Sabin Paper Argues for an Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainability in Architecture

April 8, 2015

A recent article by Assistant Professor Jenny Sabin, architecture, explores the discoveries and advances made when scholars in fields including technology, environmental sciences, biology, and architecture collaborate toward a common goal — solving the problems of sustainability in architecture.

Published in the March 2015 issue of the Journal of Architectural Education, the article, titled "Transformative Research Practice: Architectural Affordances and Crisis," examines four multidisciplinary bodies of work emerging from Philip Beesley Architect Inc. and Waterloo Architecture, the Sabin Design Lab at Cornell, the BIOMS group at the University of California–Berkeley, and the Institute for Computational Design at the University of Stuttgart. Sabin argues that more efforts similar to these are necessary to discover "affordances within the environment that may be used as design drivers toward a transformative and sustainable architecture."

Another example of interdisciplinary collaboration and discussion cited by Sabin is "Sustaining Sustainability: Alternative Approaches in Urban Ecology and Architecture," a symposium held at Cornell in 2012. According to the article, "This symposium was not centered upon exhausted issues including energy, optimization, and performance . . . but was instead focused on rethinking the entire conceptual foundation for the project, one that fundamentally examines our relationship with nature and nature's relationship with humans."

Sabin is the Arthur L. and Isabel B. Wiesenberger Assistant Professor of Architecture; principal at Jenny Sabin Studio, an experimental design studio based in Philadelphia; and director of the Sabin Design Lab, a hybrid research and design unit at Cornell.

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