This is a call to action.
Be the change you wish to see.
I’m on a mission to change the world with architecture and urban design. Can you imagine a world where cities are designed by the people who live in them, these self-sustaining urban ecosystems? Urbanclimatecatalyst.com is where you can read all about the vision I have for architecture which rises up to this challenge. Check out citysanadora.com to learn about the nonprofit I’ve set up to do just this.
I think we are blessed to live in a time when humans are just waking up to the truth of what it means to live love and be united as one peaceful planet. I think we are collectively realizing that in order to end wars, we can’t simply send all our bombs and weapons off to the moon, some kind of real change has to occur at the very core of how we live our lives.
We are so privileged to be witnessing a collective spiritual awakening, a global paradigm shift from scarcity to abundance. The 2030 Agenda created by the United Nations in 2015 is an example of that, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Humans are evolving beyond the belief that only the water, oil, gas, and minerals of the Earth are abundant and endless. We are realizing the finite nature of these resources and recognizing the infinite abundance of the non-material: love, unity, wealth.
The future starts now.
Scientists and economists are studying happiness and valuing sensitivity instead of perpetuating the status quo of depression and mindless consumerism. The growing mindfulness movement shows us that humanity is open to choosing the beauty that awaits us in the present moment instead of living in constant fear or anxiety about the past and future. In spite of capitalism, mindful living is catching on in the West.
For decades we have been watching the steady increase in the number of people who appreciate how lovingly Mother Nature supports and provides for us. People are choosing a future where instead of fighting against nature and struggling to survive “in spite of it,” we will prefer to make the most of the natural processes around us (i.e. sun, wind, core temperature, water cycle). Our man made systems and chemicals will become occasional allies instead of the default as the permaculture movement is showing us.
Whether by choice or necessity we will stop consuming resources just to prove we can. Instead of trying to achieve some greed-driven goal of wealth or superiority, we are collectively slowing down and becoming mindful of our actions and reactions.
It is inevitable that as people return to love consciousness they will gain an increased respect for the Earth from which we all come.
This is the part where architecture comes into play…
…because it works the other way too. As more respect is cultivated for the Earth, more people return to love consciousness, which starts a chain reaction of love and respect. The buildings, streets, and spaces where we live, work, and play are quietly sending messages to us all day long. In the city they say, “you are a machine, not of this earth or connected to nature.” In the suburbs they say, “look how man can control nature.” In the country they have turned their back on nature, “you uneasily coexist beside the wild.”
I want architects to take a stand.
America, the world’s most recently urbanized nation which has unwittingly become the template for the Earth’s future cities, must first take responsibility for the leadership it has unwittingly inherited through its claims of superiority as “leader of the free world.”
In 2014, buildings in the USA accounted for:
- 36% of total energy use
- 65% of electricity consumption
- 30% of greenhouse gas emissions
- 30% of raw materials use and
- 30%t of waste output (136 million tons annually; Source)
Architects have a direct ability to affect the physical and psychological health of entire societies through the act of designing and modifying the city.
We need to start building a future lived in love consciousness now.
In the future, cities will produce energy instead of consume it, emit clean air instead of pollute it, use recycled materials, consume less electricity, and best of all, cities will treat waste instead of creating it.
If this sounds idealistic, ask yourself why.
These are all things we already know how to do with our buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces. Seriously, I have a five-year accredited degree in all of it. We already have the technology to live in these fantastic cities, all that remains is to ask ourselves when the designers and politicians with the power to create them will choose to step up and raise their voices.
Architects have the knowledge and skills to design spaces at all scales and the responsibility to use those skills for the greater good.
By 2050 Latin America will reach 60% urbanization, the same level Europe has already reached today, and the two billion new people who will call Earth home by that time will be living in cities in the now-developing world. In cities where 50% of the urban population now lives without access to reliable water, sewage, or electricity lines, we are going to need homes for two billion people. There is no time to waste on thoughts of “not my problem” and “this is how it’s always been done.” It’s our problem and no, it has not. Unhealthy architecture is a modern invention.
Let’s not screw this up.
Now is the time to plant the seeds of the grass roots efforts which will produce true conscious global change.
Designers must work with, not just for communities.
Long-distance, one-size-fits-all projects are no longer applicable. The designer must be in and of the community being designed, this is why capacity-building is the key. I traveled to Peru to research a thesis that demonstrates this. Healthy and resilient networks of people and spaces are designed by architects who work with, not for people. Go to urbanclimatecatalyst.com to read about this or visit one of my other pages.
You can find some of my independent design work here. I’ve taken these experiences and many others from both the private and public sector and created a nonprofit design group called Sanadora Collaborative.
Join the team!
Each of us is on a path, our own personal journey to which we’ve given the name “life.” Although opinions vary on the duration of that life, it is generally agreed that you only get one at a time. Our paths have crossed in this moment and I think we should make the most of it! I need the kindling of your mind in the fire pit of the here and now to make the flame that will change the world.
I am currently seeking the right group(s) to collaborate on funding and manifesting the Urban Climate Catalyst for slums in Lima, Peru. Potential partners are warmly encouraged to contact me via the comments or by email below.
I love challenges, so I am here in this blogspace to stir the creative embers and capture those sparks that happen when ideas collide.
I love you. Please join me.