Sustainable Transformations of Architecture: How Do We Embrace the Beauty of Ugly?

New sustainability standards call for a new aesthetic. Or do they? Join us, as we take a deeper look at architectural value and discuss what’s worth preserving and transforming.

The climate crisis is forcing us to rethink the way we take care of the built environment. We must preserve most of the existing building stock – even the buildings we consider the least desirable. Will we have to adapt our conception of aesthetics according to the needs of the planet? Can we, in our mission to create a sustainable society, learn to find value in even the most displeasing buildings? And what consequences will it have for human values such as living quality, feeling at home, and the sense of belonging?

In this talk we dive into one of the most defining themes of contemporary architecture: The importance of transforming the existing. Join us, as we take a deeper look into sustainability in architectural aesthetics; why it expands beyond the dichotomy of ugly and beautiful, how it effects human well-being, and what perspectives it has in a future, that calls for new conception of what’s worth preserving and transforming.

This talk is a part of the New European Bauhaus lighthouse project, Desire – an Irresistible Circular Society. Desire aims to bridge the worlds of art, culture and education with science and technology to present a way forward, where aesthetics play a key role in transforming existing urban spaces and creating new neighborhoods.


Enlai Hooi

Senior Associate & Head of Innovation, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Indy Johar

Architect & Co-Founder, Architecture 00 and Dark Matter Labs


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