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By persuading the suburban middle class to incorporate the fundamental principles of New Urbanism—using natural ventilation and other low-tech green solutions in houses, for instance, and designing neighborhoods that rely less on automobile transportation
by Katy Purviance on 04/17/08 @ 11:34:46 pm
Categories: Articles | 299 words | 1437 views

You know what? I like you. So even though I already gave you the Best Article I’ve Read in 48 Hours to counter the string of Bad News in The Official Bad News Blog Post, I’m giving you another positive, upbeat, let’s-hold-hands feel-good article. Just for you. (The absurdly-long title is also just for you.)

This one comes to us from Architectural Record.

Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, the recipients of the sixth annual Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture, plan to take their $200,000 honorarium and invest it—not in stocks or bonds, but in the future of urbanism and the environment. At their acceptance speeches made during the awards ceremony in Chicago on March 29, 2008, the husband and wife team pledged to donate their winnings to a nonprofit research center for the publication of books related to New Urbanism and classical architecture. Richard Driehaus, the Chicago-based investor and philanthropist who sponsors the prize, said he would match their gift, for a total donation of $400,000.

The Driehaus Prize recognizes achievement in the pursuit of traditional, classical, and sustainable architecture and urbanism. Duany and Plater-Zyberk have been dubbed the “parents of New Urbanism.” In addition to maintaining an active Miami-based practice, they co-founded the Congress for New Urbanism, a committee that advocates for the creation of walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. Duany, now an emeritus board member, says that the group’s charter is currently under debate as the congress considers how to address climate change. He believes that by persuading the suburban middle class to incorporate the fundamental principles of New Urbanism—using natural ventilation and other low-tech green solutions in houses, for instance, and designing neighborhoods that rely less on automobile transportation—architects can make a positive difference.

Read the whole thing. and then go have some pie. You deserve it.

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places where you could probably learn more about designing and building in just a few days than I did after a year of grad school

Know of some others I can add here? Let me know. Have you already visited some of these places...or planning on it? Let me know and I will feature your story and your photos here!

I am starting a new kind of architecture school. Unlike most architecture schools, you wouldn't have to submit GRE scores or good grades or letters of recommendation. You wouldn't have to put the rest of your life on hold for 3 to 5 years. You wouldn't have to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in debt. At my architecture school, anyone could come for a few weeks and learn how to build a house with their own two hands. My teachers would take skills and concepts from some of these other workshops I've listed above... except classes would be held year-round to make it easy to fit into your schedule. I would have a number of different campuses around the country that would teach building designs appropriate to the local climate. And I need your help. Can you donate land for a campus? Can you dotate books for a library? Can you teach a workshop? Can you provide start-up capital? Let me know.

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