Are Schools of Architecture on a Collision Course with 2030?

As UofT unveils its new school of architecture with a beautiful addition and renovation of the historic 1 Spadina Crescent, it begs the question; where is architectural design headed in these auspicious times?

It’s as if the Architecture Landscape and Design department never spoke to the department of Applied Science and Engineering as we face the rapidly approaching 2030 Challenge. Most scientists are pretty concerned about the fate of the natural world, so what’s happening in the Department of Achitecture? Unless all of our energy comes from renewable resources or we discover some radically new building materials, the tenets of Passive House design stand: Build an elegant, but simply shaped building with restraint on glazing.

In this context, it is hard to reconcile the realities of climate change and the mock-ups on display in the school of architecture. Of course, students should indulge their passions and unleash their creativity, but I do hope grading takes into account the energy performance of these designs.

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I give this one points for beauty, but the shape maximises surface area.

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