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Fields of Sustainable Architecture


Owen, C and Dovey, K, Fields of Sustainable Architecture, The Journal of Architecture, 13, (1) pp. 9-21. ISSN 1360-2365 (2008) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2008 The journal of architecture

DOI: doi:10.1080/13602360701865373


Using the theoretical framework of Bourdieu's sociology, this paper explores the 'field' of architecture through the eyes of architects engaged in the quest for sustainable architecture. The practice of sustainable architecture is often described as one of trying to serve two masters within the fields of art and science respectively. In Bourdieu’s terms these are overlapping fields where the practice of sustainable architecture is like playing two games on the same field. To play it effectively requires a feel for both games and the integrated ideal is to score both goals simultaneously. However, the desire for integration is not easily realized and part of the struggle is over definitions of architecture and sustainability. The green elite are wary of co-option, yet unless they play the aesthetic game they will be excluded from the field. The art elite are secure at the core of the field, although unsettled by the realization that if the game does not turn green then the field will turn brown. The paper concludes that while the continual interplay between integration and separation is a condition of this field of practice, the most productive territory for reconciliation lies in positioning both sustainability and architecture as social practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Bourdieu, architecture, sustainability
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Architecture
Research Field:Architectural history, theory and criticism
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Arts
Objective Field:The creative arts
UTAS Author:Owen, C (Associate Professor Ceridwen Owen)
ID Code:58101
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Architecture
Deposited On:2009-09-07
Last Modified:2015-03-06
Downloads:19 View Download Statistics

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