The time for action is now. All of us living on this earth must contribute as best we can to looking after it. But as architects and engineers, designers and facilitators, our contribution is a very direct one. For our contribution to be positive and decisive there has to be a radical and profound change in the way we approach design. We are no better than our forefathers but it is clear that up until now we have been designing in a manner that has often been irresponsible. FROM NOW ON is about drawing a line: up to now we have done it this way, from now on we need to design in a radically different way. Therefore it is about the knowledge and discernment needed to get it right this time. Better knowledge of materials is not enough. To fit in with the ways of Nature is good but also not enough. We are Nature. We are the most rational part of nature. The radical change that is needed now comes from this awareness.
AAction Lunchtime lectures convene critical thoughts from within the Architectural Association and beyond, spurring discussion around issues central to a climatologically relevant pedagogy.
Javier Castañón is Head of Environmental and Technical Studies at the AA. He has degrees from Manchester (BArch) Architectural Association (AA Dip) and Universidad de Granada, Spain (PhD), and has taught at the AA since 1978 as well as at other schools in the UK and abroad. He is a practising architect in private practice as director of Castanon Associates (London) and Castañón Asociados (Madrid). His interests are innovation and invention in the process of the architectural project, reticulated and folding structures and reinforced ceramics.