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Robert Fortunato's Talk on Architecture on Challenging Authority

By: Alyson Wyers - Oct 16, 2014
In his talk on architecture, Robert Fortunato discusses a personal case study about going beyond limits and challenging authority and the traditional way to do things.

The economist's talk on architecture is about, as he puts it, a little voice igniting a big dream. He defines innovation as challenging truths given to you by authority figures so that you can make the impossible possible.

When tackling a home renovation, the speaker wanted to see if he could take the concepts he learned from his travels and incorporate them into the project. This involved combining his travel learning, standard construction and off-the-shelf technologies. If done successfully, this would reduce health impacts, construction costs and utility bills. From his travel journals he discovered three applicable principles that he learned from other societies. These principles include using less material and less waste, working with nature and using less energy and using natural materials with less toxicity. Seeing these principles at play firsthand, he saw the societies were more independent, resilient and efficient, giving them a strategic advantage. The goal of the renovation project was to be less expensive and healthier.