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Nature_and_Environment.91

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Ethical architecture

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{Nature_and_Environment.91.1}: ... {wren1111} Tue, 20 Feb 2007 01:32:50 EST (HTML)

Ethical architecture "http://www.missoulanews.com/News/News.asp?no=6293"

Ethics is often presented as a question of what should be done; for Borgmann, it is also a question of what should be built. “There is a tangible and material side to [ethics]…We make things like North Reserve or the river corridor and ethics gets built into material objects. I think there’s little consciousness of how that happens and consequently we often do the wrong thing—I should say we make the wrong thing.”

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{Nature_and_Environment.91.2}: ... {wren1111} Tue, 02 Oct 2007 01:12:22 EDT (HTML)

How Can We Build Again in Beautiful Places? "http://www.intbau.org/essay13.htm"

Specialist cultures have not been imposed as some sort of totalitarian regime upon an unsuspecting populace. We arrived where we are as a result of a string of choices that were made, all of which seemed to make sense at the time, beginning many years ago. Some even argue that the tide of history swells inexorably from the general to the specific. Clearly, the great achievements of the past century would have been impossible without specialists. Neither jet airplanes nor electron microscopes would ever have been developed in a culture populated only with subsistence farmers, of course. So by advocating for a vernacular system of architecture, do we become Luddites that call for nothing other than a simple agrarian existence?

Not at all. It should be possible for a single culture to support specialists that do the things that only specialists can do, while at the same time supporting vernacular systems that operate well without specialists. If six million people come this year to visit the Tuscan hill town of Pienza that was built by medieval farmers, then it clearly can be argued that specialists are not required to build places that bring great delight. Some may point out that the great Renaissance masters were without doubt specialists, but while they were clearly geniuses, they were also still part of a traditional system that spanned from the vernacular to the classical.

As a matter of fact, popular trends are answering this question for us. Look at the number of people in the US that are building pieces or sometimes all of their own houses. Home Depot and Lowe's aren't doing a booming business with conventional builders, but with homeowners. As a matter of fact, the builders don't even like these establishments most of the time because they are populated with people who aren't using builders. Look also at trends in health care, where increasing numbers of people are treating themselves with natural remedies rather than going to the doctor for every ache or scratch. Health food stores were considered by many people to be the province of "kooks" thirty years ago. Not anymore. Other aspects of culture are following.

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{Nature_and_Environment.91.3}: ... {wren1111} Mon, 17 Mar 2008 11:47:46 EDT (HTML)

SUVs Without Wheels "http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/13/7650/"

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