Architecture as a form of activism and resistance

If you like documentaries and the creative and often unexpected use-value of design, check out Rebel Architecture from Al Jazeera: "A six-part documentary series profiling architects who are using design as a form of activism and resistance to tackle the world's urban, environmental, and social crises. The series follows architects from Vietnam, Nigeria, Spain, Pakistan, Israel/Occupied West Bank, and Brazil who believe architecture can be more than iconic towers and luxury flats—turning away from elite "starchitecture" to design for the majority."

In episode 4, "Greening the City", award-winning Vietnamese designer Vo Trong Nghial who is known for his work with bamboo, explains the significance of intentional, climate-conscious design: "Green architecture helps people live harmoniously with nature and elevates human life by embracing the powers of the sun, wind, and water into living space. If the current way of thinking does not change, sooner or later citizens will actually live in concrete jungles. For a modern architect, the most important mission is to bring green spaces back to the earth."

Experimenting with vertical urban gardens is one idea taking hold, a design Nghial calls a "vertical farming city". Others include open air spaces in lieu of air conditioning, and the use of bamboo and other local, accessible materials in a sustainable and non-invasive manner. These design choices, including low-cost rural eco-friendly housing plans, create a convivial ecology while cultivating a capacious imagination to solve problems that face all urban areas: density, accessible economic costs, and environmental sustainability.