Sustainability Martyred in Name of Saint Green

International, Newsletter
Thursday, June 30, 2011
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Eco-Pantheon, Rome 126AD (Courtesy Star Strategies+Architecture)

Eco-Pantheon, Rome 126AD (Courtesy Star Strategies+Architecture)

Has the green movement gone too far? STAR Strategies + Architecture examines the prevalence of “green-washing and the abuse of sustainability” in their project O’ Mighty Green, where they posit that the notion of “green” has taken on a life of its own outside of sustainability and has become on many levels a new sort of religion. As the architects said in their introduction:

Sustainability currently shares many qualities with God; supreme concept, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; creator and judge, protector, and (…) saviour of the universe and the humanity. And, like God, it has millions of believers. Since we humans are relatively simpleminded and suspicious and need evidence before belief can become conviction, Green has come to represent sustainability; has become its incarnation in the human world. But sustainability, like God, might not have a form, nor a colour.

To demonstrate this absurdity, STAR has implemented what they call “sustainability as a photoshop filter” and clad a variety of iconic—and notorious—buildings with green walls, even invoking the spirit of St. Green, the patron saint of sustainable architects. The architects have taken a similarly snarky view of contradictions in preservation. (Via Dezeen.)

What are your thoughts? Are architects guilty of praying at the green altar?

Berlin Eco-Wall, 1989 (Courtesy Star Strategies+Architecture)

Berlin Eco-Wall, 1989 (Courtesy Star Strategies+Architecture)

Environmentally Friendly Nuclear Power Plant, Dukovany (Courtesy Star Strategies+Architecture)

Environmentally Friendly Nuclear Power Plant, Dukovany (Courtesy Star Strategies+Architecture)

3 Responses to “Sustainability Martyred in Name of Saint Green”

  1. SPZ says:

    To be fair, isn’t a concentration camp covered in greenery a little bit better than a regular concentration camp?

  2. CG says:

    Thank you to commenter SPZ for seeing the perversity of associating greenwashing with a concentration camp. I guess it never dawned on the oh-so-clever and provocative volks at STAR. Imagine if Hitler had access to photoshop…

  3. Chicagoski says:

    Snarkiness is all fine and greenwashing is BS, but the whole project is a bit one-dimensional, n’est ce pas?

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