Strategic Design Review                                                                               SPRING/SUMMER 2009  ...
Catalyzing the Conversation                                                                                               ...
NEW YORK CITY has a long history of being an incubator for innova-tion and new thought. Timescapes: A Multimedia Portrait ...
Written by Maggie de la Vega & Erin Weber                                                                     Maggie de la...
Front spread:Photographs takenby Joe Sternfeldinspired the foundersof Friends of theHigh Line to launchthe reclamationproj...
Designing Buy-In                                                                                                  public o...
Growing Value                                                                                      Strategy in ActionThe H...
1000 Words: A Manifesto                                                                          Teach Sustainability Earl...
Why does our packaging                                                                                                    ...
A Call for ResourcefulArchitecture                                            Randolph R. Croxton, FAIA                   ...
The Johnson Hall of Science                             from day one and leaves the economic ‘room’ in                    ...
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1
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CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1

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In the spring of 2009, I was one of the founding members of this publication for the Design Management graduate program at Pratt Institute: Benign by Design: NYC

I was responsible for designing the masthead, cover and internal spreads of the magazine. I also co-wrote the article about the Highline and was the executive editor responsible for the final product.

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CATALYST Strategic Design Review, Issue 1

  1. 1. Strategic Design Review SPRING/SUMMER 2009 BENIGN BY DESIGN:The High Line: Reclaiming Urban Assets I A Call for Resourceful Architecture Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 1(Re)Designing Education I 9 Things to Know About Pro Bono I Eco Web 2.0PLUS Catalyst Voices: Insights, Ventures and Explorations of the Pratt Design Management Community
  2. 2. Catalyzing the Conversation 2 Catalyzing the Conversation Catalyst What to Expect Benign by Design: NYCCatalyst was designed to stimulate thinking and encourage conversation Managing Editors: Erin Weber,about the role of strategic design in making and shaping an economy that Maggie de la Vega, Holly Burns 4 Two Centuries of New York City A visual history of Innovationis generative, humane, resourceful and "good by nature." Our first issue Layout Design: Erin Weberexamines the design of everyday life: our cityscapes, our buildings andeducational systems. We explore the consequence of deeply contexted and Copy Editors: Maggie de la Vega, 6 Reclaiming Urban Assets: A Call to Action Denise Tahara, Eileen Kiley, Hollycommunity-focused design strategies that can enrich and sustain. Case Study on The High Line Burns, Erin WeberA global economy need not threaten community or commons. Robust Illustration: Holly Burns 14 A Core 77 original accompanied by A Manifesto in Actioncommercial activity can enable and enliven. But this will require that design Design Advisor: Merv Garretson actionable resourcesserve life and that design strategists catalyze the transition from an economy Brand Advisor: William Schroederthat generates negative consequences for human health and environment toan economy that is truly generative: benign by design. Cover: High Line, New York City, Joe 18 A Call for Resourceful Architecture Sternfeld © 2000 A Strategy beyond LEEDCatalyst is an international dialogue on strategic design sponsored andpublished by the graduate program in Design Management at Pratt Institute A special thank you to Mygazines.com who kindly donated our subscription to 26 (Re)Designing Urban Educationof Art and Design. We begin the conversation where we are located, in New The Harlem Childrens Zone their innovative, digital newsstand.York City, a city which has established itself as a leader in the design ofurban space, social transformation and economic innovation. 34 Designing Web 2.0 for the Environment Q&A with the founders of ioby.orgMary McBrideDirector of the Design Management Program at Pratt Institute What to Expect Catalyst was designed as a resource 40 9 ThingsfromKnow AboutDesignBono Insights to Pentagram Pro for practicing and aspiring design leaders interested in advancing triple bottom line thinking and strategy. Catalyst VoicesExcerpt from the "Pratt Anthem":"...Only where the mind is free, We have included numerous external links throughout the articles and in the 43 Buses Get Street Cred Capitalizing on GPS Technologyand dreams are tempered into skills, form of "related resources" at the end of each article.Will come the healing hands to stay, 48 Composting the "American Dream" Reflections of a Recent Graduatethe cities and the nations ills..." Catalyst is accompanied by a blog that will be our means of continuing the conversation between publications. 49 Business Ecology Model Visualizing how Design Management Postings will be related to, as well is Integrated into Business as, unique from those in the digital publication. http://catalystsdr.wordpress.com/ Columns The next Catalyst theme will be 52 Tools forofCatalyzing Change Tools Reviews Design Management "Designing a Climate Safe Economy." Please submit article concepts and Ventures and Exploration notes to CatalystSDR@gmail.com. 54 Ventures and Explorations of the News from Alumni and Staff Pratt Design Management Program22 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 3
