10 Variations on the Theme of Sustainability; or, 10 Sustainable Follies
“Sustainability” is foundational in design practice today; from LEED Platinum status as a benchmark of success in new construction, to the ever-present Sustainabile Development Goals as guides for design at the urban scale, architects, landscape architects, and planners constantly work to achieve sustainability in all aspects of design practice. Many of the methods to achienve sustainability rely on technologically-driven  tools that can constrain design decisions under positivist logics of environmental optimization and building performance. Furthermore, many tools for sustainable design function simply as smokescreens for continued economic growth via emissions-intensive and environmentally-destructive construction practices. This project asks how the practice of sustainble design can break from the shackles of positivist economic growth, and instead become a creative and artistic method. Taking the often counterintuitive aspects of the American urban condition as a point of departure, this project uses the act of performance to complicate how we think about sustainable practice. Through the design of ten separate follies, each of these interventions functions as a machine for remaking the urban environment in order to (re)introduce plant, animal, and insect biodiversity. The follies de-construct aspects of the urban environment that have for too long accomodated the environmentally destructive aspects of capitalist urban growth. Additionally, each folly creates a role for the human (or animal) bystander or passerby to engage with the performance.      
Folly 1: A machine for destroying concrete/ A machine for creating a garden