Building a Sustainable World: The Environmentally Friendly Architects Designing our Future

5 August 2019

It’s safe to say that over the years innovation and technology has disrupted and revolutionised many industries, one of which is the world of architecture. Our towns and cities are filled with a thousand stories, from Tudor houses to Georgian monuments, stone-age caves to modern skylines, and architects at each period in history have learnt to make do with the resources at their disposal.

Now, as we enter the 2020s, a new generation will look to the future and wonder – what will future generations make of this? With an emphasis on sustainability and flourishing their eco-friendly credentials, we are fortunate enough to spot these hidden gems in our little book of contacts, so feel inspired as we delve into the experts concreting our sustainable future.

Xavier Vilalta is a world-renowned architect who specialises in sustainability and innovation. Having currently built houses, schools, cultural buildings and shopping malls in fifteen countries across Asia, America, Europe and Africa, his architecture focuses on the connection between nature and humans through sustainable, ecological design. Combining innovative technology with local resources and traditions, he became the first Spaniard to be made a TED Fellow which has been viewed a million times.

Architect, presenter, writer and lecturer,  George Clarke  wears many different hats. Famed for the Channel 4 programmes: The Home Show, The Restoration Man and George Clarke's Amazing Spaces, the architect has become a household name and has made a huge impact on the housing industry. George uses the position he has built to incite social action and is an ambassador for housing and homeless charity Shelter. The perfect choice for speaking engagements, George is an expert on environmental issues, the housing crisis and home design.

What is a project’s inherent and deep purpose? For visionary architect Moshe Safdie, the answer centres on discovering the life intended inside. Throughout his 50+ year career, the Israeli-Canadian-American architect has embraced the relationship between architecture and society, creating designs that transcend the boundaries between building and nature, social and urban environment, private and public space – giving life to landscapes that fulfil both beauty and purpose. A self-described modernist, Moshe’s work and contributions to the dialogue on sustainable urbanism are unsurpassed in contemporary practice.

Mitchell Joachim tackles the urban issues redefining our built environments and cities as his work boldly reassesses the way humans live together in the 21st Century. Envisioning a future in which biology and architecture are a single discipline, Mitchell adapts sustainable ecological principles to new developments in architecture, transportation, and environmental planning. Developing new technologies for local sustainability in energy, transportation, infrastructure, buildings, waste treatment, food, water, and media spaces, his work offers the sheer excitement of opening minds to new ways of literally building the future.

More than an architect, Enric Ruiz-Geli is a visual artist who seeks to dissolve the barriers between construction, space and experimentation. Defending the relationship between technology, architecture, environmental awareness and a clear understanding of the environment in which buildings are inserted, his studio has developed new materials in collaboration with construction companies, such as translucent concrete or a new ceramic coating and participates in professional networks against climate change.

Maxwell Hutchinson is a practicing architect and regular radio, television broadcaster alongside his role as an Anglican Deacon and was the President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. His better-known works include Skylines at Canary Wharf, JS Pathology’s Headquarters at Camden Lock and Aztec Row in Islington. Previously the presenter of the BBC series, How To Rescue a House he is a versatile and humorous speaker for property, business and broadcast focused events.

Oliver Heath studied architecture before winning the BBC’s Young Designer of the Year in 1998. Following this he set up the interior and architecture practice, Blustin Heath Design, creating practical, beautiful sustainable designs. Oliver then co-founded, an online ethical retailer set up for beautifully designed, coordinated sustainable products for the home. He has recently completed a full environmental refurbishment of his own home in Brighton, with which he hopes to promote the concepts of “practical and style led sustainability” to a wide audience, demonstrating principles of low energy living, reuse and ingenious recycling.

The Founder-Director of Exploration Architecture and a lead architect for the Eden Project,  Michael Pawlyn  is dedicated to marrying up the inspirations of nature in his sustainable design projects. Able to confidently explain energy and climate change solutions, discuss biomimicry and sustainability in a keynote speech and share stories from his time on the Eden Project, Michael is a brilliant sustainability and green speaker. One of only a handful of architects to have a talk posted on, his TED talk has received millions of views and remains incredibly popular.

Piers Taylor is a renowned award-winning architect, broadcaster and academic who co-presents the successful BBC2 Series 'The House that £100k Built' with Kieran Long. Demonstrating to self-builders how to do more with less, the opening episode drew in incredible 3 million viewers. Often called 'One of the brightest architects in the profession', Piers has designed a number of seminal buildings, including the RIBA Award Winning 'Room 13' and the house 'Moonshine' which won the AJ Small Project Award. His built work has been published extensively and internationally, and typically pushes boundaries in terms of cost, technique and process and is known for challenging the mainstream convention in architecture and in education.

These architectural experts are stretching the boundaries of current design to create a sustainable future for us all. If you’re looking for some inspiration, wanting someone who challenges the norm and who doesn’t just work outside the box, but re-defines it, then this is a solid place to start building the idea blocks for your event.

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