Urgency and Scale: Discussing the Importance of Human-Led Supersensing with Sofie Pelsmakers

Sofie Pelsmakers

In this episode of WDBE Talks, we sat down with Dr. Sofie Pelsmakers of Tampere University to discuss the role of sensor technology in the modern built environment and the continuing need for sustainable change within the contemporary built environment. Our conversation covered the need to address the ‘performance gap’ within the sector, the ethical issues surrounding data capture, and obstacles impeding change. 

Dr. Sofie Pelsmakers is the Associate Professor for Sustainable Architecture and Sustainable Housing Design at Tampere University. She is a chartered architect with more than a decade of experience in building and teaching sustainable architecture with a specialty in low energy, affordable housing design. She also co-founded Architecture for Change (AfC), a not-for-profit environmental building organization that aims to change and challenge the way we currently design and build.

“It’s been a strange summer of highest temperature records that we never imagined we would see in such close succession. Yet, we are not really getting into gear or getting into action. I don’t know what it will take, but I never give up hope. I have to keep believing that we can make the changes required. Am I okay with that? No. But I think the key is to somehow frame the discussion, not as a disaster but to highlight the benefits for our health, wellbeing, and biodiversity. We can have spaces that are better for everybody, better for the climate, and work to address the damage we have caused.”

Our discussion covered

  • The industry’s understanding of contemporary ‘sustainability.’ 
  • The role sensor technology can play in the world of design. 
  • The ethical issues surrounding data capture and analysis.
  • The often-overlooked ‘human element’ in the modern built environment.
  • The obstacles standing in our way when it comes to tackling sectoral change. 

You can meet Sofie at our WDBE 2021 event on September 29, 2021, where she will be a keynote speaker.  You can review our program and register for the event at WDBE.org.

Listen to the interview (also on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other platforms)

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