1st Edition

Living Architecture, Living Cities Soul-Nourishing Sustainability

By Christopher Day, Julie Gwilliam Copyright 2020
    466 Pages 432 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    466 Pages 432 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    It’s widely accepted that our environment is in crisis. Less widely recognized is that three quarters of environmental damage is due to cities – the places where most of us live. As this powerful new book elucidates, global sustainability is therefore directly dependent on urban design.

    In Living Architecture, Living Cities Christopher Day and Julie Gwilliam move beyond the current emphasis on technological change. They argue that eco-technology allows us to continue broadly as before and only defers the impending disaster. In reality, most negative environmental impacts are due to how we live and the things we buy. Such personal choices often result from dissatisfaction with our surroundings. As perceived environment has a direct effect on attitudes and motivations, improving this can achieve more sustainable lifestyles more effectively than drastic building change – with its notorious performance-gap limitations. As it’s in places that our inner feelings and material reality interact, perceived environment is place-based. Ultimately, however, as the root cause of unsustainability is attitude, real change requires moving from the current focus on buildings and technology to an emphasis on the non-material.

    Featuring over 400 high quality illustrations, this is essential reading for anyone who believes in the value and power of good design. Christopher Day’s philosophy will continue to inspire students with an interest in sustainable architecture, urban planning and related fields.

    PART 1: LIFE-SUPPORTING ENVIRONMENT: METHOD OR APPROACH?  1. The environmental crisis: ecological or experiential?  2. Anticipating coming unknowns  3. Environmental impacts  PART 2: EXPERIENTIAL ENVIRONMENT  4. Perceived reality: sensory experience  5. Soul and spirit nourishment  PART 3: PLACE: THE SETTING FOR EVERYDAY LIFE  6. Placemaking for people  7. Place: identity, continuity and integrity  8. Design for community  9. Getting around cities  10. Connectivity  11. Use, space and life  12. Design for security  PART 4: PROCESSES, DRIVERS AND OUTCOMES  13. Settlement form, space and life  14. Design processes: how, by whom, how fast?  15. Economic vigour as process-driver and shaper  16. The primary change-driver: money  17. Sustainability and economics  PART 5: LIVING WITH A CHANGING WORLD  18. Future climate: future issues  19. Design with the elements  20. Ecological design: energy aspects  21. Cyclic systems  22. Habitat  23. Bio-climatic placemaking  24. Design for demanding climates  25. Everything change: future-proofing  26. Material applications: eco-towns, eco-projects and eco-regeneration  27. New situation: new approaches  28. Sustainability or sustenance?  Illustration credits  Index


    Christopher Day was an eco-architect, self-builder and sculptor. He designed buildings in line with the ecological principles of his books and won several awards. A former visiting professor at Queen’s University, Belfast, he also designed, consulted, taught and lectured in over 20 countries worldwide, from California to Siberia, Sweden to New Zealand: wide-ranging climates and cultures. He was awarded an MBE for his services to architecture and innovation in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours list. His previous publications include Places of the Soul 3rd edition, Consensus Design, Environment and Children and Spirit and Place, also available from Routledge.

    Sadly, Chris passed away in the spring of 2019 shortly after we completed the final draft of this manuscript. He will be sorely missed by his wife, family and all who knew him. It was a privilege and a joy to have worked with Chris on this project, of which I hope he would have been proud.

    Julie Gwilliam is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, UK, as well as Postgraduate Dean for the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering. For ten years she led the MSc in Theory and Practice of Sustainable Design and she continues to contribute to teaching on the subject of sustainability throughout the school, including the MA in Urban Design.

    "The book contains fascinating studies and considerations about complex problems of mutual relations between human habitats and natural environment. The reader is encouraged to rethink and redefine the basic priorities faced by architects in the design processes of settlements and cities in order to reduce the negative environmental impact. The author's drawings and illustrations add great value to the book." - Janusz Rebielak, Faculty of Architecture, Cracow University of Technology, Poland, Chairman of the Committee for Architecture and Town Planning of the Wroclaw Branch of the Polish Academy of Science, Poland

    "Those constructing homes for the future may be well versed in best sustainability practice and technological solutions to the carbon footprint, but Christopher Day and Julie Gwilliam see little quarter being given to vital and life-sustaining matters of soul and spirit. In this challenging, radical book they argue that without spiritual thinking in the mix we can never have spiritual comfort in our homes." - Angela Neustatter, journalist and author

    "Christopher Day and Julie Gwilliam write from a profound holistic point of view, with intuitive understanding of the subtle messages of architecture and based on Day's deep all-embracing philosophy. With extensive research and a large number of photos and exquisite drawings they provide small and big solutions to our environmental problems, including that of the need to be close to nature within cities, and creating beautiful surroundings and quiet spaces." - Petra Jebens-Zirkel, holistic-organic architect

    "Based on scores of illustrations from the literature on architecture and urban design, the authors enter a plea for an architecture of the city grounded in the spirit of place. Their call is for humanity and sensitivity in design; sustainability is not a science but a conscience." - Lino Bianco, Faculty for the Built Environment, University of Malta

    "As a social and political activist Christopher Day’s science-based insight is my tool to persuade planners and politicians to change the direction of development. This book is a full toolbox of vision backed by solid science.  The illustrations offer instant grasp of the principles that turn a hard shell into a breathing skin for social, economic, familial and cultural life to flourish through exceptionally challenging times." - Vicky Moller, charity director, political activist and chair of West Wales town and community forums