  3. 3. NEW YORK CITY has a long history of being an incubator for innova-tion and new thought. Timescapes: A Multimedia Portrait of NewYork narrates the city’s story through imagery and visual graphics.The video presentation inspired the compilation of these excerptsthat set the stage for how New York City has become a hotbed for 1792: Late 1700s: 1811: Late 1800s: Wall Street welcomed the The South Street Seaport Mayor Dewitt Clinton proposed Middle class New Yorkerscreative solutions. The remainder of this publication will delve into first financial markets and was the first port to a strategic street grid that would moved their familiescurrent initiatives, which embody the same level of innovation. investment houses with an send ships on a regular support 10 times the population uptown and to Brooklyn agreement that launched the schedule, whether or of the time and a need for public Heights, becoming the New York Stock Exchange. not they were filled. space, namely, Central Park. world’s first commuters.Adjacent is a timeline highlighting New York Citys history of innovation.Below is a freeze frame of Timescapes. The multimedia presentation canbe viewed in its entirety at the Museum of the City of New York. Credit Timescapes: A Multimedia Portrait of New York was conceived and directed by Jake Barton of Local Projects and James Sanders. The map and historical references have been adapted from the original multimedia presentation. Related Resources Museum of the City of New York: www.mcny.org Local Projects, a media design firm: www.localprojects.net4 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 5
  4. 4. Written by Maggie de la Vega & Erin Weber Maggie de la Vega is a student in the Pratt Design Management program and works for a high-end Manhattan residential architecture firm as a Business Manager and LEED Coordinator. Maggie received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Colorado, in Boulder. Erin Weber is a student in the Pratt Design Management program. She spends her weekdays directing the marketing initiatives and designing ads for a luxury furniture company based in Manhattan. Erin received her undergraduate degree in Communication Design and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. THE HIGH LINE Reclaiming Urban Assets: A Call to Action The High Line transforms the concept of urban wilderness from one of abandonment to one of environmental, social and economic impact. Although the High Line has received ample press to date, we felt it fitting to salute the project in anticipation of its grand opening during the Summer of 2009. In looking closely at strategic design in New York City, we could not help but acknowledge the High Line as an outstanding example of recognizing a hidden asset in order to revive an urban landscape.6 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 7
  5. 5. Front spread:Photographs takenby Joe Sternfeldinspired the foundersof Friends of theHigh Line to launchthe reclamationproject. [JoeSternfeld © 2000.] Rendering of the first section of the High Line; starting at Gansevoort and stretching north of 14th Street. immersion, strolling ‘within’ and ‘amongst’ rather than feeling distanced from.”1 Further, the design of the High Line honors the structure’s history with the preservation and than a mile up Manhattan’s West Side from the restoration of the art deco railings and the preser- Meatpacking District through the Hudson Yards vation of the historic railroad tracks themselves. and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods. As a further testament to sustainable design prac- David and Hammond later reflected, “In their tices, it is this very re-use of an existing structure, An example of his- 2004 competition entry, Field Operations and which illustrates conscious resource management. torical preservation through the refur- Hammond established Friends of the High Line, Diller Sconfidio + Renfro showed us a proposal that Additionally, the preserved intricacies of the High bishing of art deco a community-based group that spearheaded the retained the sense of wilderness and mystery of the Line, such as railroad ties, steel beams and railings, railings found along design competition, fund raising and collabora- original High Line landscape. It celebrated all that support the wonderment of the space, whispering the original, elevated stories of the past to future generations. railroad structure. tion necessary to make their vision a reality. They was great about the High Line’s past while making [Joe Sternfeld © actively opposed the demolition of the elevated rail- the High Line accessible and giving it a future.”1 2000.] road tracks, a measure that had been signed into Recognizing a Community Asset action by outgoing Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2002. The High Line is a public park that has been rein- The project began with a unique definition of Building with Nature