Monday, April 30, 2007

It's something ugly buildings say

Does being green automatically make a building beautiful, or does what's on the outside count too? The Washington Post gives a little thought to the question of whether looks matter here.

And because beauty and inspiration are one of the 16 prerequisites that have to be met for projects to become uber-sustainable Living Buildings (through the Cascadia Region Green Building Council's Living Building Challenge), the question also came up during last week's Cascadia/AIA Seattle Living Future conference.

General feeling: buildings aren't just beautiful because they're green. But while a beauty and inspiration brainstorming session churned up a lot of "what is beauty?" "who can define what beauty is?" and "does beauty even exist?" Philosophy 101-type questions, it also turned up a lot of questions about how something that can't necessarily be planned or touched can be proved during a certification process.

Awesome solution: Building must give one in 50 visitors the chills, bring one in 300 visitors to tears, inspire one in 1,000 visitors to break into interpretive dance on sight, etc. etc.

Even more awesome solution: Can't beauty just be the one thing that doesn't get a hundred-item checklist and a pile of paperwork?

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