CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 ECHOES.PARIS, Sébastien Perrault+

Vegetal ETI

Competition - projects with attention to climatic and environmental context of the future


  • However, when the building design industry talks about efficiency, it almost exclusively means operational efficiency: a measure of a building's ability to provide functionality, comfort and amenity whilst minimising energy use and other forms of environmental impac
    • Are high-tech, highly efficient buildings actually sustainable?
    • Are there better ways to achieve more sustainable efficiencies?
    • Are we really looking in the right place for them?
  • Drawing lessons from this, perhaps the simplest and most obvious design response is for us to adapt our buildings to capitalise as much as possible on everything the site and its local environment have to offer
  • It is also a call for us to re-evaluate where we look for design efficiencies.
  • It is proposed here that most of the operational energy savings we are after don't need high-tech solutions but can actually be found right there on site
  • putting the building in the right place with the right shape and facing the right way
  • Right Place: Where on the site is the best position to make use of daylight, direct solar gains, cooling breezes, natural shading, geothermal energy or wind power?
  • Right Shape: Is it possible to use parts of the building to protect other parts that need it, to build in shading, duct natural ventilation, reflect light or form thermal buffers?
  • Right Orientation: What is the best direction to face windows for maximum solar collection, daylight availability or summer shading?
  • It is important to note that pretty well all these criteria are usually resolved within the first few weeks of a design project. If you think about it, they represent the most important factors affecting the overall thermal and energy performance of a building. Yet with just a little extra design effort on decisions that you have to make anyway, huge long-term economies and efficiencies are possible.
  • what we're really talking about is a process of 'optioneering'. This means generating, simulating and analysing a wide range of different design configurations to see how they stand up against a wide range of performance criteria, right from the beginning of each design
  • the performance of many building types can be quite counter-intuitive
  • It must be possible to design buildings that can actually do a few things for themselves
  • Why can't they self clean to some extent, or even grow food, generate heat and energy, provide natural habitat and actually increase public amenity.
  • What is being suggested here are positive impacts rather than just minimal impacts
  • Make best use of local and renewable resources.


  • content (information) and relationships (organization)
  • Biological algorithms such as fractal generation, cellular automata, and structure-preserving transformations lead to vernacular and traditional architectural and urban forms, which are therefore the genuine product of evolutionary developmen
  • Lecture 1: Recursion and the Fibonacci sequence. Universal  scaling. Biophilia
  • Lecture 2: Geometric Recursion and Fractals. The Sierpinski  gasket. Perforation, bending, and folding. Anti-gravity  anxiety. Architecture of the horizontal
  • Lecture 3: Universal distribution of sizes. Fractal design,  ornament, and biophilia. Sustainable systems
  • Lecture 4: Cellular automata. Sierpinski carpets and  sea-shells. Design in hyperspace and connection to the sacred
  • Lecture 5: Harmony-seeking computations. Architectural  harmony. Alexander's theory of centers. Design as computation.  Computational reducibility
  • Lecture 6: Alexander's 15 Fundamental Properties. Three  laws of architecture
  • Lecture 7: Biologically-inspired computation. Genetic  algorithms. Computation versus memory retrieval. Evolutionary  regression
  • Lecture 8: Emergent systems. Examples from Artificial Life.  Inhuman experiments. Architectural education
  • Lecture 9: Symmetry production. Symmetry breaking.  Classical moldings. Elementary particle symmetries. Binding  energy
  • Lecture 10: Generative codes and their application to  building and urban morphology. Secularization destroys public  space. Spiritual architects. Legalizing codes
  • Lecture 11: Duany-Plater-Zyberk (DPZ) codes. The New  Urbanism. Stephen Mouzon's project. Tall buildings
  • Lecture 12: Implementation of generative codes in design.  Urban plazas. Designing for children. Favelas and social  housing


What if the very idea of growth—accumulating riches, destroying the environment and worsening social inequality—is a trap? Maybe we need to aim to create a society that is based on quality not quantity, on cooperation and not competition.

Serge Latouche


    Masboungi, Ariella, Franck Boutté, and Florian Dupont. 2018. 200 initiatives pour la transition énergétique des territoires: qui peut faire quoi?


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