ARCH+ Salon: Building with Nature

bauhaus earth

In the face of a rapidly closing window for climate action, Bauhaus Earth and our network of partners advocate for a transition to bio-based, regenerative, and circular building materials and practices. Yet with this radical change come economic, social, and ecological risks and challenges that must be considered. How can a bio-based building sector create the basis for a large-scale reinvestment in our biosphere? What are the potentials of a transition to a bio-based construction sector? What are the social and environmental risks, and how can they be addressed?

A growing debate about a “wood only” approach to bio-based construction questions whether it is possible to meet the global demand for building without depleting our forests and increasing competition for land use. However, we need more than just a short-sighted shift from conventional methods to the exploitation of already depleted forests. We believe that a smart, systemic transition to bio-based materials and methods — if accompanied by a radical change in our practices of design, extraction, consumption, and waste — has an untapped potential to allow cities and ecosystems to co-evolve and even benefit one another.

On September 4th, ARCH+ convened a roundtable of experts from research and practice in Berlin to discuss these challenges. In addition to Philipp Misselwitz, Alan Organschi, and Rosa Hanhausen from Bauhaus Earth, we heard from our partners at IAAC Barcelona, Aalto University Helsinki, Design Academy Eindhoven, and InnoRenew Slovenia.

We thank all the partners and participants who took part in this event and look forward to further fruitful discussions! We especially thank ARCH+ for initiating this event.

The event was made possible by the Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz and the European Union’s NextGenerationEU program.

For more on this topic, see the recently published Carbon: A Field Manual for Building Designers by Matti Kuittinen, Alan Organschi, and Andrew Ruff.


The poster for the event can be found here.