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Ken Yeang is an architect and was an early theorist of green architecture. In England, where he was educated at the AA (completing a diploma under Peter Cook) and Cambridge where he earned a PhD in ecological planning and design, Yeang is celebrated as a founder of the sustainable architecture movement. In 1995 he published his major theoretical work Designing with Nature that evolved out his Cambridge thesis and it is one of the first texts on ecological architecture. At the The Architect’s Newspaper’s Facades+PERFORMANCE conference on July 11, Yeang will lecture in the US for the first time at the University of California San Francisco in Mission Bay. Yeang recently answered a series of questions posed by Mic Patterson of Enclos who will introduce him in San Francisco. Here is part one of the interview, the second half will appear tomorrow on the AN Blog.
Mic Patterson Your early theoretical work, and ultimately your built work, anticipated the sustainable development that is finally beginning to emerge at a broader scale: climatic design, green walls and vertical gardens, sky courts, biomimicry, solar geometry as a form generator. Why has the adoption of these concepts by the building community been so slow? How do you see these themes developing into the future?
Ken Yeang. I am not sure why our concepts and ideas on green design have been slow to gain traction by the building industry and by our community of professionals. It may be because public adoption of new ideas first require champions by important figures like politicians and leaders in the profession and industry.