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Rethinking Architecture Design Principles:
Designing for Cultural Sustainability 

Objective & Methodology

Highlighting the need for redefining architecture to accommodate cultural difference through a thorough literature review introducing terms like super modernity, non-place and soft power. Acknowledging the possible counterclaim and continuing to analyse the identified issues architects have to consider before designing through the case studies that have used cultural characteristics as customs of using space in that geography. Then consider why these principles aren't being implemented by architects, other than the reason of globalisation. 


After the three pillars of sustainable development were declared in the Brundtland Report in 1987 as economic, social, and environmental sustainability, the concept of sustainable design became an important topic in architectural practice. Yet the cultural dimension alone of sustainability did not take part in international policy until the 2000’s, becoming a new issue for 20th century architects. Architecture as a social discipline is influenced by economic, technical and political developments of society. Under the ecological dimension of sustainability, architects have been driven towards renewable sources in the formation of built environments in designing for the greater good of generations to come. Yet these considerations are ineffectual without the social and cultural considerations being made for the designs themselves, as UNESCO declares that no development is sustainable without including the “full integration of culture into sustainable development policies”. With many developments now being built for the speed of consumption, the cultural and historical essence of fast developing cities is at risk. Although architecture in most cases is a practice for serving user’s needs, it also has authority within itself. The theory of cultural sustainability must be supported through the definition of architecture, that it is sensitive to cross-cultural contexts and not overly dominated by Western concepts of what architecture is. 

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