Ideology of sustainable architecture: a critique

Yalman, Onur Lami
The general consensus on Sustainable Architecture is that, it is the cure for the ecological crisis. However, neither sustainability, nor architecture exists in a vacuum, free of any connection to political struggle. Therefore, a thorough research must be conducted in order to uncover the roots of sustainability, and its relations to architecture. The objective of this thesis is to form a critique of sustainable architecture, and propose an emancipatory ecological architectural praxis. Current understanding of nature can be defined as a bourgeois ideology shaped by Kantian dualism, directly influencing the mainstream definition of ‘Sustainable Development’ in the Brundtland Report, released in 1987. This ideology of nature brings with it a misguided sense of development which locates technology at its core. The belief that technology will solve all of the world’s problems is a mere treatment of the symptom, whereas the real disease remains untouched. The thesis analyses the problem of sustainability from three distinct points of view: Marxist, Eco-Socialist and Green Capitalist perspectives. As a result of this analysis, the thesis aims to propose a radical and holistic approach to sustainable architecture, which is essential in forming a sustainable architectural praxis.