Plato for Plumbers

Philosophy
for a
Better Built
Environment

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Today, half the world’s population lives in cities. In 15 years it will be 70 per cent.

Meanwhile, advances in powerful and ubiquitous new technologies are affecting global ecology and society.

Radical technological shifts on the horizon promise to profoundly change the built environment and, in turn, the people who inhabit our increasingly urban future.

Building professionals, therefore, have more of a profound influence on—and obligation to—the world at large than they may realize.

Rather than relinquish ourselves to the inevitable, I believe we need to have important conversations about what these technologies are doing to our planet, our societies, our cities, our buildings, and ourselves. 

What I’m advocating for isn’t the application of a new technology or an innovative use of materials. It’s a way of thinking and communicating. To questions like “Is it more efficient?” and “How much does it cost?”, we must also ask: “Is it good? Does it contribute to well-being? For whom? By what standard?” 

This is philosophy for engineers.

It's Plato for plumbers.