Arch Fest 2020 closes with emphasis on sustainability
2020 marks the 15th anniversary of North South University (NSU)’s Architecture department. The Department of Architecture celebrated this milestone with Arch Fest 2020. The 3-day program which began on February 27, took place on campus, featuring a three day long Architecture competition.
On the final day of the event, faculty member Marina Tabassum discussed the program and explained why it is necessary for future architects to be environmentally conscious.
Marina Tabassum is an award-winning architect who has been practising since 2005. She is the principal architect of Marina Tabassum Architects.
During her presentation Marina opened the floor by referring to the current global concern about the outbreak of the corona virus. Using that as a springboard, she shifted focus to another disease that isn’t causing enough concern, despite having a bigger impact. She calls the disease, Affluenza, an affliction of wealth and capitalism. Since the nature of demand is so strong, capitalist take charge of supply, and the symptoms include social disparity and pollution.
“Where there is demand, there is supply and with that capitalism is orchestrated.” The presentation then centred around the contribution of construction to the huge climate crisis plaguing the planet at present. “50% of the pollution is contributed to climate change by the construction industry,” she stated. Nature and earth both need time to rest and re-grow. To connect this to the theme of Arch Fest, Marina states “Architecture is not about the buildings anymore. It is beyond that. It is about the environment. So before making anything, ask yourself is it really necessary?” She tells the future architects to practice the 6Rs in this field: re-cycling, re-using, re-thinking, refusing, reducing and repairing.” Because it is the future generation that has to deal with what is present now. Thus it is the architect’s social responsibility to act on it.