"An Architectural User's Manual"
Contributing Artist, Publication Studio
Tropes: The Eco-Porn Issue is the first in a series of manuals that will investigate tropes in architectural representation. Through open competitions and invited submissions, Reality Cues presses architects to explore the techniques and conventions upon which architects rely to communicate ideas concerning space, form and use, with a special concentration on the visualization of contemporary social values systems. Reality Cues hopes to amass a collection of exemplary tropes, analyze their value, and re-disseminate them to be exploited smartly and with precision.
One of the foremost responsibilities of architects today is to address the issue of sustainability. For some, this expectation has inspired the design of ingenious biological and renewable energy systems; for others, it has created pressure to make architecture that merely looks sustainable, aka “eco-porn.” Both categories use the same representational tropes to proclaim a message of greenness and social responsibility, allowing the use of eco-porn to proliferate unchecked. What is it about these tropes that allow us to trick others and ourselves into believing that what looks sustainable is sustainable? Is there value in delusion?