonus episode is a melange of excerpts. Several powerful yet wide-ranging ideas were put forward in these conversations but had to be excluded from the final edit, owing to time constraints. Each snippet touches on two questions: what is sustainable design, and how do we make it work?

A few guests talked about the importance of nature-based design thinking: why nature is both an asset and a risk. Some explained how ideas become action, through science or through craft. Others spoke of an ecosystem of practice that dictates what gets built in the name of sustainable design.

Episode outline

00:02:24 Herbert Dreiseitl: Water as an asset
00:08:09 Kotchakorn Voraakhom: Water as a risk
00:13:44 Bill Browning: We are drawn to nature
00:20:33 Chrisna du Plessis and Bill Reed: Measuring success
00:23:14 Alyssa-Amor Gibbons: New methods and tools
00:29:34 SHAU: Old-school craftmanship
00:35:24 Gregers Reimann: Influencing behaviour
00:40:04 Ashok B. Lall: An ecosystem of practice
00:45:11 Prasoon Kumar: The training of architects
00:50:56 WOHA: Integrating form and performance

Summary

Season 2 was graced by guests from different parts of the world who offered diverging — sometimes converging — views of a sustainable future.

Herbert Dreiseitl is an award-winning landscape architect, based in Germany. Known for his approach to blue infrastructure, which integrates hydrology with urban planning, he talked about why water is an asset to urbanism.

Landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom is also preoccupied with water and the city. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, a megacity with annual floods and sinking ground, Kotch — as she likes to be called — discussed water as a risk. For her, design is foremost an act of mitigation.

Kotchakorn Voraakhom’s firm LANDPROCESS fitted the Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park in Bangkok, Thailand, with a detention activity lawn that holds water during storm events.
© LANDPROCESS

Bill Browning, the US-based expert at the forefront of biophilic thinking, examined our desire to be close to nature, despite the risks. Nature, he says, is a force that shapes the landscape of the human mind.

South African Chrisna du Plessis and American Bill Reed, both leaders in regenerative design, agree with Bill. They weighed in on nature-centric architecture, singling out the world’s most biophilic hospital, Singapore’s Khoo Teck Puat, as a case in point.

The rooftop community farm at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in Singapore fosters strong ties between the institution and its neighbourhood.
© Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

Shifting from ‘why’ to ‘how’ we design, Alyssa-Amor Gibbons, a young architect from Barbados, reviewed the digital tools and performance modelling.

Her approach is different from Daliana Suryawinata and Florian Heinzelmann of SHAU in Indonesia, two seasoned architects who championed the craft and micro-details of construction.

SHAU’s Microlibrary Bima in Bandung, Indonesia, has a façade built from discarded ice cream cups.
© SANROK Studio

In several other episodes this last season, the conversation zoomed out to the ecosystem of ideas and attitudes that shape how we act.

Gregers Reimann, an environmental design consultant based in Malaysia, reflected on his role as an influencer on social media, where he encourages the public to cycle to work.

Ashok Lall, a veteran architect from India, appraised the industry norms that decide and constrain what gets built. He believes that architecture graduates today are simply not prepared for the complexities of the real world.

Prasoon Kumar, the architect-entrepreneur who founded BillionBricks, chipped in on the training of architects. Schools of design, he argues, dampen curiosity and discourage risk-taking.

Returning guests Richard Hassell and Wong Mun Summ also addressed the education system. In the final episode of season 2, the co-founding directors of WOHA in Singapore have made a case for better ways to teach integration, one that would lead to a new union of form and performance.

Episode Notes

Keep reading if you want to deep dive into this interview’s content and get more out of it. You can also find out more about this episode’s guest/s and sponsor/s, and the team that put it all together.

This episode is brought to you by:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The Holcim Foundation helps drive systemic change towards a more sustainable built environment. It was founded in 2003 to define and promote the key principles of sustainability for the construction sector and is committed to accelerating the sector’s transformation so that people and the planet can thrive.

