blogging from the student's perspective

A Night with Visionaries

If you did not attend Friday night’s James Wood Lecture Series, you were missing out. I had to opportunity to introduce the guest speakers, Dr. David Orr and Bob Berkebile, both sustainable architects respected  nation wide. It was a great evening to be able to listen about what we are facing now, their past and current work, as well as what we need to expect in the future.

 Dr. David Orr really wanted to tell us that we are creating a black swan effect that is going to be ultimately detrimental to our ecosystems and our environments if we don’t look at it now and act. Dr. Orr helped create a 7.2 million dollar environmental studies building at Oberlin College where he teaches.  It amazing as to how sustainable the building really was and the materials that they used in order to create a building that didn’t give back any emissions.

Bob Berkebile as also quite interesting and was one of the founders of the LEED (Leadership in Education and Environmental Design) rating system that our Pharmacy and one of the fraternities on campus have been recognized. Bob has done so much to work towards a more sustainable practice of city living and even helped reconstruct a whole city in Kentucky after a tornado completely destroyed everything. They started a new with LEED platinum as their standard for building construction. It has become a beautiful town devoted to the community that dwells within it. 

Both speakers had so much passion about what they do and it gets me thinking… when you are truly passionate about something, you want to go share your ideas and make sure that you accomplish your goals. I have always been passionate about sustainability and health practices and I think that it definitely ties in with my interests because a strong sustainable community is a healthy one. If we continue to use our resources in a non-efficient way, we are going to create a black swan effect that will affect us in the long run and even sooner at the rate at which we are going right now.

Lights Out Indy is trying to combat this as well. Birds a great environmental cue as to how healthy our ecosystem is and with dead birds lying around our cities, it doesn’t promise the best results. They are indicators of good habitat and they will continue to deplete if we don’t do something about it. Don Gorney is very passionate about what he has been doing with the program and by helping him in  as many ways as possible its a great way to also help the community.

If you have a chance, check our Dr. Orr and Bob Berkebile’s architectural work and how they have succeeded in changing the way we look at building design. They are absolutely correct in saying that we need to start acting now in order to keep our resources around.

– Ashlee

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