Traversing Sustainable Architecture: Between discourse and practice

PhD defence by Elizabeth Donovan on the 30th of October at 13.00

Why is the integration of sustainable architecture discourse into practice so slow? Architect Elizabeth Donovan will offer several insights into this questions when she defends her PhD dissertation Traversing Sustainable Architecture: Between discourse and practice on 30th of October.

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Concepts of ‘sustainability’ have increasingly informed architectural discourse since the environmental movement of the 1960s, yet practices of construction have proved resistant to change. As Hunter Lovins describes, the construction industry is “dynamically conservative – it works real hard to stay in the same place.” This quote resonates with the premise of this research: ample information, knowledge, and technologies exist; yet the integration of sustainable architecture discourse into practice is limited.

This research project investigates sustainable architecture discourse and practice, identifying the key themes which bridge or act as barriers between these two paradigms. These bridging or barrier themes are analysed to develop an understanding as to how they interrelate and are positioned within the field of sustainable architecture. These themes are explored through their connections, content, and potential to better bridge this gap. The findings of this research offer insight into how we discuss, practice, learn, communicate, approach, perceive and view sustainable architecture and prompts a re-thinking of traditional understandings of discourse and practice within the field.

When: 30th October at 13.00
Where: Studsgadeauditoriet, Studsgade 31-33, 8000 Aarhus C

Assessment Committee

  • Elena Marco, Head of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of West England
  • Sergio Altomonte,
Professor, Université Catholique de Louvain
  • Michael Asgaard Andersen, Assistant professor, Aarhus School of Architecture

 Supervisors