In the last decade, the use of the word sustainability has invaded all domains; it has been used alternately as a politic decoy to conceal less-than-altruistic intentions, as a tag to qualify the
“goodness” of the architectural form or as a marketing strategy. However, the deeper impact of
sustainability on architecture remains in doubt. The Brundtland Report (UN, 1987), the document
that first introduced the concept of sustainability in architecture and that advocated a shift
in how architectural form is created, has barely affected how architects proceed at a
meaningful structural level.
This research project operates at this existing disconnection between architectural design and
sustainable development—whose result is a sort of induced status-quo that has transformed
sustainability into nothing more than a “sustained” technocratic development. If we accept a
little dose of generalization, sustainable architecture can be reduced to a caricature with two faces: one, a technophillic monument to ecology and the second, the pastoral praise of passiveness. Both approaches raise problems when dealing with contemporary concerns such as rapid urbanization, environmental inequalities or globalized urban sprawl. In this context, the project looks for a new way to define sustainability in architectural terms, one that activates ecology as a valid and relevant component of the design process. To this end, a series of interactive tools (database, mixer and resource manual) are proposed. Additionally, the final interface serves as a community-based
platform for collective knowledge, one that brings together different agents in an interdisciplinary
discourse of ecology. The platform outlines a field of operation intended to trigger real
alternatives to the traditionally technocratic notion of modern development.
The tools are designed based on one basic principle: since the architectural techniques contained in the database each respond to a particular climatic context, then, if they are analyzed and classified according to their essential components and physical processes, they theoretically can be exported to similar climatic conditions around the world to produce similar results.