Article | 2009

Crystallized Pedagogy: Architecture as a Medium for Sustainability Education

By Victor Olgyay

The notion that human behavior is influenced by environmental conditions is not novel, though this dynamic is often overlooked and underappreciated in the construction of buildings and cities. Particularly in the field of sustainable or green building, focus is directed toward the impact of building-related human behavior on the environment. However, in a reciprocal manner, as humans build we create our own environment which embodies a specific set of ideas, influencing occupants over the lifespan of a building. The lessons locked in mortar and floor plans both limit and encourage certain human behaviors. This educational relationship offers a powerful opportunity for designers to create a crystallized pedagogy that encourages and informs occupants in sustainable patterns of living.