The Foundation has investigated various aspects of sustainable construction via a series of roundtables and conferences with international experts. It has also recognised excellent contributions to this field with the Holcim Awards which are considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

Committed to a holistic approach that recognises the equal importance and interdependence of four key goals, the Foundation combines the collective knowledge, ideas, and solutions of our global community of experts with our recognised platform of international competitions to democratise thought leadership for the entire sector.

Today, the Holcim Foundation is proud to accompany Ecogradia’s new podcast and its host, Nirmal Kishnani, with whom we share a common goal: contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable future via sustainable construction and design.

W  |  holcimfoundation.org

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

This episode is brought to you by:

The Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction

The Holcim Foundation helps drive systemic change towards a more sustainable built environment. It was founded in 2003 to define and promote the key principles of sustainability for the construction sector and is committed to accelerating the sector’s transformation so that people and the planet can thrive.

The Foundation has investigated various aspects of sustainable construction via a series of roundtables and conferences with international experts. It has also recognised excellent contributions to this field with the Holcim Awards which are considered the world’s most significant competition for sustainable design.

Committed to a holistic approach that recognises the equal importance and interdependence of four key goals, the Foundation combines the collective knowledge, ideas, and solutions of our global community of experts with our recognised platform of international competitions to democratise thought leadership for the entire sector.

Today, the Holcim Foundation is proud to accompany Ecogradia’s new podcast and its host, Nirmal Kishnani, with whom we share a common goal: contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable future via sustainable construction and design.

W  |  holcimfoundation.org

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn  |  YouTube  |  Instagram

As mentioned in this episode

If you heard it in this episode, we likely have a link for it right here. Click on any topics, people, buildings, places, products and/or technologies listed below to learn more about each of them.

00:00:55 “…experts in biophilic design and regenerative development…”
What is biophilic architecture and how it works” | Domus
00:22:38 “…contribute to biodiversity now…”
Biodiversity: the new challenge for architecture” | NBS (National Building Specification)
00:56:55 “…would look at vernacular architecture in terms of resources…”
What Is Vernacular Architecture?” | The Spruce
00:14:11 “…Peter Kahn, at the University of Washington…”
Peter H. Kahn, Jr.” | University of Washington (UW)
00:14:11 “…Peter Kahn, at the University of Washington…”
University of Washington (UW)
00:15:58 “…A team at the Harvard School…”
Harvard University
00:16:01 “…the Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University did a study…”
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
00:18:44 “…Also, Mirelle Phillips, who is a artist…”
Mirelle Phillips” | NEW INC
00:08:19 “…is based in Bangkok, Thailand…”
Bangkok” (Thailand) | Britannica
00:09:39 “…So imagine… like Amsterdam…”
Amsterdam” (Netherlands) | Britannica
00:16:34 “…and a view out to the Charles River…”
Charles River” | Britannica
00:20:33 “…Singapore’s Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is perhaps one of the best examples…”
KHOO TECK PUAT HOSPITAL” | The International Living Future Institute
00:22:29 “…things that happens in Singapore…”
Singapore” | Britannica
00:23:18 “…a young architect in Barbados…”
Barbados” | Britannica
00:30:04 “…in the case of Microlibrary Bima…”
Microlibrary Bima” | Microlibrary
00:36:08 “…So in Copenhagen, my hometown…”
Copenhagen” (Denmark) | Britannica
00:36:28 “…Of course, Kuala Lumpur is not…”
Kuala Lumpur” (Malaysia) | Britannica
00:22:30 “…there’s a lot of green façades…”
Green facades” | Green-blue urban grids
00:23:14 “…who might be more familiar with the term building information management or modelling…”
What is BIM (Building Information Modeling)” | Trimble
00:32:08 “…these are engineered timbers, which could be used structurally…”
Engineered wood” | Wikipedia

Host
Nirmal Kishnani

Producer
Maxime Flores

Managing Editor
Kruti Choksi Kothari

Editorial assistant
Abhishek Srivastava

Sound technician and editor
Kelvin Brown  |  Phlogiston

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