Hans and I went to the Alaska Design Forum at the Loon last night. This winter's series is XGRN, and the speaker was François Roche of the French design firm R & Sie(n). He was hilarious, in a French mathematician/designer/philosopher sort of way. The lecture was dense with references to DuChamp, Edgar Allen Poe, Spinoza, etc., and the buildings/machines/structures he talked about were very much organic in form, activity, or symbiosis--but not regularly in material or very often in "sustainability"--which he pointed out was irrelevant to what he liked to do. Yet, he had one design for a museum that cleaned the air of pollution, another for a building covered with a heap of hydroponically nurtured greenery, a machine designed to go into a demilitarized zone/mine field and take back large chunks of turf to create another odd building that was designed as a structure to support the unique samples in a growing environment that functioned as a skin/surface/roof.
The playfulness and inventiveness of what he was talking about were great. One of the questions he was asked was about designing sustainable buildings, and he replied that in France all new buildings must have X amount of insulation to reduce their carbon footprint, but that the carbon output of creating that insulation and shipping it to the building site far exceeded the carbon saved through superinsulating. So, he answered cheerily, it wasn't very important to him (or words to that effect).
Cracked me up.
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