Dorte Mandrup: "Do not settle for a singular solution to sustainable architecture"

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"Architects of tomorrow, advance your toolbox, deepen your knowledge and equip yourself with evidence. Do not settle for a singular solution to sustainable architecture but insist on making solutions based on context-specific choices. Keep exploring and challenging the field of architecture and dare to experiment, because radical changes and new ideas are needed if we are to reach the 2050 target - reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to a net zero"

Change is needed. If we do not change our behavior radically, we will - in a foreseeable future - reach a point of irreversible damage. This is evident in the first volume of RIBA's 'Everything Needs to Change' where pioneers from the field of architecture explore solutions to the current climatic, environmental, and societal challenges we all face together. In her opening statement, Dorte Mandrup urges architects to take the lead on developing sustainably sound solutions and ensure that sustainability never becomes an excuse for bad architecture. 

The building sector is nowhere near the necessary pace of development. It is evident that political requirements and incentives are necessary to speed up behavioral change and motivate innovation. But we must all work together if we are to achieve the global climate goals. Exporting and sharing knowledge is key. We need to find a common approach to holistic sustainability. Architects have the influence and knowledge to make a huge impact - armed with evidence and contextual understanding. 

"In its essence, sustainability is a science. It cannot be only engineers and other specialist finding green solutions for designs - sustainability needs to be an integral part of the architectural design process. If equipped with evidence, architects are in a unique position to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of a building's lifestyle (...). Architects across the globe must acknowledge that evidence and contextual understanding is key to sustainable design. Knowledge and skills within architecture and education need to be broadened and deepened. We need to share best practice and dare to experiment to find sustainable solutions that are more than just buzzwords and good intensions", writes Dorte Mandrup.


'Everything Needs to Change: Architecture and the Climate Emergency' is a collection of statements and articles from architects, educators and students - all of whom are working tirelessly and creatively to highlight the fact that beauty, delight and architectural quality go hand in hand to build a positive future.