Final Paper for Presentation

People say “Money buys everything.” In the society with the Capitalism system, it is a very true statement. Capitalist are at top in the pyramid chain, while the working class are at the foot bottom. But recent event of “David and Goliath” in Boulder, Colorado, the community demanded and voted for their own sustainability energy resources, making sure that the Energy Corporation, Xcel Fuel will not be able to monopolize the Boulder community’s energy resources. Furthermore, in order to protect the environment and reform the sustainability efforts, they rejected “Gas” as their primary resources, so that the corporation will not be able to further drill for oil. The community substitute gas energy with wind powered energy. The campaign awareness has made sustainability as an important issue as it will improve the quality of future generation’s life. But there are certain people do not see sustainability as an importance. They find is as a frustration and annoyance in their own daily life. Such conflict will always end up with either a winner or a loser. I find it not appealing as a third party. In the perspective of an architect, holistic view is often encourage to approach an issue. Thus, the theme of “Hedonistic” combine with “Sustainability” would best describe the above situation. Generating more pleasure while making a sustainable environment would actually improve both side’s course of believe.
As a begging to introduce the word “Hedonistic”. It is a term generated from Hedonism school of thought. “Pursuit of Happiness” is what every individual in a society is working for. As in contrary towards “Sustainability”, would generate unhappiness because of the disagreements with the oil energy capitalist group. Therefore, in BIG’s TED talk, he created an architecture alchemy of “Hedonistic Sustainability”. Often people would link that “Sustainability” as a topic of political dilemma or even a moral sacrifice. Capitalist usually painted that sustainability as an idea of “you have to hurt in order to do well”. It means that in order to achieve sustainability, we will need to go through the course of crash and burn. This misconception drives people to think that sustainable life is less enjoyable than normal life, but also the idea has becoming more prominent by dividing the upper and middle class could afford to live in a sustainable life. This is why, the new term of “Hedonistic Sustainability” comes into play, functioning as taking the best of both world and integrate them together, intercepting the capitalist’s believe into find pleasure achieving sustainability.
It is however true that only the strongest survive. This is why that a capitalist or a magnate will be able to have sufficient resource and influences to proceed into the course of sustainable efforts instead of creating more tension with the community’s demand. So in this case who is the strongest? Communities or the Capitalist’s? Besides that, according to Verstegen and Hanekamp, in the perspective of economic, in order to achieve sustainability, the economic growth of big corporations cannot continue, because it would deteriorate their economic growth. Therefore, they labeled the capitalist as “Pessimistic”, due to the fact that they couldn’t adapt to the current trend of a sustainable society. Thus the idea shall be deleted away, or “Extinction”. The reason behind is simple, the idea of Capitalist does not accommodate the multiple interests of everyone as time goes by. Moreover, it is understood that human life should be evolving through the adaptation in the nature course. Verstegena and Hanekamp also pointed out that, without any economic growth, it would only stimulate the fight over the spoils between rich and poor, powerful and the powerless, a battle the poor will surely lose. Therefore, the ending result is either a winner and a loser, which goes against the more inclusive concept of Hedonistic Sustainability.
As we know when adaptation process takes place, there will be challenges to meet. The theme of Hedonistic Sustainability rises up the challenging bar, forcing every individual to find the fine line accommodating to the needs between the capitalist and the local community needs. Because being able to moderate between both sides, will eventually inspires the evolution of better lifestyle and standards. This is
easier said than done. But Ingels initiated his philosophy into his design project for a power plant company in downtown Copenhagen. As we all know like all bio fossil fuel company, they do not contribute to environmental sustainability. Unlike Xcel Fuel Company in Boulder, Colorado, the Danish Energy Company, however, didn’t go against the community’s concern, but transformed it owns headquartersm making its roof a public civic space, The roof is turned into a 31m^2 ski slope of varying skills levels for the citizens of Copenhagen, its neighbouring municipalities and visitors, mobilizing the concept of sustainability hedonistically by rising its reputation as a powerful yet responsible corporation but also redefining the relationship between the waste plant and the community, expanding the recreational activities in its surrounding area. Besides that, the slope is ecological using a recycled synthetic granular. By making its ski slope as an attraction point, one will need to access via an elevator along the plant’s smokestack providing views into the plant, giving visitors glimpses of its internal workings and then finally reaching an observation platform 100m above giving sightseers an unobstructed views throughout Copenhagen. Such controversial steps taken by the energy company is indeed a breakthrough for sustainability course. Just as Darwin states, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” (Marris 351) Which best explains that the Danish Energy Company recognize its difficulties it will soon face and molding itself to be a more locally welcoming corporation by meeting the public needs. Besides that, in order to educate the public awareness about environment, the Danish power plant innovated its chimney to compress and release a ring shaped smoke after every 100 kilos is accumulated. In a way of Hedonistic approach, by taking the symbol of a problem of the pollution of the chimney and turn it into something playful. Because one of the main drivers of
the change is the knowledge. Ingels reminds his audience that, “when people do not know they cannot act”. Therefore, the Danish power plant is not just playing its role as a sustainable energy company, but it is also socially sustainable, turning part of its power plant into a public park and skiing park. SO by concluding Ingels’s design for the Danish power plant, he has not just incorporated the public interest but has also brought back the positive income for the power plant company, an accomplishment of a win – win situation.
Hedonistic Sustainability occurs the moment one will stop the thought about how much profits they are making, or buildings as mere structures and start putting them all in the consideration of the ecosystem. Because when buildings or actions of an individual are part of the ecosystem, they can be used to help create a closed loop for recycling energy, minimizing the environmental impact and creating more positive effects, a higher quality of life.


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