Norman Foster Foundation Workshop 2021 – Sustainability

The first edition of the Norman Foster Foundation’s Sustainability Workshop took place from 18–22 October 2021 with the support of the Rolex Institute.

‘Most scientists agree that the drastically accelerated pace of climate change demands that we not only design carbon neutral environments but carbon-negative environments’, stated the workshop’s Mentor, Vishaan Chakrabarti. As he put it, ‘It is increasingly clear that far more aggressive measures will be required to keep the planet’s average temperature from rising less than two degrees centigrade—the point beyond which all of the planet’s species will be subject to extreme risk’.

‘This workshop attempted to address these daunting challenges using the methodology conceived by two designers well ahead of their time, Charles and Ray Eames, who taught us to think in the ‘Powers of 10’. By assembling leading experts from around the world in water, energy, material science, robotics, the arts, architecture and urbanism, we intended to cross-pollinate this scalar exploration with disciplinary expertise to seek answers around carbon-negative settlements’.

The Norman Foster Foundation’s 2021 Sustainability Workshop included seminars, lectures, one-to-one tutoring and architectural tours. The workshop consisted of a five-day event led by Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder and creative director of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU).

The Workshop’s Academic Body spanned a wide range of practitioners that work in different fields related to sustainability. This year’s Academic Body included: Jan Boelen, Artistic Director, Atelier LUMA, Arles, France; Frédérick Bordry, Former Director and Accelerators and Technology, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Meyrin, Switzerland; Marcos Cruz, Programme Director, MArch/MSc in Bio-Integrated Design (Bio-ID), The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom; Jacqueline Glass, Vice Dean of Research, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom; Guillaume Habert, Chair of Sustainable Construction, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH Zürich), Zürich, Switzerland; Kieren Jones, Director, MA Material Futures, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (UAL), London, United Kingdom; Christoph Lindner, Dean, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom; Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Gil Penalosa, Founder and Chair, 8 80 Cities, Toronto, Canada.

After reviewing applications submitted by hundreds of candidates from around the world, the selection committee awarded ten scholarships to students from the following universities and institutions: University of Innsbruck, Austria, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture (ENSA), France, University of Ferrara, Italy, Harvard University, United States, Politecnico di Torino, Italy, University of Kassel, Germany, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), the Netherlands, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States.