Friday, March 18, 2011

The Short Leg of the Stool

A three-legged stool is often used as a metaphor for sustainability.  Although the legs are described in a variety of ways, they are generally some derivation of: environmental friendliness, economic vitality, and social responsibility.  For the last several months, I've been researching the social responsibility aspect, which in America seems to be milled from the short end of the stick.  While there are no doubt initiatives to enhance social responsibility (particularly in the private sector), even those initiatives are often driven by balancing the environment and economy.

We've all seen and read about interesting environmentally friendly architecture.  Yesterday, I read about an example of socially responsible architecture by the firm of Leddy Maytum Stacy and their design for the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, CA.  Metropolis Magazine's write-up of the design, discusses social justice and spacial equality.  While it mentions the environmental aspects of the building, the architects seemed to spend a large amount of time on ensuring that it is socially responsible.  Or as William Leddy states in the article "Everyone deserves to experience a thoughtfully made place."

Jon Rosenbloom


Reprodcued with permission from Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects

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