In an excellent article published earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal asked four top-notch architectural firms — William McDonough + Partners, Cook + Fox, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, and Mouzon Design — to throw all the boring old concerns of present-day building (budget, technology, aesthetics, practicality) to the wind and to create what they imagine a sustainable, energy-efficient home of the future will look like (within reason, of course).
I’m not going to regurgitate each work of remarkable futurism here but encourage that you check them out yourself. Afterwards, come back and indulge me with an answer to this question: Which of the four designs resonates most deeply with you?
There are aspects of each design that I really dig (love the chickpea and tomato façade of the Rios Clementi Hale Studios house) but it’s Mouzon Design's SmartDwelling I (see above) that sticks with me. We often get caught up trying to out-innovate each other but with this specific design, ancient energy-efficient building techniques like “breeze chimneys” play just as an important role as newer technologies like solar paneling.
Remember, “old” does not necessarily equal “bad” or “non-energy-efficient.” We have a lot to learn from old-school (and by old-school I mean really old school) building practices and SmartDwelling I is here to remind us of that. This is my first encounter with Mouzon Design's concept of "Original Green" (vs. "Gizmo Green") and I'm very impressed.
Image: Mouzon Design