Quote of the Day: Jack Diamond on Beauty in Economy


Jack Diamond of Diamond + Schmitt Architects has always produced elegant but restrained work. He suggests that it is more appropriate for these times.

"You can build structures that are both dramatic and sustainable. Consider Buckminster Fuller's domes that were designed to have the smallest ratio of structural steel to the area enclosed or load supported. He was looking at an elegant way to use the least amount of material. Fifty years ago, he explored a dramatic and sustainable path to the future, a path followed by relatively few."
Sally Borden Building, Banff Centre.

"The world is changing quickly and industry has been slow to adapt. The automobile industry, with all its resources, and research and development, was suddenly, and perhaps fatally, revealed as a dinosaur, unable or unwilling to adjust. The building industry should not follow suit.

There isn't a shortage of technologies. The automobile industry had dozens of alternatives that were either ignored or tentatively explored (Henry Ford had intended the Model T to run on ethanol; the electric car is more than a century old). The building trade has dozens of options that are underutilized or deemed too experimental or expensive. But the cost of a building has to be considered, not just in its initial construction, but in its maintenance, and the resources it consumes.

There is recognition that the resources of the planet are not inexhaustible, that the environment's ability to replenish itself must not be pushed beyond a point of no return. It is now an existential question."

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