Submitted by: Green Spaces
Posted: Oct 22, 2013 – 09:00 AM EST
KATHMANDU, Nepal, Oct. 22 /CSRwire/ - Architecture took on new challenges last week in Kathmandu, Nepal, during the 17th Annual Forum and 34th Council Meeting of ARCASIA, entitled ‘Spirituality in Architecture: Architecture and Image of the City. ‘Biodiversity is a fundamental concern of architecture and must be of architects’, proclaimed Dr. James Karl Fischer PhD to the Architectural Congress representing participation from 18 Asian Countries. ‘No longer can we be content with mitigating the effects of building from afar, such as global warming and ocean acidification. Rather, we also have to look at the effects our projects have upon wildlife in the immediate vicinity.’
The Congress grappled with two issues in this regard; the ecological effects of artificial night lighting and the impact of glazing on bird populations. Representing the ‘Save a Billion Birds™’ Campaign of The Zoological Lighting Institute, Dr. Fischer spoke of the ethical and spiritual challenges of allowing architecture to kill even a single bird, let alone the billion or so thought to die yearly in collisions with windows. Appealing to the vast and divergent architectural traditions of the 18 nations represented at ARCASIA, Dr. Fischer stressed the point that such deaths were in fact due to an aesthetic predilection for a vapid modernism without regional precedent. ‘ARCASIA traditions offer rich examples of glass-less architecture perfectly suitable to local climates and culture, that work well to maintain bird populations. Even where glass is thought to be necessary’, stated Dr. Fischer, ‘there is no reason why it could not be treated with exterior patterns so that it offers some protection for birds’.
‘Architects and developers must follow the lead of the United Nations within this Decade of Biodiversity’, argued Dr. Fischer. The United Nations Decade of Biodiversity (2011-2020) stresses the importance of maintaining biodiversity, especially for the poor and disadvantaged of the globe. For architecture, a service profession, providing design that accommodates and recognizes the interests of the voiceless is crucial. Architects have made incredible strides in reducing the energy consumption and waste of buildings over the past two decades, helping to mitigate emissions and conserve resources, but more is needed.
The discussion of biodiversity maintenance at ARCASIA, and bird-friendly design, marks a turning point for practice globally. Pr. David Parken, CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects, and Helene Combs Dreiling, FAIA, Elected 2013 First Vice President and 2014 President-Elect of the American Institute of Architects both attended the Forum, promising more to come on the subject of biodiversity through better architecture.
For more information, please contact:
For more from this organization:Green Spaces