Throughout history, the built environment has mediated between the natural world and human experience. The way humans experience and perceive environmental conditions is due in large part to the way architecture is designed. For example, the primitive thick rock walls and grass roofs at the Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae in Orkney provided warmth and protection from icy Atlantic winds; Philip Johnson’s Glass House in Connecticut bridges feelings of being both outside and inside at the same time; and DS+R's Blur Building at the 2002 Swiss Expo immersed people in an ever-changing atmosphere of fog. Each design harnesses an aspect of the weather in order to create a specific human experience.
UN Sustainable Development Goal #3 focuses on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, including the prevention and treatment of noncommunicable diseases such as mental health disorders. In achieving this goal, architecture has an important role to play, and one that extends well beyond simply providing shelter.
Using the Scottish bothy as our unit of scale and Scottish weather as our inspiration, students in this Discovery Course will design architectural interventions that address our complex (and tenuous) psychological relationship with climate. Can we create structures that harness, interact with, and respond to specific weather conditions in order to promote positive mental health and wellbeing? Designing for a sustainable future requires us to build more intentionally and with a greater purpose beyond just physical expansion. Exploring this piece of the puzzle will expose students to new ways of thinking about space and our interconnectedness with the natural world.
Architecture + Urban Design
UN Sustainable Development Goals:
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being