Column week 1 Author: Jesper Goorden
Today was the kick-off meeting of the course Engineering for Sustainable Development. Me and 31 (or 35?) other students from different faculties will work together in this course to eventually come up with a sustainable design for the island of Texel. In this design all aspects of sustainability one can think of will be represented. The design will be elaborated during our visit on the island in the 2nd week of January, but prior to this a lot of research has to be done in the coming weeks. This research is subdivided into 9 “subsystems” which will be investigated in smaller groups as well as a research on the whole system of the island. The research of the 9 subsystems will be combined during the stay on the island and forms the foundation of the final design.
After a short introduction – in which I saw a lot familiar faces from architecture – it was time to assign the subsystems to each team. My team is now responsible for the subsystem “from the sea”. I think this topic can get really interesting, especially in relation to the other subsystems such as food, transport, leisure, water cycles and energy production because of the possibilities the sea can offer for them.
I have never been on the island of Texel, so the lecture of Han Brezet was a welcome first introduction to the island and some interesting facts came across. I think the island offers great possibilities for a holistic sustainable design. Because of my background in building technology I would like to investigate which sustainable innovations can be brought to the built environment on Texel, but also which local resources can be used to eventually create closed cycles. The fact that the population of the island is way bigger (up to 100.000 according to Han) during summer holidays poses a real challenge to do this; but at the same time I see opportunities here.
Although in think the research part will not always be fun to do, I am looking forward to investigate the possibilities towards a sustainable island design and to work together with students from other faculties. I’m also very curious to see what we can achieve as a team during the week on Texel and if the design will be feasible in the end. Anyway, I am excited I may take part in this course and I can’t wait to finally start designing.
Texel, here we come!!!