NAi debate : Sustainability After Zero

Thursday 19 March

From wacko hippy-esk ideology, ‘sustainability’, or ‘eco-friendly’, or ‘green’ has now become globally accepted. But, as what? As an environmental urgency, as a political issue, as a technical problem, as a historical destiny, or as a new world order? And with which consequences?

The sustainability consensus is dangerous, since the concept has no political content and can be used for any cause. Carbon neutrality and zero emissions are like magic formulas, cover ups for complicated ethical questions about the inequalities in our societies. Architecture is called to rescue the planets future with eco-cities and sustainable design but what is this future is rarely discussed.

We invite you to join us in the examination of sustainability, and answer questions as: whose, what kind of and sustainability in which way? Help us setting the zero point, and let’s search for the strategies after zero and plan more sustainable furtures.

An expert meeting
Experts design Zero Point Manifesto for Sustainability
With Stefano Boeri, Arjen Oosterman, Piet Vollaard, Marjetica Portc and others

10.30 – 12.00 Discussion session
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch
13.00 – 14.30 Writing session

A public debateBy host Ole Bouman

20.10 – 20.30
‘Planning Sustainability after Zero’
Stefano Boeri on Sustainable Utopias and Dystopias
Moving away from the anthropocentric observation of the urban condition, Stefano Boeri understands non-growth and human retreat as producing valuable urban eco-systems. Reforestation protects natural zones and green corridors shelter animals from the anthropocentric world. These potentially create new ways of exchange between wildlife and human beings.

20.30 – 20.50
‘Searching Sustainability after Zero’
Marjetica Potrc on Sustainable strategies after urban crisis
Places where 20th century modernism failed have articulated new dialog
between rural and urban. New rural – urban coexistence is at the core of the existential concerns of contemporary society. Marjetica Potrc will give examples from her research projects in Amazonia, New Orleans, Detroit and the Nieuw West neighborhood of Amsterdam.

20.50 – 21.00

21.00 – 21.15

21.15 – 21.45

21.45 – 22.00
‘Manifesto presentation’
Arjen Oosterman

Marjetica Potrc
Marjetica Potrc is a Ljubljana-based artist and architect. She is best
known for her on-site projects using participatory design, her drawing
series, and her architectural case studies. Her work has been
exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the Americas.

Stefano Boeri
Stefano Boeri is an architect and director of Boeri Studio and editor in chief of the magazine Abitare. Boeri teaches urban design at the Milan Polytechnic, he is visiting professor at the Harvard Design School and he is the founder of the research agency Multiplicity. Previously he worked as editor in chief of Domus magazine.

Arjen Oosterman
Arjen Oosterman is editor-in-chief and publisher of Volume, an independent quarterly magazine that sets the agenda for design. By going beyond architecture’s definition of ‘making buildings,’ it reaches out for global views on designing environments, advocates broader attitudes to social structures, and reclaims the cultural and political significance of architecture. Created as a global idea platform to voice architecture any way, anywhere, anytime, it represents the expansion of architectural territories and the new mandate for design.


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  • This blog functions as a platform for thinking out loud on the evasive concept of 'sustainability’. Volume and Abitare both draw from their own experience and visions in an attempt to reassess what is at stake.
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  • OUT NOW: Volume #18 – After Zero

    Sustainability according to Volume: After Zero is not about design inspired by the fear of tsunamis or Katrinas, but proposes an understanding of our society beyond zero. CHECK IT OUT

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