DETROIT–In this segment of the M2TechCast/MITechNews.tv, Andrea Bogart, manager of Lawrence Technological University’s Detroit Center for Design + Technology, talks about how the pandemic prompted the center to take a planned lecture and exhibit series on sustainability in architecture virtual.
The series, called “Yeah, What Lester Said,” is centered on the work of designer Lester Brown, who one of the great pioneer environmentalists” and one of Marquis Who’s Who “50 Great Americans”. Earning his master’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Maryland in 1959, he went on to pioneer the concept of sustainable development. During his distinguished career, he was presented with the 1987 United Nations Environment Prize, the 1989 World Wide Fund for Nature Gold Medal, and the 1994 Blue Planet Prize for his “contributions to solving global environmental problems.”
The next event in the lecture series is “We CAN build a carbon neutral world — here’s how,” a livestreamed panel discussion at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday, July 29. For more information, visit https://detroit.design/lester.html.
Climate change is no longer an abstract idea that might happen sometime in the distant future: it is upon us now and its effects can be felt via enormous storms, serious drought and massive flooding here in the Midwest. We know that climate change exacerbates disease, famine, and conflict, and the human costs only increase along with CO2 concentrations and temperatures. By 2100, rising oceans are estimated to force as many as 2 billion residents of coastal areas worldwide to migrate toward higher ground and agriculture yields in huge swaths of the Midwest will decline by 50 percent or more if we don’t cut emissions.
The threat climate change poses is existential, and architecture is one of the key drivers—even more so than that stock culprit, the automobile. Buildings consume some 40 percent of the energy in the United States annually. Construction and its related trades are responsible for nearly half of the carbon emissions in the U.S. and astonishingly, out of the 20,000 architecture firms in the U.S., only some 400 are participating in the AIA’s 2030 Commitment to carbon neutrality by 2030.
This exhibit asks, “What are the ways our industry is currently working to combat warming challenges, what building improvements have surfaced that can stall or reverse our environmental predicament, and what role does design and construction play in this new environment with civilization facing issues of a rapidly changing climate?”
The DCDT–collaborating with the American Institute of Architects-Michigan, 2030 District Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, activist artists, green infrastructure experts, and Architects–and its curatorial partner, Embrace Creatives, are bringing this absolutely necessary conversation to the forefront before it’s too late.
The exhibition and related events will explain environmental dangers while discussing ideas to create productive relationships between local problems, individual and corporate accountability, and the urgent environmental challenges posed by global warming. The show hopes to spur action via data driven art exhibits, films, sustainable architecture showcase and industry and community conversations. –
The Detroit Center for Design + Technology is the public presence of LTU College of Architecture and Design’s transdisciplinary programs on the Woodward Corridor.
The DCDT acts as an inclusive platform for the advancement of Detroit’s educational, economic and engagement efforts with regard to design, technology and social innovation. The DCDT aligns with local initiatives, programs and organizations that foster and expand the role that design and technology play within our community, growing industry and education.