vented from abandoned elevated railroad tracks “park” inspired by a competition that gathered The design of the High Line is a graceful conver- that were once the life-blood of Manhattan’s West the ideas of novices and professionals alike. The gence of nature and industry, an exquisite paradox Side manufacturing and shipping industries. Commissioner of the New York City Department of that makes the space so unique. A unique, modular In the summer of 1999, Joshua David and Parks and Recreation has described it as, “A park planking system has enabled a dynamic installa-Information Robert Hammond united with an innovative vision unlike any other, the High Line will be lifted 29 tion of alternating planks and plant life, as evidentgraphics designedto represent the to transform the decaying railroad tracks, which feet above the street, linking 22 blocks, connecting in the illustration below. As the principal of Fieldvarious possible had been abandoned twenty years earlier, into a three neighborhoods, even passing through the Operations explained, “This intermixing of plantsrelationships community destination and landmark. David and interiors of buildings.”1 The park stretches more with paving creates a rambling, textural effect ofbetween the modularwalkway planksand plant life.[James Corner FieldOperations and DillerScofidio + Renfro.Courtesy of the Cityof New York.]8 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 9 9
  6. 6. Designing Buy-In public officials with a vision of how the park could “This project has always been about images.”1 It be revitalized and developed.”2 Through various “This began with the photographs Joel Sternfeld took forms of visual media Field Operations and Diller between 2000 and 2001. The images depicted the Sconfidio + Renfro enabled their audience to project High Line in its naturally evolved state of vegeta- virtually “experience” the High Line long before tion cohabitating with industrial structure. His construction began. Friends of the High Line went has photos inspired community members like David further using a blog and videos to champion their always and Hammond to quite literally “see” potential in the structure and question the plans for demolition. cause. As New York Mayor Bloomberg expressed, “It is been Next came the careful translation of creative also a testament to how much we can accomplish vision into realistic renderings that inspired support through public-private partnerships, which combine about from the necessary government bodies as well as the best talents and resources of government, theimages.” donor support to fund the large undertaking. “As part of its strategy, the coalition to save the High business community, and nonprofit organizations.”1 As New York City continues to create a cauldron Line held a series of open meetings where they of sustainable design initiatives, it is the strategic used a wide variety of photos, illustrations and formation of public and private partnerships that diagrams to present the audience, the media and will ensure the economic vitality of the projects. Intricate information graphics represent- Both graphics: James Corner Field ing the possible evolution of natural life Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. on the High Line (below) and community Courtesy of the City of New York. use of the space (right). James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Courtesy of the City of New York10 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 11
  7. 7. Growing Value Strategy in ActionThe High Line offers the New York community awealth of environmental, social and economicvalue. It brings wildlife and plant life to an otherwiseindustrial area mostly covered in cement andasphalt. The wilderness brings more than muchneeded public recreational space; it also serves High Line:as a cooling agent to offset heat reflected from Creative Asset Allocationseemingly endless blocks of concrete and glass.At a time when the climate change crisis demandsaction from all sectors, the environmental benefits > DESIGN transparent visualof adding green space in urban areas are gaining communicationmore attention. Culturally, the park is an oasis for recreation > UTILIZE a breadth of digitaland interaction between community members. and print mediaAs James Corner, Principal of Field Operations,explains, “The strategy is to slow things down, > FACILITATE private/public partnershipsto promote a sense of duration and of being inanother place, where time seems less pressing. > RECLAIM existing infrastructureLong stairways, meandering pathways and hidden Rendering ofniches with seating encourage taking one’s time.”1 the sundeck > INTRODUCE nature to theSimilarly, architect, Richaro Scofidio describes, which features built environment“Access points are durational experiences designed a wading pool. Located betweento prolong the transition from the frenetic pace of 14th and 15ththe city streets to the slow, otherworldly landscape streets.of the High Line.”1 As the neighborhood arteriessurrounding the High Line have transitioned awayfrom industrial uses, local residents and workers The Southern- most entranceare deserving of this calming, community space. to the High Line at Gansevoort This unique offering of a natural oasis in an urban Street.environment will likely make New York City moreattractive in the eyes of home buyers, corporationsand tourists. As evidenced