Gallery: INTERVIEW: Mark Wigley on Greening Architecture Schools


Buildings account for almost half (48%) of all greenhouse-gas emissions annually. This oft-repeated statistic highlights what many architects and designers have long realized: the building industry has a profound impact on the state of our environment. But is environmental awareness really making enough inroads into the curriculum of design schools, in the places where it could potentially have the most impact on the future of the industry? While environmental design isn’t nearly as entrenched as it should be into the core curriculums of design schools, students seem to be clamoring to learn more about this topic and are demanding new classes and are shaping their own academic paths. To discuss the future of greening architecture schools, we sat down with Mark Wigley, dean of Columbia’s GSAPP, to talk about the changes currently taking place. Read on to hear what Mark Wigley has to say about sustainable design.

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  1. gogreennow April 3, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    This is an awesome article! everyone should go green!

  2. simon seasons November 22, 2007 at 2:12 am

    ooh yeah, Mark Wigley. I have a tendency to rant on this topic (and many others) but this topic especially, but i just don’t care what people think anymore. The earth needs me and human culture is too beautiful to me to let it slide for want of looking and sounding like a ranter.
    So good to here that a man of your ilk is in the halls of acadamie at last. I know the Vietnam war silneced for a long time the idea that there was virtue in enviromental design. I don’t fully understand why but i think it has to do with some wierd attempt to be so apolitical that anything on the left was seen, including all and any aspoect of ESdesign, as some sort of capitulation by anyone on the right. Like salt in that ghastly wound of the war that not only consumed so many fine young men and a generation of hope but even the very idea of virtuous, sensitive, earth empathetic design.
    What a pity that you mention professors who feel able, (is it liberated perhaps?) to revisit ecological awareness in the built enviroment at last. I fully empathise now that I am over forty and ranting as much as I please. Their energy wasted in a three decade hiatus of passion. Dera stifled professors, your time has arrived.
    Now I understand why so many structures from those thirty years look egotistical. For what else is left when you cannot referance your soul for want of being polite to those who are grieving and you cannot referance the world around you for want of looking like a hippy for caring enough about the earth to design with it in mind.

    Dear Jill, could you please post this article to ‘butterpaper forum’. I am still not totally familiar with computers or i’d do it myself.

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