1st Edition

Beyond Sustainable Architecture's Evolving Environments of Habitation

By Ryan Ludwig Copyright 2021
    322 Pages 121 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 121 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Beyond Sustainable discusses the relationship between human-beings and the constructed environments of habitation we create living in the Anthropocene, an increasingly volatile and unpredictable landscape of certain change.

    This volume accepts that human-beings have reached a moment beyond climatological and ecological crisis. It asks not how we resolve the crisis but, rather, how we can cope with, or adapt to, the irreversible changes in the earth-system by rethinking how we choose to inhabit the world-ecology. Through an examination of numerous historical and contemporary projects of architecture and art, as well as observations in philosophy, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, neurobiology and psychology, this book reimagines architecture capable of influencing and impacting who we are, how we live, what we feel and even how we evolve.

    Beyond Sustainable provides students and academics with a single comprehensive overview of this architectural reconceptualization, which is grounded in an ecologically inclusive and co-productive understanding of architecture.

    Part I: Technological Mediation 1. In Pursuit of Comfort: From Campfire to Smart Home 2. Wall Performance: Two Views of Nature, the Visual and the Visceral 3. Of Life and Death: The Interior Atmosphere-Environments of the Greenhouse and the Gas Chamber Part II: Environmental Identification 4. Back Home from the Frontier: Considering an Eco-Effective Design 5. Dwelling Deep: Towards a Transpersonal Architecture of Self-realization! Part III: Bio-Physical Inter-Action 6. Invisible Worlds: Constructing an Architecture of the Sensorium 7. Beyond the Prosthesis: Architectural Augmentation and Human Evolution 8. The Bio-Physical Dwelling: Shūsaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins’ Bioscleave House (Lifespan Extending Villa)


    Ryan Ludwig is an architect and educator teaching at the University of Cincinnati as an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture and Interior Design, in the college of Design Architecture Art and Planning. He is the founding principal of Ludwig-ArchOffice (L-AO), a design and research studio focused on inclusive and adaptable approaches to architectural design. He is a recipient of a Fall 2018 MacDowell Fellowship and Centrum Artist Residency; is a co-editor of the book The Function of Form; and has previously published essays in numerous online and print journals.

    Beyond Sustainable presents a tour d’horizon of the prevailing conceptualizations of our planet’s ecology through a clear, systematic and comprehensive summary of the relevant sources. Moreover, the author projects an agenda for contemporary architecture that questions the very foundations of current practice - and so begins to shed light on matters that are still elusive, even to open eyes and open minds.

    –Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch, Architects


    Beyond Sustainable situates, with great acuity, architecture’s current position in relation to elemental shifts in earth systems. Ludwig probes theories and histories of technology, economics, space and humanism to articulate how we might identify architecture and ourselves as integral, dynamic, parts of a "live-in-the-world ecology." The book is succinct yet rich and Ludwig is an excellent writer, both principled and persuasive.

    –Catherine Ingraham, Ph.D. Author of Architecture the Burdens of Linearity and Architecture, Animal, Human


    Ryan Ludwig’s book is an important addition to the literature on physicalizing phenomenology in architecture. With the environmental crisis as the governing challenge for all architectural production it is important to not succumb to solutions that simply mask but perpetuate past practices. More productively there is an opportunity to reimagine the relationship between body, shelter and ecosystem in light of the crisis. The book lays out an argument that architecture has played a role in facilitating bio-physical entanglements and with imagination and ingenuity can do so in the future.

    –Omar Khan, Head, School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University