in the surroundingdevelopments by some of the most notablearchitects in the industry, the High Line has alreadyfueled much local real estate attention. Beyondsatisfying an acute environmental and social References 1. Designing the High Line, 2008need, the project provides significant economicincentives for civil involvement. Motivations come 2. Visualizing Information for Advocacyin the form of tax revenues from newly developed written by John Emersonproperty, increased property value surroundingthe elevated park and increased tourist traffic. AsMayor Michael Bloomberg touts, “In years to come, Related Resourcesit is destined to become one of our city’s most Friends of the High Line: www.thehighline.orgtreasured and iconic public spaces.”1 The High Line Blog: blog.thehighline.org Because the High Line is a truly unique A collection of videos about the High Lineundertaking in the U.S., it serves as a beacon, a Architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfrocall to investigate our urban environments that Landscape Architecture firm Field Operationshave been abandoned. It is imperative that a callto action include uncovering and deploying assets Catalyst Blogthrough creative thinking, particularly in urban Continue the conversation about the High Line onredevelopment. Through strategic design these the Catalyst blog.spaces can bring a windfall of benefits. As Americais faced with “reinventing” herself, perhaps See how another iconic NYC landmark, themaintaining a sense of wilderness as a part of Empire State Building, is being upgraded toprogress is a small step in the right direction. sustainable status.12 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 13
  8. 8. 1000 Words: A Manifesto Teach Sustainability Early for Sustainability in Design Design education is at a crossroads, with many schools understanding the written by Allan Chochinov, originally published at Core77.com potentials, opportunities, and obliga- Screws Better Than Glues additional resources compiled by Maggie de la Vega and Erin Weber tions of design, while others continue to teach students how to churn out This is lifted directly from the Owners pretty pieces of garbage. Institutions HP is known for designing its products with a Manifesto, which addresses how the that stress sustainability, social respon- strategy for recycling. The company released people who own things and the people Green IT for Dummies in order to share best sibility, cultural adaptation, ethnography, who make them are in a kind of partner- I dont like the word manifesto. It reeks of dogma and rules—two things and systems thinking are leading the practices. ship. But its a partnership thats broken I instinctually reject. I do love the way it puts things on the line, but I way. But soon they will come to define down, since almost all of the products dont like lines, or groups. So a manifesto probably isnt for me. The what industrial design means. (A relief we produce cannot be opened or other thing about manifestos is that they appear (or are written so to those constantly trying to define the repaired, are designed as subassemblies as to appear) self-evident. This kind of a priori writing is easy, since discipline today!) This doesnt mean no Systems Before Artifacts to be discarded upon failure or obso- you simply lay out what seems obviously—even tautologically—true. aesthetics. It just means a keener eye on lescence, and conceal their workings in Of course, this is the danger of manifestos, but also what makes them costs and benefits. Before we design anything new, we a kind of solid-state prison. This results fun to read. And fun to write. So Ill write this manifesto. I just might should examine how we can use what in a population less and less confident already exists to better ends. We need to in their abilities to use their hands for not sign it. The New York Harbor School is a public think systems before artifacts, services anything other than pushing buttons and charter school that uses the New York wa- terways as a laboratory for learning. before products, adopting Thackaras mice, of course. But it also results in Anyway, here they are. Exactly 1000 words: use/not own principles at every step. people fundamentally not understanding For kids: the EPA designed a fun poster And when new products are needed, the workings of their built artifacts and that walks children through the life cycle theyll be obvious and appropriate, and environments, and, more importantly, of a CD. then can we conscientiously pump up not understanding the role and impact fossil fuels and start polymerizing them. that those built artifacts and environ- Product design should be part of a set of Hippocratic Before Socratic ments have on the world. In the same tools we have for solving problems and way that we cant expect people to "First do no harm" is a good starting Stop Making Crap celebrating life. It is a means, not an end. understand the benefits of a water filter point for everyone, but its an especially when they cant see the gunk inside it, we good starting point for designers. For a And that means that we have to stop Recommended Reading: cant expect people to sympathize with group of people who pride themselves making crap. Its really as simple as In the Bubble: Designing a Complex World greener products if they cant appreciate on "problem solving" and improving that. We are suffocating, drowning, and