The research aims to reconsider the concept of sustainable development and consequently of sustainability, because the meaning has been manipulated. Therefore almost thirty years after its formulation, it is a concept that needs to be reviewed. Sustainability issues enjoy great popularity, however a certain lack of critical approaches to this topic has been detected. The goal of this research, albeit ambitious, is to shed light on the relationship between the effects of sustainable development and architecture, considering as objects of the analysis the products of sustainability (eg. energy regulations and environmental assessment tools). They could have a great influence on the manmade environment and currently, designers, regardless the position that can assume with sustainability, must deal with this products, as in the case of regulations. Although sustainable design is often focused on technical aspects or performance, this research aims to integrate them with a cultural and historical analysis, outlining a cultural history of sustainability, and to avoid omitting a number of aspects which if left unchecked in dealing with such a complex subject, could cause shortcomings and over-simplifications. The research is divided into two main parts: a theoretical part and a valuating analysis of the phenomena (products of sustainability). These subdivisions allow us to determine and describe the relationships between the products of sustainability and architectural issues, including epistemological and esthetical elements, allowing us to integrate the practical aspects with the theoretical ones. The complexity of the scenario allows a choice of methodological approaches to the research. Thus the research proceeds first by induction, identifying the subjects and the critical issues related to them, starting from the basic formulation of the subject itself and the direct consequences of it, through to the analysis of the most influential authors and the historical context in which they arise. Then examining the specific elements (products of sustainability) for a more depth; thanks to the results of this analysis, the research proceeds by deduction to the origin, that is the basic formulation of the subject (sustainable development) and its consistency with the objectives set, assessing the results of research in the conclusions.
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