Hosts: Yoshioka-Bunko Foundation  Shinkenchiku-sha Co., Ltd.

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June 1, 2020
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What should 21st century architecture do? The world’s population will rise to 9.3 billion by 2050. Most of them, if we can believe the prognoses, will live in big cities. Some will live in megacities with up to 100 million inhabitants. At the same time, cities are responsible for 80% of carbon dioxide emissions. In the future, we will require an urban building culture that allows for incredibly dense living. Tokyo, Shanghai or New York are well-functioning contemporary examples. Or do we require a new mode of thinking in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and the social distancing that ensued? Current events illustrate the vulnerability of such megacities.

There is one certainty, however. We must create buildings and dwellings that allow for us to live in harmony with this planet’s resources again. 50% of the world’s waste and a large part of its energy consumption are caused by constructing and operating buildings. As architects, we can make a decisive difference.

In our efforts to build sustainably, we have focused on purely technical issues for a long time. Today, we must embrace a holistic view. I coined the term ‘supergreen’, denoting projects where the highest sustainability rating are self-evident, and, where aspects are promoted that indirectly count as ‘green’. In ever denser cities, public spaces – or more abstractly formulated – social questions are of essential importance to me. Think about how good architecture can find new answers! The time has come to question the status quo. I am looking forward to unconvential competition entries.

Christoph Ingenhoven