by John Thackara the consequences of any products at all. peoples lives, we sure have done our poisoning ourselves with the stuff we Green IT for Dummies by Hewlett-Packard Best Practices: Steelcase products fair share of the converse. We have to produce, abrading, out-gassing, and designed for disassembly. remember that industrial design equals seeping into our air, our water, our mass production, and that every move, land, our food—and basically those are every decision, every curve we specify is the only things we have to look after multiplied—sometimes by the thousands before theres no we in that sentence. and often by the millions. And that every It gets into our bodies, of course, and one of those everys has a price.We think it certainly gets into our minds. And that were in the artifact business, but designers are feeding and feeding this were not; were in the consequence cycle, helping to turn everyone and business. everything into either a consumer or a consumable. And when you think about Check out the Designers Accord five it, this is kind of grotesque. "Consumer" guiding principles which serve to initiate isnt a dirty word exactly, but it probably positive environmental and social impact oughta be. through design: The embargo has left Cubans with a fleet www.designersaccord.org With the failed historic strategy of of aging automobiles. Americas big three auto makers, it will be Everyone seems to be interesting to watch how sustainable cars a mechanic. A hidden benefit is a cultural ap- develop and make their way onto the scene. preciation for technology Check out the Good Magazine article "Dont and innovative intimacy Kill Your Car" highlighting the newest that enables drivers alternative fuel vehicles coming to market like this one to solve (Spring 2009). For all designers and trans- problems on the fly. portation junkies alike, we have an amazing opportunity to redefine quality in transport.14 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 15
  9. 9. Why does our packaging so often outlive the Metrics Before Magic consequences of a material or process or assembly in a design youre consid- products it is meant to Metrics do not get in the way of being ering, maybe its not such a good transport? Companies such as Sun Chips creative. Almost everything is quantifi- material or process or assembly to are beginning to use able, and just the exercise of trying to begin with. There are more and more biodegradable polylactic frame up ecological and labor impacts people out there in the business of acid (PLA), a corn-based polymer to replace tradi- can be surprisingly instructive. So on helping you to find these things out, by tional packaging. Unfor- your next project, if youve determined the way; you just have to call them. tunately, PLA is a step that it may be impossible to quantify the in the right direction, but not the final answer due to the scarcity of neces- The Industrial Design Consultancy created sary composting condi- a free Life Cycle Analysis Calculator. tions and its reliance on foodstuff for production. Read more in the Learn more about the Sustainability Smithsonian Magazine. Worksheets on page 53. LCADesign software for calculating the environmental impact of construction based on design renderings. Context Before Absolutely EverythingDesign for Impermanence Understanding that all design happensIn his Masters Thesis, "The Paradox of within a context is the first (and argu-Weakness: Embracing Vulnerability in ably the only) stop to make on your wayProduct Design," my student Robert Climates Before Primates to becoming a good designer. You can beBlinn argues that we are the only species a bad designer after that, of course, butwho designs for permanence—for This is the a priori, self-evident truth. If we have any hope of staying here, we you dont stand a chance of being a goodlongevity—rather than for an ecosystem one if you dont first consider context.in which everything is recycled into need to look after our home. And our anthropocentric worldview is liter- Its everything; in graphics, communica-everything else. Designers are complicit tion, interaction, architecture, product,in this over-engineering of everything ally killing us. "Design serves people?" Well, I think weve got bigger problems service, you name it—if it doesnt takewe produce (we are terrified of, and context into account, its crap. And youoften legally risk-averse to, failure), but right now. already promised not to make any moreit is patently obvious that our ways and of that.means are completely antithetical tohow planet earth manufactures, tools, Greg Mortenson dedicated himself to raisingand recycles things. We choose inorganic Look out for Copenhagen Design Week funds to build a school in a remote Afghanmaterials precisely because biological (August 27- September 6, 2009) to be village. When he arrived with the necessaryorganisms cannot consume them, while a prelude to the United Nations Climate supplies, the village elders thanked himthe natural world uses the same building Balance Before Talents Change Conference which will take and explained the more immediate needblocks over and over again. It is indeed place in Copenhagen this December. for a bridge to shorten the long journeyCradle-to-Cradle or cradle-to-grave, Im The proportion of a solution needs to to the next village. The elders understoodafraid. balance with its problem: we dont need the