DeKay and Bennett headline Sustainability Week in Beirut

Jan. 03, 2017

Professor Mark DeKay and Susanne Bennett, a UT volunteer, headlined Sustainable Design Week at the American University in Beirut, co-delivering a lecture entitled “Solving the Climate Crisis by Design” and leading a three-day workshop for students. The workshop, “Pulchritude, Pattern & Performance,” used DeKay’s book, Sun, Wind & Light: architectural design strategies, 3rd edition, along with a game, “Bundle-Up!” that the couple developed. Bundle-Up! is designed to help students and practitioners learn strategies at multiple scales from the book and to practice collaborative learning and designing in teams.

DeKay and Bennett were joined by Martin Rauch, UNESCO Honorary Professor from Austria, an international expert in earth construction, and Arturo Vittori, Italian architect and industrial designer who focuses on technologies for extracting drinking water from the air. The week of activities culminating in lectures and workshops and held October 5-7, 2016 was part of the Areen Lecture Series in the Department of Architecture and Design at AUB and took the theme:”High Tech – Low Tech – Rethinking Design Tools and Strategies.” All three leaders use “high thought” solutions that express as low or appropriate technology in solutions as simple as possible.

Both trained by Al Gore in presentation via the organization, Climate Reality, DeKay and Bennett addressed the rapidly changing climate and extreme weather situation and evidence of global climate change around the world and in the Middle East, the role of architecture and cities in creating greenhouse gases, and the important contribution that design can make in solving the climate crisis. According to NASA, the Middle East is in the midst of the worst drought in 900 years. They presented solutions from Sun, Wind & Light, ranging from fundamental archetypes to passive systems and high-performance envelope design to green power.

DeKay and Bennett’s presentation is offered without fee; to schedule a presentation in your school or conference, contact Susanne Bennett.

Prof. Dekay’s publications can be found here.