chapter  14
20 Pages

Is Sustainability Sustainable? Interrogating the Tropical Paradigm in Asian Architecture

WithAnoma Pieris

Architectural discussions on sustainability are notorious for representing themselves within the confines of empirical studies, scientific rationalism or quantitative analyses that have shaped building technology methodologies over the past fifty years. For these very reasons they often fail to have the necessary social and cultural impact that might enable them to enter the everyday sensibilities of a local culture or inform ordinary social practice. The ideological, imaginative and political significance of environmental sustainability is often ignored, understated or romanticized leading to its marginalization as a specialized area of study. When entrenched in a landscape of positivist analyses an encounter with a sociologist Manuel Castells’ assessment of the socio-political terrain of environmental movements is indeed refreshing.