Sustainability and the Expanding Role of the Architect

Sunday 1st June 2014

Event starts in:

7 weeks 4-6 hours of work / week 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Forum Info


Vitruvius in his “Ten Books of Architecture” stipulates that the “architect should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning”. Throughout millennia, architecture has defined itself based on its ability to distill its ontological questions from the contemporary epistemological paradigms. Thus amalgamating its fundamental tenets inherently into the fabric of culture. With the advent of the sustainability as an emerging paradigm, challenging the existing global economic and social frameworks, it became inevitable for architecture to respond. However, before we delineate the expanding role of architects we have to first acknowledge a comprehensive definition of sustainability. This comprehensive formulation necessitates the combination of four distinct but correlative operational domains; ecology, economy, society, and technology. In this new articulation, sustainable design as an inclusive paradigm may manifest itself through the creation of viable, equitable, and livable, communities using appropriate technologies. Models of practice of architecture outside the client-consultant service exemplar have existed for a long time. However, they remained peripheral until the age of sustainability. The lecture will introduce the extended definition of sustainability as a framework under which the emerging new roles architects may be observed and identified.


Adil Sharag
Associate Professor

Adil Sharag-Eldin, Ph.D. LEED Accredited Professional is an associate professor of Architectural Sciences at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State University. He has over 25 of experience as a building scientist in the area of high-performance design, renewable energy use in buildings. He has researched and published extensively in the areas of air movement in enclosed spaces and its impact on the health and comfort of building occupants. Dr. Sharag-Eldin has taught the subject of environmental control systems and high building performance for over 15 years. As a sustainability consultant he worked with major universities in the Middle East. He wrote the sustainability design guidelines for a 20 million sq. ft. industrial incubator project in King Saud University and is working with King Abdul Aziz University in developing their green campus initiative. In 2008 he was invited by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Ministry of Higher Education) and acted as a an expert to review and recommend sustainability guidelines for the third expansion project of Grand Mosque in Mecca. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and his Master of Science form the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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