In Search of an Ecological Architecture

A Retrospective on Green Building Philosophy

Drexel University – Interiors Graduate Thesis Research Paper

by Noelle Via

Advisor: Max Zahniser

Advisor’s Note:

Noelle Via Thesis Paper


Sustainability, the green movement, environmentalism; whatever you call it there’s clearly something more significant than a fad happening. The arc of even the most recent chapter of this movement can be tracked across several decades. Behind the recent explosion of unsubstantiated and irrelevant claims of environmental performance (aka greenwash) there’s a real demand for a shift in the way humans meet their own needs, and real progress is actually happening. Architecture history textbooks and courses usually lay out a series of cascading movements in thought and practice over millenia. How might our current movement be reflected upon in such media decades from now? In her graduate thesis research paper Noelle Via gives us a possible answer to this, and she finds an interesting evolving pattern of thought and approaches; trends whose trajectory into the future might point the way toward much more than just an eco-aesthetic, and perhaps toward a human society that meets its needs without obliterating its own life-support systems in the process. Her subsequent DESIGN thesis, The EDEN Project, explores an example of what built environment development or redevelopment might look like in this future paradigm which she has found just beginning to emerge.

Click the cover image above to access her research paper.

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