Enschede’s design principles aren’t new. As far back as the 1970s, Edward Mazria also proposed something similar in his book, The Passive Solar Energy Book: A complete Guide to Passive Solar Home, Greenhouse and Building Design. Enschede’s core work concerns climate response, energy efficiency, and how to implement these principles in all of his design work. He has used these principles in his proposal, “The Ten Step Program to End Energy Addiction” for the Metropolis Next Generation Design Competition where he participated in designing a government building in LA.
Here he creates a low-tech daylight distribution layout, which uses the vast amount of visible light contained in direct sunlight. He proposes that instead of depending on “band-aids” like automated interior blinds and sensor/control systems, which do not address the specific underlying problems in office buildings, one instead use sunlight distribution methods to better align with seasonal sun positions.
Enschede’s main concern with environmental sustainability efforts is to make the planet a better place for humans. “Most conversations are centered around the earth but not on preserving humans. I prefer the word sustainable because it’s more specific and tangible.” Enschede states that in regards to human interaction with nature, we need to bring “back that awareness, that understanding of our inseparability from our environment is an important part of sustainability that I don’t ever hear discussed.”
Yet despite these modern day shortcomings, in his “Manifesto for New York City” he writes, “New York can lead the way for America, and America can lead the way for the rest of the world.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Images © Ryan Enschede