Event | Norman Foster Foundation Workshop 2022 - Sustainability

Moshe Safdie presented at Norman Foster Foundation

This October, global practitioners and theorists arrived in Madrid for the Norman Foster Foundation Workshop 2022 on Sustainability. Through seminars, work sessions, discussions and public debates held over four days, the workshop focused on how bio-integrated design and ecological thinking could shape the evolution of contemporary art and architecture.

In his seminar Moshe Safdie explored ways to amplify the building sustainability ranking system and implement the concepts of sustainable design to give proper agency to qualitative issues in a seminar.  Safdie pointed out that many architecture firms emphasize their commitment to sustainability, proudly presenting the statistics of their achievements, i.e., the number of LEEDs or Green Mark certifications or “sustainability” awards their projects have garnered, as proof of their commitment. However, the current ranking system is fundamentally lacking an overarching methodology for evaluating the resultant impact – in a truly qualitative sense, of how sustainability “points” are earned.

As part of the workshop the second edition of the Norman Foster Foundation Sustainability Public Debates, supported by the Rolex Institute, the program featured a five-minute keynote and debate between workshop fellows Claudia Pasquero, Marco Poletto, Cristina Iglesias, Mohsen Mostafavi, and Brenda Parker. The debate was concluded by a conversation between Moshe Safdie and Norman Foster centering on the integration of sustainable materials and renewable energy to the next generation of architecture as well as trends of city development post Covid-19.

“I believe new typologies are all about creating nature – gardens, open space in the high-rise cities at all levels. Simplified, extruded typology is passe. The typology of fractalization – creating inside and outside at the ground level that we envisaged in the modern movement has to be extended three dimensionally, and that yields new typologies.”

Moshe Safdie

Watch full sustainability conversation below:

Video credit: Norman Foster Foundation

Academic Body

Workshop Mentors:

  • Claudia Pasquero, Co-founder, ecoLogicStudio, London, United Kingdom; Landscape Architecture Professor, Innsbruck University, Austria; Associated Professor, Bartlett School of Architecture University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom

  • Marco Poletto, Co-founder and Director, ecoLogicStudio, London, United Kingdom; Unit Master, Architectural Association (AA), London, United Kingdom


  • Stefano Boeri, Principal and Founding Partner, Stefano Boeri Architetti, Milan, Italy

  • Cristina Iglesias, Installation Artist and Sculptor, Madrid, Spain

  • Mitchell Joachim, Cofounder of Terreform ONE; Associate Professor of Practice, New York University (NYU), New York, NY, United States

  • Mohsen Mostafavi, Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design and Former Dean, Graduate School of Design (GSD), Harvard University, Boston, MA, United States

  • Brenda Parker, Programme Director, Bio-Integrated Design (Bio-ID) MArch/MSc, Barlett School of Architectire, University College London (UCL), London, United Kingdom

  • Katie Paterson, Visual Artist, Edinburgh, Scotland

  • Moshe Safdie, Founding Partner, Safdie Architects, Boston, MA, United States


  • Maria Kuptsova, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

  • Terezia Greskova, Academy of Fine Arts, Bratislava, Slovakia

  • Ellen Marie Reinhard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston, MA, United States

Published in Events on October 11, 2022

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