Enough Architecture is Living Systems' manifesto of practice towards a planetary architecture. It was originally created during our residency in the Westfjords of Iceland in Fall 2019.
For too long, the field of architecture has been strained by economic dependencies, short-term planning, and ego-centric thinking, draining it of its creative powers and problem-solving qualities.
We aim to fundamentally reconstruct the architectural practice through applied research, integrative design and alternative financing models, developing approaches for human habitation that respect the planet's boundaries, serve the common good, sustain life at scale, and nourish the future.
To do so, we propose Enoughness as a practice.
Enoughness is as much a decision making principle as it is an existential state.
How much is enough?
The simple yet critical question of sufficiency is a radical departure point, which we believe can deliver much needed systemic change. We use data, science and tools to build towards a more equitable distribution of quality housing and living at a planetary scale, while deeply appreciating the carrying capacity of the Earth with its fertile soils and vital flows. We know we’re lost without it.
This is why we build our practice like our houses, around the Seven Enoughs:
Everybody has the right to self-expression and autonomous decision making. We believe in an architectural practice that encourages the opportunity of individuals to participate in the design of one’s environment, to grow, to self-initiate, and to own what one needs to live. We design for humans and the biosphere, not for profit extraction and machines.
A healthy planet with a decent, dignified life for all means a considered distribution of wealth and resources.
1.6 billion units of adequate housing need to be built by 2025, in order to provide for the growing population. This means criteria of availability and affordability have to be prioritised over sculptural landmark architecture, or starchitectural city marketing schemes.
Architecture has been driven by ego for long enough. Planetary viable design is participatory, and decisions that affect the collective, should be made by the collective.
Instead of land and real estate owned by the few, ownership must be distributed, with homes and equity owned by the many. By creating collective funding and alternative finance models, we reduce real-estate exploitation, and strengthen the commons.
Cutting-edge research and progressive real world experimentation is key to our practice. So is our data-driven, technologically optimised approach to planning and building. To problem-solve and survive at scale within the dynamic earth system, constant innovation is a requirement. At the same time, we rely on woodcraft and a restorative, planetary viable use of resources (which used to be a feature of architecture since its earliest, paleolithic times).
All future children shall be happy children. Short-termism must give way to long-lasting value. This inevitably means that we build so that all materials can be circulated back into the abundant flow of planetary metabolism, giving us and future generations more breathing space and time.