Cultural Identity as a Tool for a Sustainable Future

Micène Fontaine, April 27, 2022

Pick up any design or architecture trade publication, and splashed across its pages, you'll find Newton's Third Law on full display: Local versus global, change versus back to "normal," nature-based solutions versus grey infrastructure, yesterday versus tomorrow, and on and on the pendulum swings.

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

It's not about buildings per se. It's not about furniture, awards, trends, or the color of the year. Those are just symptoms. Physical manifestation of a much deeper truth that lies in the hands of designers and architects across the world.

It's about the way we see ourselves, the way we make meaning of the world, how of we belong, and how we contribute - manifested in the built environment in which we live, work, and play.

It's a quest for identity, culture, and purpose.

Take a look at the buildings below. Could you have guessed which country they are in?

contemporary architectural identity
Image: Rem Koolhaas

What about these buildings?

national architectural identities
Image: Rem Koolhaas

These images probably look familiar. They are from Rem Koolhaas, who curated the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale under the theme of Fundamentals.

These images are a reminder that woven into the built environment are myriad communities and their immediate surroundings.

It tells a story of who we are, the relationship we have with our environment, each other, and nature, with yesterday and tomorrow. It’s a story unfolding now: Where problems are solved with the expertise of architects like Omar Degan - founder of the DO Architecture Group - who helps write the next chapter. 

It’s a story of human resilience, community, and sustainability - by design.

It's our story.

:Change by Design

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