Moving towards a sustainable future, the thesis envisions the need for a new framework for public acceptance of natural aesthetics. ‘Sustainable aesthetics’ manifests as a full spectrum of techniques varying from industrial to natural aesthetics within which can be controlled and adjusted depending on the programs and context. The design strategies are inspired by impermanent qualities of timber weathering and Bauhaus approaches to permanent industrial design
With the rapid implementation of sustainability efforts in the built industry to curb carbon emissions, the thesis raises concerns that our aesthetic ideals might be outdated and unable to accept or keep up with new sustainable typologies. One highly anticipated issue is timber weathering which arises from the growing popularity of mass engineered timber (MET) as a modern, carbon sink construction material. Undesired weathering, as seen in NTU sports hall, can cause timber to look old, poor, and unhygienic. Working with natural materials requires deeper understanding on their characteristics and challenges to design for better results.
The research establishes aesthetic ideals from Western and Eastern history and culture into two broad categories: industrial and natural aesthetics. In essence and not limited to, industrial aesthetics favours permanence, innovation, and mass production from the generally the use of concrete, steel, and glass while natural aesthetics are influenced by Eastern philosophies such as Wabi- sabi that appreciates the beauty of imperfections and the signs of change or aging as visual representation for durability, ironically, and the transience of reality.
Keywords: Spectrum, Industrial, Bauhaus, Natural, Wabi-sabi
Sung Jian Wei John’s ambitious thesis attempted to address one of the most essential yet abstract issues in architecture: aesthetics, especially in the era of sustainability. He argued that new type of aesthetics should be called 'sustainable aesthetics', which could be defined as spectra between ephemeral natural aesthetics and permanent industrial aesthetics. The design studies were conducted by both graphical and material experiments. His rather calm yet sensitive personal traits drive him to communicate through a series of graphical experiments. He is hardworking, hands-on driven, joyful to work with. I wish all the best for his professional carrier progression.
- Assoc. Prof. Shinya Okuda
Sung Jian Wei John
Sung Jian Wei John