broader context and basic needs of the a battery-powered pooper scooper to children. The bridge was built, followed by pick up dog poop, and we dont need a This point is particularly true when design- a school. Mortensons journey and inspiringTo learn more about how to incorporate car that gets 17 MPG to, well, we dont ing for social impact, when resources are work in Afghanistan are chronicled in theBiomimicry into design strategy, check out need that car, period. We have to start scarce and their strategic deployment all novel Two Cups of Tea.this TED talk by Janine Benyus: balancing our ability to be clever with the more critical. Check out IDEO and the12 sustainable design ideas from nature. our ability to be smart. Theyre two Rockefeller Foundations Design for Social different things. Impact How-To Guide. Catalyst Blog Add more resources on the Catalyst blog.16 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 17
  10. 10. A Call for ResourcefulArchitecture Randolph R. Croxton, FAIA First things First Maintainability You can’t begin to address sustainability until you New York City has evolved a dense, inherently effi- have solved maintainability. The value of a building cient urban order supported by an exemplary mass over time depends on design for fully enhanced ease transit system. More recently, Mayor Bloomberg of access to all systems for repair, maintenance and has initiated a well-publicized sustainability initia- replacement. tive and we see heavily marketed ‘green’ buildingsRandolph R. Croxton, FAIA popping up on a regular basis. Given these veryA founder of sustainable and `green architecturein America and recipient of the USGBCs National positive developments, one could easily conclude Continuity of Operations/MissionLeadership Award in 2005 and 2008, Mr. Croxton that the City is well on the way to a sustainable This fundamental design attribute creates ‘accesshas led his firm in their receipt of the professions transformation and that carbon neutral or energy mapping,’© a protocol which enables retrofit andhighest award for sustainable design, the National maintenance without interruption of ongoing functions.AIA COTE `Top Ten Award in three consecutive neutral buildings are just around the corner.years: 2005, 2006 and 2007. Having authored However, much like the futuristic predictions of thethe first sustainable design green guidelines in 1950s and 1960s which envisioned fleets of personal Benign Renovation1994 (preceding LEED 1.0 by four years) and more helicopters as the solution to traffic jams in the New Avoidance of Destructive Demolition:recently the precedent-setting World Trade CenterSustainable Design Guidelines issued in 2003, York of 2000, these expectations will first have to Interior design/detailing for ‘facilitated disassembly’©;Mr. Croxton brings a unique perspective to the be tested against the realities of economics, demo- massive reduction in toxins and particulates =challenges and opportunities of building in the reduced health risk/liability.post 2008/2009 Economic Meltdown Era, moving graphics and the laws of physics. In truth, we have a long way to go.beyond conspicuous consumption to a moredurable and sustainable prosperity. Sustainable Transition Planning Our current “Green Building” models, even The key strategic attribute of a building’s design in the the best of them such as the US Green Building 21st century is the anticipation of sustainable upgrades Council’s LEED® Rating System, are still awarding over time. Maximum solar harvest and next genera- The solar clock/ buildings with little or no improvement in energy tion renewable upgrades need to be quantified and calendar at Johnson efficiency. Projects registered prior to June 26, 2007, anticipated in the ‘opening day’ design. Hall of Science measures hours, have no minimum energy performance required days and months via beyond the ASHRAE 90.1 code while those after the daily traversing that date must achieve energy savings of 14%. These four strategic advantages are not point of sunlight. In 2008 approximately 10% of the LEED projects embodied in our current green models. More awarded had no energy points.1 More importantly, importantly, our most publicized exemplars of the measures of success continue to reward a sustainable design tend to carry a very high price “finish line” building. That is, you get your Silver or tag. As a result, ‘green’ buildings remain marginal- Gold or Platinum award based on compliance with ized, representing less than 10% of new construc- a checklist of universal, pre-set performance objec- tion. No matter how many studies are developed to tives at the time of initial occupancy. show that the additional cost of ‘green’ buildings If we are to move to the next level of sustain- is only 5% or 3% or 2% or less, the impression is left able performance in architecture (i.e. as described that they cannot be achieved within market rate by objectives of Architecture 20302 and other constraints of schedule and budget. pathways to carbon neutrality) we must break this An unfortunate contributor to this pattern ‘finish line’ mentality and begin to create ‘future- is that many architects view the sustainable or directed’ buildings. By this I mean a more open- ‘green’ dimensions as add-ons to their building as ended architecture that is a facilitator of business/ usual. This attitude results in highly visible added technology flexibility and evolution of mission over costs that are often eliminated during the value- time. Among the strategic advantages of such a engineering process or give birth to yet another building: more costly ‘green’ building.18 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 19
