Hedonistic Sustainability

Sustainability is quite famous. Do you know Hedonistic Sustainability?

Hedonistic means employing the pursuit of pleasure. This is from the philosophy that pleasure is the proper aim of life.

Then you might question how could that be a sustainability factor.

Finding a middle ground without compromising

A holistic approach towards Sustainability by the architect Bjarke Ingels without compromising the quality of life is hedonistic sustainability.

I would like to elaborate this hedonistic sustainability approach with two aspects, as we can practice it in our everyday lifestyle as well as in Architecture.

Lifestyle Example– In the textile industry, wearing and promoting cotton is promising to our planet Earth, only when cotton clothes are made without dyeing and without blending other types of fabric like polyester, nylon. When one loves to wear jeans, cotton clothes aren’t their type. The minimum water consumption for a jeans in its lifecycle is around 1500 litres. Whereas, recycled denims or eco-friendly jeans strain lesser on water consumption. Everlane brand recycles 98% of water and reduces water consumption per Jeans to 0.4l. Levi’s brand employs 100% recycling and reusing water standards. So, one who wants to wear jeans can opt for eco friendly jeans and still practise sustainability. Here sustainability being considered without trading off the love for jeans is hedonistic sustainability.

ARCHITECTURE – Danish pavilion of Shanghai Expo 2010 provides Denmark’s experience and culture with a compassion towards Shanghai’s cultural values too. The highlights of the pavilion are the city bike, harbor bath and the little mermaid. This pavilion is a spiral structure meant for pedestrians and bicycling to impart sustainable commute and to depict Denmark’s capital city Copenhagen which is the #1 cycling city in the world. 1500 city bike from Danish pavilion were used to tour the entire Shanghai Expo 2010 also.

The central core of the spiral has Copenhagen harbor’s sea water for bathing. It is to emphasise the good water quality in Copenhagen’s Harbour. The water transportation is also planned sustainably. Export ship containers from Shanghai to Copenhagen usually returns to Shanghai as empty ship vessels. This returning vessel is used to ship Copenhagen harbor’s sea water.

Coming to the central element in the water, the little mermaid statue was brought to Shanghai to make visitors experience Copenhagen’s Harbour Bath just as in Denmark. Another reason to shift the little mermaid is a cultural reason. Denmark’s little mermaid is after a famous fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson whose work is in Chinese education curriculum currently. For strengthening the cultural relation between Copenhagen and Shanghai, this little mermaid left its home for the first time.

In the meantime, for the natives not to miss the little mermaid, live uninterrupted broadcast was successfully performed.

The efficient management of resources with maximum contribution to humans and our Earth without compromising our pursuit of pleasure/aesthetics/experience is hedonistic sustainability.

Now that we are aware of this hedonistic sustainability approach, let’s try to practice in our life as well as in Architectural practice for the sake of our future generations.

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