Apple Park (Photo/Courtesy of Foster + Partners)
Norman Foster, the British architect and winner of Pritzker Architecture Award, describes sustainable design as an approach "doing the most with the least means" and "following the logic of less is more."
He says that "responsible sustainable design is not simply about individual buildings; it should be implemented at all scales — from product design to the design of cities."
This social concern with sustainability that propels architectural design is at the heart of an exhibition currently running at the Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing through Oct 7.
Great Court of the British Museum (Photo/Courtesy of Nigel Young, Foster + Partners)
Sustainable Communities | Shared Futures shows models, photos, renderings, hand-drawn sketches and videos of designs by Foster + Partners, the London-based firm which the 83-year-old Foster founded in 1967.
The exhibition brings together case studies from around the world, both those that have been completed and those still under construction, which examine how architects combine art and technology with the aim of both enhancing people's experience through space while reducing the amount of energy consumption and pollution through their practice.
Reichstag the New German Parliment (Photo/Courtesy of Rudi Meisel)
Among them are iconic designs that have shaped cities' skylines and landscapes, such as the Great Court of the British Museum and the new German Parliament building.
Several of Foster + Partners' projects in China are also on display, such as terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport and the headquarters of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banks. The exhibition also features several ongoing urban plans which the firm has formulated for developing cities like Hangzhou, Wuhan and Shenzhen, as an example of the country's increasing urbanization.
Spencer de Grey, the senior executive partner and head of design at Foster Partners, gives a tour of the exhibition at Tsinghua University Art Museum (Photo provided to China Daily)