Sustainable Built Environment Conference of the Americas
September 19 & 20, Toronto, Canada
Inspiring leadership from Keynote Speakers
Be inspired: these speakers will show you how they are reaching beyond ‘business as usual’ to address some of the most pressing challenges we face today to create resilient and regenerative urban environments.
Dr. Ray Cole, Director of the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability
University of British Columbia
Regenerative Development: Reframing the Role of Buildings
Monday Sept 19, 8:30 - 9:45 AM
The notion of regenerative development is gaining greater prominence as a more potent and comprehensive overarching framing for engaging environmental issues than currently provided by “green design.” Regenerative development promotes a coevolutionary, partnered relationship between sociocultural and ecological systems. In doing so, the act of building is reframed as providing a catalyst for positive change within the unique “place” it is situated and, through time, built form and infrastructure systems create multiple benefits. Importantly, rather than reducing destructive impacts, built projects, stakeholder processes and inhabitation are collectively focused on enhancing “life” in all its manifestations – human, other species, and ecological systems.
This presentation characterizes the emerging shift from current green building practices to regenerative approaches. It illustrates the associated new ambition that projects, in addition to satisfying their specific programmatic and performance requirements, are conceived from the outset as “adding value” to the larger social and urban metabolic systems in which they are set. By understanding and emphasizing this expanded role for buildings, seeing them as catalysts and active participants in the continual evolution of place, and accepting uncertainty in the outcomes such complex systems, inevitably will fundamentally change the current notions of what constitutes building performance and how it is measured.
Professor Marc Swackhamer
University of Minnesota School of Architecture & College of Design
“Hypernatural: Architecture’s New Relationship with Nature”
Monday Sept 19, 5 - 6 PM
Recent decades have witnessed the increasing popularity of nature-focused movements such as sustainability, biophilia, biomimicry, biodesign, and emergent design. These movements are dramatically altering the relationship between the designed environment and the natural world, and although overlaps exist, there is no common discourse that unites these areas of study. A holistic framework is therefore needed to address these disparate areas of inquiry, the full spectrum of their operations, and their common goals and methodologies. Hypernatural addresses the ways in which design increasingly works directly with natural processes—rather than against them—in order to amplify, extend, or exceed natural capacities.