Focus 2019: Sustainability – Meet Viktoria
I’m Viki, a current 4th year student of Architecture at the Dublin School of Architecture, TUD in Ireland. Hopefully, I’ll be continuing on Masters abroad in the next academic year. Why am I interested in sustainability? Well, why wouldn’t you be? ‘The Climate is changing, so must Architecture.’  With sea levels rising and vertebrate species going extinct at 100 times the historical background rate, the greatest social responsibility we have, a humanitarian need is to know how to make a sustainable, carbon neutral building.
Climate change is a threat to all of us. In Ireland, the Government’s climate policy is weak and carbon emissions are among the highest per capita in the EU and they continue to rise. At the moment, Climate Case Ireland is taking the Government to court to demand more climate action. Our profession must also demand a similar approach with a much faster response rate. One of our current projects in studio this semester is exactly this: to design sustainably, starting from the bigger scale down to the smallest details.
Evoking sustainability, is a photograph from EASA (European Architecture Students Assembly) 2018 in Rijeka, Croatia. During the 14 days of the workshops, the ‘EASA’ians forms a utopian community which maintains itself – nearly 500 students work, study, rest, cook, eat, clean and live together. I took part in one of these workshops which made me think about how much more sustainably we could live, only if it were about our ‘necessities’ instead of ‘wants’. The main theme of this year was Re:Easa. We were digging into new dimensions of usefulness, meaning and potential in the endless amounts of waste, in all its forms: wasted material, abandoned spaces, wasted time. Architects need to reconsider their role and attitude in reality – to reshape themselves into those who can embrace the existing and face the challenge of achieving continuities. The world needs to build upon itself, from its own waste, its own mistakes, its lessons and its own abandoned potential, rather than to constantly produce the new. It needs to recreate. RE is born here.