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Book details
  • SubGenre:Sustainability & Green Design
  • Language:English
  • Pages:690
  • Hardcover ISBN:9780578253039

An Architect's Journey

Mastering Future Trends In the Anthropocene

by Larry Wolff

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An Architect's Journey - Mastering Future Trends in the Anthropocene is a journey into the future of architecture and mastering the Anthropocene's dangerous forces. The book demonstrates how architects and building professionals can lead the way to overcome climate change and the related perils of the Anthropocene by mastering future trends in the design domain. Captivating narratives show how architects can shift their emphasis from aesthetic object-making to meaningful and extraordinary achievement by understanding society's needs and expectations as they critically address the book's thesis.

"Can architecture shift from its resource-consumptive nature to become a productive, regenerative project that supports urban agriculture and reforestation, serves as a potable water source, produces net positive renewable energy, captures carbon, recycles and converts waste streams into usable materials, while allowing unlimited opportunities for developing new architectural forms and features that increase human and environmental performance without sacrifice to artistic expression and creative experimentation?"

An Architect's Journey provides new tools, methods, and strategies necessary to make architecture vitally more significant and instructs readers how to apply more aggressive sustainable practices to their work while achieving new modes of artistic expression. The future directions defining the next few decades support a long-range forecast of unlimited opportunity mixed with turbulence, uncertainty, and peril. To succeed, architects and building professionals must strive for positions of leadership, contradict the status quo, expand conventional thinking, behave un-conventionally, abandon exclusive theories, innovate from a framework of multiple perspectives, and skillfully navigate the consequences of difficult choices and actions through informed, collaborative, and integrated practices as forecast by An Architect's Journey.


An Architect's Journey - Mastering Future Trends in the Anthropocene is about mastering the perilous forces of the Anthropocene, as it threatens, changes, and redefines the future of architecture and the world as we know it. An accomplished architect and author, Larry Wolff, demonstrates how readers can embrace inevitable revolutionary climate change by leveraging the experiences, insights, and trends gained by bridging the most significant period of transition to occur ever within the time of contemporary architecture. An Architect's Journey provides the tools, methods, and strategies to make architecture vitally important again. The future directions defining the next few decades support a long-range forecast for unlimited professional opportunity mixed with turbulence, uncertainty, and peril. There is a clear consensus the future will be entirely different from anything ever known before. Wolff details compelling realities and provides invaluable strategies and tools to master future outcomes. An Architect's Journey is a comprehensive guide and textbook written from an architect's perspective to help solve and transcend today's daunting global complexities. It supersedes past green case studies, checklist-driven sustainability recipe books and instead establishes ways to move the profession forward in profound and meaningful ways.

Few established architects become authors, and even fewer write about architecture in ways that both demand and inspire change in the design domain. The result is a detailed compendium revealing the 26 trends challenging the profession giving readers new approaches and potential solutions to shape the future of the built environment. No other book addresses this need. Architecture has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous two centuries, and these changes will accelerate significantly more in the next 30 years. As a result, much of what an architect did not so long ago has become obsolete. To succeed, architects must strive for positions of leadership, contradict the status quo, expand common thinking, behave unconventionally, abandon exclusive theories, innovate from a framework of multiple perspectives, and skillfully navigate the consequences of difficult choices and actions through informed, collaborative, and integrative practices to meet the future expectations of society. Thus, we should all expect much more from architecture than its present and limited condition and Holocenic devotion. An imaginative and creative architect, deeply involved within the urban fabric, must perform at the highest levels under the diverse array of many spotlights. As such, the very essence of architecture is to serve humanity and the environment.

Compared to the building industry, no other professional sector will significantly impact tomorrow's quality of life. People, places, ecology, and technology are the most critical issues facing the design profession, and architects need to recognize and treat them as such. An Architect's Journey reads like both a compelling novel and a profound textbook, while it draws a stunning culmination of present trends as it paints breathtaking thresholds into the future. The prose and images combine to deliver an unforgettable rite of passage into the architecture profession—loaded with invaluable insights for the novice, student, and veteran.

About the author
After graduating in 1974, Larry Wolff founded his firm, eventually recognized first as Wolff Lang Christopher and then WLC Architects. As founder and senior principal of WLC, Wolff's portfolio includes nationally recognized green building and civic architecture, featuring 50 combined national, state, and regional design awards. At WLC, Wolff was primarily the principal in charge of designing and constructing over 300 community and educational facilities, civic buildings, and public safety projects. Together in 2001, Wolff and WLC's ownership group founded Construction Professional Management (CPMcrew)—a construction management company specializing in building schools and municipal buildings. At the time, WLC was one of the few architectural firms to construct public school districts and municipal projects. Consequently, Wolff's leadership contributed to the firm's combined portfolio reflected an estimated $18 billion of built work, supported by four regional offices and a staff of over 100 people. More recently, in 2021, WLC merged with the Texas-based firm PBK Architects to become PBK-WLC. During this time, Wolff left his position in 2010 to write about architecture. Believing he could potentially have a greater impact on the profession by writing instead of making more buildings triggered his decision to become an author. In "An Architect's Journey - Mastering Future Trends in the Anthropocene", Wolff shares his work and the knowledge gained from a vibrant career in architectural design and practice and forecasts emerging trends and forces shaping the profession's future. At its heart, the narrative's core purpose is to show how architecture can help overcome climate change and related anthropogenic threats by transitioning from resource-consuming endeavors to resource-producing enterprises. While selected works from over 150 international architects illustrate the 26 key determinations of future professional practice, the book aptly avoids ambiguous discussions of theoretical debate to prudently focus on what, rather than how architects must design to meet oncoming human and environmental needs. The writing approach, atypical of most books about architecture, combines 35 years of personal insight, experience, and technical knowledge and merges it with over 11 years of research. As a result, Wolff produces an unconventional, academic-level textbook that reads like an autobiographical novel.
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