Monday, March 31, 2008

Jean Nouvel awarded 2008 Pritzker Prize

From the Los Angeles Times 3/31/08, a quote from Nouvel:

"For me, every building is an adventure," Nouvel said. "Every project is an adventure. I research every project. I talk to a lot of people. Every building has a relationship to the climate, to the wind, to the colors of the buildings around it. I arrive at a concept with all the parameters in place. When I have all of these constraints, I begin. Without constraints, architecture does not exist. You are a sculptor."

Nouvel said he is determined to resist what he views as the homogenization of world urbanism.

"When you go around the world, you see all the same buildings, and you feel like you're in the same place," he said. "I fight all the time for the specificity of architecture. I fight against global architecture. While some architects aim for a standout," Nouvel said," the designs of his buildings are inseparable from their settings."

"I feel like every site has a right to have an architectural aesthetic," he said. "Architects today try to create a little world, a petit monde, a micro monde. It's important to try to create a building in its context. "Every building must be the "missing piece of the puzzle. It must impossible to put the building in another place," he said. "That is my criterion."

An interior video of his ground-breaking Arab Institute in Paris, among others, is here

It's an adventure going up inside after watching the patterned wall's steel "irises" close down in unison as the sun hits the south wall. Paris, 1997.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

State of the World 2008: Innovations for a Sustainable Economy

Update March 2009: State of the World for 2009, Into a Warming World, How to Survive Climate Change, is now available. Key strategies are discussed for dealing with the consequences of 200 years of industrial development and resource consumption.

Download chapters from the World Watch Institute, State of the World, published in January 2008, which discusses the means of developing sustainable economies and benchmarking progress in terms of natural capital. Interactive discussions and key strategies are listed, also.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ecology of Commerce in Industry, an example

About: Ray C. Anderson, Founder and Chairman, Interface, Inc.

The story is now legend: the "spear in the chest" epiphany Ray Anderson experienced when he first read Paul Hawken's The Ecology of Commerce, seeking inspiration for a speech to an Interface task force on the company's environmental vision. Fourteen years and a sea change later, Interface, Inc., is nearly 50 percent towards the vision of "Mission Zero," the journey no one would have imagined for the company or the petroleum-intensive industry of carpet manufacturing which has been forever changed by Anderson's vision. Mission Zero is the company's promise to eliminate any negative impact it may have on the environment, by the year 2020, through the redesign of processes and products, the pioneering of new technologies, and efforts to reduce or eliminate waste and harmful emissions while increasing the use of renewable materials and sources of energy.

See the story at the Interface website, now a Vision Statement for manufacturing carpet

Industry Week article at