¿Qué quiere la gente? ¡Eco-Porn!

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Hace unos meses tuve el honor de ser invitado por Reality Cues —aquel prestigioso think tank gestor de futuros arquitectónicos— a redactar un ensayo para la edición inaugural de su revista Tropes, entitulada The Eco-Porn Issue. Y dice:

Tropes: The Eco-Porn Issue is the first in a series of manuals that will investigate tropes in architectural representation. Through open competitions and invited submissions, Reality Cues presses architects to explore the techniques and conventions upon which architects rely to communicate ideas concerning space, form and use, with a special concentration on the visualization of contemporary social values systems. Reality Cues hopes to amass a collection of exemplary tropes, analyze their value, and re-disseminate them to be exploited smartly and with precision.

One of the foremost responsibilities of architects today is to address the issue of sustainability. For some, this expectation has inspired the design of ingenious biological and renewable energy systems; for others, it has created pressure to make architecture that merely looks sustainable, aka “eco-porn.” Both categories use the same representational tropes to proclaim a message of greenness and social responsibility, allowing the use of eco-porn to proliferate unchecked. What is it about these tropes that allow us to trick others and ourselves into believing that what looks sustainable is sustainable? Is there value in delusion?

Pues mi propia copia tangible me llegó en el correo ayer y oh que si es una cosa bella. Táctil y texturizada tipografía en el más violento verde flúor sobre un fondo negro papel de construcción, y adentro un popurrí de hojas full color satinado tiro y retiro y en una tinta sobre papel verde menta. Si yo fuera ustedes estaría apretando BUY NOW es ahora mismo. Por si no están convencidos, todo el volumen está ojeable gracias a la magia del issu.

Pero por mientras, y para que quede eternamente tallado en los anales del google, les presento a continuación mi modesto aporte al proyecto, que es básicamente una retahíla de referencias pop pasadas de moda y puyas injustificadas. Espero que les guste.

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It’s not Easy Being Green

a thoughtful essay by Darién Montañez.

Green Grow the Rushes, O. What kind of architect do you want to be when you grow up, little Johnny? Gosh, a green architect, well of course! It is the way of the future! It is the ultimate solution, the only way out!

We all have seen these green architectures, with their living walls and their shortgrass prairie roofs and their solar panels and their graywater recycling systems and their smug, smug smiles. But who are these architects who build us these chlorophyllic edifices? Who are the Greens we talk about?

Gang Colors are nothing new in Architecture. Any alumnus of Chromatic Architectural History 101 surely remembers the fable of the Whites and the Grays: each band more charismatic and prolific than the other; each with a heritage whose name is legion; each led and defined by a loud, loquacious champion—a maidenhead, a prophet, a messiah—Meier (or was it Eisenman?) and Venturi.

Our Greens, on the other hand, lack a leader. And, most importantly, they lack a rival band. Without it, they’re a one-sided dichotomy, which is the ultimate oxymoron. In their effort to define themselves in contrast to the Other, they have placed themselves across the slash from every one of us. Are they the alternative? Are we the enemy?

Just like with every previous stylistic epithet, be it postmoderns or deconstructivists, nobody likes being called a Green in public. Nevertheless, and just like in those previous occasions, the term has become firmly ingrained in our collective imagination and colloquial language. We’re all like, green architecture this, green architecture that. But, can you actually name a green architect? Have you seen one? Are you one of them?

The greens are a collective that isn’t. They who shall not be named. In their shameless flaunting of their modesty, they have achieved anonymity, invisibility. Green Architecture is an Architecture not of Heroes, but of martyrs. Cannon fodder for decadent capitalism.

There is a storm coming. Which side are you on? On the greener other side of the fence, perchance?

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