Introduction to Laka Perspectives Vol. 02 (2019)
Originally published by Laka Reacts (Fundacja Laka) in 2019.
It is a law of physics that for every action there has to be an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, anything and everything we do has consequences. This is also true for the built environment, as is apparent in the diverse perspectives brought together by Laka in this publication. Though the topics vary greatly, from clean energy plants as land art to bio-fashion to facades, they share an understanding of the role of architecture, design, and technology to catalyse positive reactions in the world; reactions that inevitably ripple across social, political, and environmental landscapes.
The world is changing faster than ever before, not least with the addition of the digital environment, which is a realm still vastly unexplored. Just as we are learning the impact of the built environment on nature and people, we will see new consequences brought on by the implementation of ubiquitous technology. As we develop, invent, and progress, we must remember ourselves as humans, as living beings formed by years of evolution, one small action and reaction at a time.
In the interview “Recycling old designs”, Dr. Lydia Kallipoliti reflects:
“The physiology of our bodies is intricately enmeshed in the ecology of habitation and how we occupy living environments and cities.”
While we can create artificial settings, we are not ourselves artificial, and the things we need to thrive — sunlight, nourishment, movement, rest, human interaction — are all of the living world. Certainly, we can invent ways to overcome these challenges, but would it not, as many of the contributors of this compilation suggest, be both easier and better to use the built and digital environments to enhance and complement, rather than replace, natural processes and practices? This publication is rich with projects that showcase the opportunity to create designs that are contextual, dynamic, and reactive, that inspire new ecologies and synergies at the intersection of both the natural, built, and digital realms.
The interconnectedness between architecture, design, and technology and wider societal and environmental conditions is clear, and yet it is remarkable that the thoughtfulness and sense of responsibility expressed in these essays and interviews do not echo the current norms of the industry.
“Do we really want to invest for a better world?” asks Arturo Vittori in his interview “Vision for a sustainable future”, pointing out the financial aspects (and often barriers) of turning good ideas into necessary action.
When you have read Laka Perspectives Vol. 02, you will further ask: can we afford not to?