The International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism (INTBAU) USA, a cross-country initiative, was launched in New Orleans on Octber 17, 2007. For details about the INTBAU USA launch please click here. As a nascent organization, its first mandate is to promote the general principles of INTBAU's Charter while encouraging the study, conservation and new construction of Traditional Architecture and Urbanism within the context of the United States.
INTBAU USA seeks to promote a wider dialogue about the value of traditional building resources in meeting modern challenges. We live in a time when growth fuelled by technology is creating unprecedented global challenges; perhaps the solution will not lie solely in ever more technological innovation. Perhaps traditional environments, patterns and processes have much to teach us about human environments that are beautiful, livable, enduring - and truly sustainable.
INTBAU USA proposes that tradition is a living process within human culture, combining innovation with time-tested success, and offering durable problem-solving knowledge. It, is, as Goethe put it, "the tending of the fire, not the worship of the ashes." While we should not over-romanticize tradition - and we should freely acknowledge the undesirable aspects of human culture sometimes transmitted by traditions - at the same time, neither does it seem sustainable to continue with the unprecedented destruction of traditional patterns and processes around the world, and their replacement on a vast scale by unproven technological forms.
INTBAU USA believes that we in the US have a particular opportunity, and particular responsibility, to balance the powerful effects of globalization with a renewed emphasis on local heritage, culture, ecology and economy. To do so, we must begin at home. We must revitalize our own communities, building on their natural and cultural heritage, while we also work with others to do the same in their own communities around the world.
The USA chapter aims to achieve this goal by drawing together all those with an interest in advancing the values associated with traditional design philosophies, sustainable urbanism, responsible community-based architecture and conservation of the built and natural environments. It seeks to promote research, scholarship and development of effective new methods and practices within traditional contexts. It also seeks to strengthen and promote regionalist and local and vernacular traditions as well as the USA's diversity from coast to coast.
INTBAU USA seeks to influence the views of practitioners in the built environment: builders, trade and craftspeople, academics, educators, students, politicians, artists, cultural activists and a general public interested in implementing a holistic and more humane vision of our built environment.
We welcome enquiries from individuals and organizations interested in contributing to the network. To join the INTBAU USA email group, please first join as an INTBAU member and then contact INTBAU USA.
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