Architecture, Religion and Going Green
As I travel on the verge of being one of the constituents of one of the first generations of architects who will have to immediately tackle issues of climate change and global warming vis a vis Architecture, I began to wonder of little issues in lifestyle that may contribute to human living being more greener in philosophy than the lack of it.
More and more houses or residential buildings are built to cater to an individual, and not a group of people i.e a family or otherwise. Apartments, flats or houses for individuals would mean individual cars, individual microwave ovens,individual refrigerators and the sort of appliances that are needed to accommodate modern human living. This not only incurs an additional material expense but also contributes more towards increasing the carbon footprint.
Hence, to reduce the amount of consumption the simple suggestion would be to share the appliances or materials, thus instead of just one person using a car, there would be several people using it. But given the practical issues that may crop up in several random people sharing appliances/resources the most suitable group living would be to live as families, thus negating or mitigating friction that may erupt as a result of miscommunication.
Whilst my very right wing friends may promptly label me as being conventional or even pseudo leftist (which I am certainly not :)), what many may not realise is that most decision making circles in the west are beginning to think in retrospect and are trying to revert to former ways of human living in order to nullify the negative effects that modern human lifestyles are having on the environment. Except that they will not tend to term it as “former”.
Decision makers and social scientists have come to a cul de sac , which other fundamental way other than changing lifestyle can protect the global environment??. I am not talking in terms of morality or spirituality; I am purely talking in terms of triggering practical home based solutions in tackling global warming. Frank Lloyd Wright, supposedly the greatest Architect of the 20th century says this about morality “There is a great difference between morals and ethics, morals are only those of the moment, the fashion of the day. What is a moral today won’t be a moral day after tomorrow and the day after that.”
If individuals, and the ethics they uphold become more and more akin to upholding religious values will it directly result in human lifestyle becoming more and more green conscious.??
For this to occur, religious institutions too have to be create a dualistic philosophy that not only address purely spiritual issues in a blind manner, but they should also tackle global/secular/environmental and other issues through religion and the values it manifests.
I came across this interesting paradox here:
“Soren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher-theologian, once described how he went into the great cathedral in Copenhagen and sat in a cushioned seat and watched as sunlight streamed through stained glass windows. He saw the pastor, dressed in a velvet robe, take his place behind the mahogany pulpit, open a gilded Bible, mark it with a silk marker and read, ‘Jesus said, “If any man be my disciple he must deny himself, sell whatsoever he has, give to the poor and take up his cross and follow me.”‘ Kierkegaard said, ‘As I looked around the room I was amazed that nobody was laughing.’
— Raashid Riza
Raashid is a Sri Lankan BB-ite and a student of Architecture based in the UK. He has a knack of trying to understanding the world by looking at how buildings are made. Here’s another attempt.