  11. 11. The Johnson Hall of Science from day one and leaves the economic ‘room’ in the overall budget to deliver sustainable/envi- dimming/fully addressable lighting system as well as the project’s incorporation of the highest was awarded New Yorks first ronmental excellence at the benchmark (typical) costs for a building type in its region. This in no performance glazing system then available and sloping ceilings that create a much larger space LEED Gold certification for way precludes the client who wishes to provide for the light-filled labs. Saint Lawrence University a generous or experimental exemplar of sustain- took delivery of the first commercial installation of a university while keeping ability at whatever budget they choose, but such the PPG Solarban 70XL glass which exemplifies projects are the exception to the rule and the importance of the high-performance tracking construction costs 25% below will not provide the process at Croxton basis for a consensus Collaborative Archi- the regional benchmark. pathway forward. tects that facilitated this strategic upgrade This is a design chal- This is a design challenge of the during the construc- lenge of the first order and will determine if first order and will determine tion phase. sustainability in build- if sustainability in buildings can Beyond the LEED ings can emerge as a Guidelines and the high-value norm or will emerge as a high-value norm or economies of cost Dramatically continue to be in most cases “nice, if we could will continue to be in most cases per square foot is the daylit labs feature transparent hoods, strategic significance afford it.” “nice, if we could afford it.” of additional design optimum ceiling shapes for deep performance resulting daylighting and The new Johnson from the design team’s continuously Hall of Science, which dimming ceiling commitment to a Croxton Collaborative fixtures that capture process of continuous improvement. Following is the economy of the Architects recently completed for St. Lawrence a list of five specific attributes not currently incor- natural light. University in Canton, NY in collaboration with porated in LEED that serve to advance best sustain- Stubbins Associates, is an example of this able practice. ‘resourceful architecture’ and achieved the highest In the early days we envisioned that the LEED statewide levels of environmental performance framework would not only provide third party affir- for its building type. There were no illusions of mation and industry consensus, but would also extra money for ‘green’; on day one we were told act as “training wheels” to bring the practitioner’s that the University was interested in pursuing attention to the vast array of value-enhancing the project as LEED Certified (the lowest level of design strategies that are inherent in sustainability designation), “if we can afford it." and its ‘triple bottom line’ approach (more about that later). Once these potentials were identified, In March 2008, Johnson Hall of Science was we felt that architects would naturally move on to awarded LEED Gold, the first university building higher levels of sustainable performance in build- in the State of New York to achieve a Gold or Plat- ings. Unfortunately, in practice the LEED guide- inum LEED designation. The construction cost lines, like many a code reference before, have all for the building was $263/sq.ft. which is approxi- too often become a stopping point. Having taught mately 25% below the regional benchmark price a course, ‘Architecture and Sustainability’4 to for University Bio-Chemistry Teaching Labs.5 The architects over the last fourteen years, I have often surrounding images convey the slender wings heard the lament that the client does not want of the building (fully day lit) which form a large to spend a penny more than what is absolutely sheltered ‘outdoor’ room bounded on the south required to achieve a given LEED point. My own by a 2-story glass bridge. The entry lobby acts as experience is that the owner has no objections to a ‘solar observatory’ whose main feature is a full- these added values if they are achieved within the height, full-width solar clock/calendar (dial plate) project budget. against which a point of light traces the solar time of day and seasonal change by month. In order to have national impact and to under- take the challenge presented by ‘carbon-neutral‘ The exterior wall and glazing have been opti- buildings we must first be able to demonstrate mized for day lighting, glare control and thermal an overall ‘resourceful architecture’ which can performance at this extreme north latitude; be built at no net ‘green premium.’ That is to say, however, the composition and geometry are very a rigorously efficient and economical building straightforward and constructible. The economy concept that is integrated into the design process that flows from the simplified exterior wall and relatively spartan interior materials palette is South Elevation transferred over to the sophisticated full-range20 CATALYST Spring/Summer 2009 Spring/Summer 2009 CATALYST 21

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