Realizing a Viable Built Environment: Shared Consequences of Isolated Choices

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In the late 1960’s, when philosopher and communications theorist Marshall McLuhan referenced Buckminster Fuller’s “Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth” (1968) by saying “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all the crew.”, he was reducing to pithy metaphor Fuller’s precient, scholarly message of the interrelations and critical path of activity of all of humanity’s undertakings to-date and in the future. Diverse specialized efforts drive innovation; the innovative becomes the generalized norm; and the resulting uniformity -good or ill- is consequential to all without regard to status. In our day, a mere half-century from Fuller’s prognostications, leveraging finite natural resources for the sake of isolated choices made to modify a single Place, Time or Activity can easily effect a multiplicity of developments throughout the global system. Architects, planners and engineers are by definition agents of change. It is our privilege and our duty to be educated, mindful, technically- and aesthetically-skilled advisors to our clients for making decisions that maintain the viability of our universal vessel. Among us, no first class nor steerage; it is all hands on deck.

Posted by Frank Rosario, AIA, Project Manager