Sustainable who?

massa critica | davide tommaso ferrando

A parametric starship in the middle of the desert presented as the ultimate level of environmentally friendly design. The ideology of sustainability has definitively reached its apex, hurray!

Let’s just highlight a couple of sentences from Dezeen’s article on this new project by Zaha Hadid, which by the way are recurrent propaganda in the market of sustainable design (but still very funny to read in relation to this project).

“Entirely powered by renewable energy sources” – I seriously doubt it but, even if, what about its construction?

“Parts of this skin and the building’s structure will have standard orthogonal dimensions, allowing them to be constructed from reclaimed materials sourced from local construction and demolition waste” – a part from the fact that in the renders I can’t spot a single straight line, what about the rest of the building?

“Zaha Hadid Architects will […] ensure the project minimises material wastage and energy consumption” – what does “minimise” mean, exactly? That it consumes and produces wastage less than what? An oil tanker?

But also, as Steve Rugare has correctly pointed out on facebook: what about the sustainability of the working conditions of those who will actually make this parametric dream come true?

Why don’t these people just stick to the obvious fact, that they simply want to design supercool shapes that are extremely expensive, complex and wasteful to build, and that’s it? Seriously, trying to sell these projects as sustainable is just sad.

Davide Tommaso Ferrando

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