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How do we design buildings and cities for a planet in crisis? And how do we create an equitable world for all life? Join sustainability strategist and author, Nirmal Kishnani, on Ecogradia, a new weekly podcast where we explore the way forward with experts and practitioners at the frontlines of sustainable architecture and urbanism. If you seek inspiring stories and provocative points of view, innovative ideas, and solutions that are future-ready, Ecogradia is for you. Each episode pushes the boundaries of knowledge so you can shape your own journey, beyond ‘less harm’ to ‘doing good’. To get even more out of this podcast, go to to find all our episode notes. You can also follow us, leave a review or share your views on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. The first season of Ecogradia is sponsored by the Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction.

Episodes (28)Default

Introducing Ecogradia: The sustainable architecture and urbanism podcast2022-11-18

Are buildings and cities doing enough? Are they rising to the challenge of an uncertain future? And are we doing what needs to be done fast enough?

1 min

Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell, WOHA: (Re)Imagining the city2022-11-22

How can we fix the problem of cities today? Is density at the expense of liveability? Are human-made and natural systems — key to our survival — at odds with each other? Can design offer a solution?

64 min

Prashant Kapoor, IFC/World Bank: Making sense of sustainable finance2022-11-22

We are seeing today a newfound interest in sustainable finance. Words like Green bonds and Green mortgages are increasingly common. But what do they actually mean?

58 min

Wolfgang Kessling, Transsolar: Low tech and low energy for high comfort2022-11-22

Cooling and heating consume a lot of power in buildings. But what if the answer to the question of comfort was only partly about mechanical solutions? What if we could create comfort indoors with little or even no energy?

63 min

Manit and Sonali Rastogi, Morphogenesis: ‘An architecture of almost somewhere’2022-11-29

Can a building address local and global imperatives? Can it be informed by the vernacular and yet be energy efficient? Can it be locally attuned and low carbon? What would this look like, say, in a place like India?

60 min

Yu Kongjian, Turenscape: Landscape as ‘art of survival’2022-12-06

We all want to live closer to nature. But can urban landscapes be designed to mimic natural systems and processes? And if replicated, what would a nature-based design approach mean to future cities?

62 min

Ten new episodes to keep the ball rolling, starting end-January2023-01-25

What matters more to a sustainable future? Better buildings or better urban systems? What do we do, where do we start, when the answer also hinges on our relationship with natural systems?

2 min

Ashok B. Lall, Ashok B Lall Architects: Bridging the social and environmental2023-01-31

Can design bridge the social and the environmental? How would a building do both, effectively? Is it possible to marry beauty and wellness with intelligence and efficiency?

67 min

Rahul Mehrotra, Harvard University Graduate School of Design: The kinetic city2022-12-13

Cities are evolving, living systems. Why then do we design them as fixed and permanent? Is it time for a new theory of urbanism, better suited to the developing world, where urban space is often used in transient ways?

59 min

Gregers Reimann, IEN Consultants: Building higher performance2023-06-19

What is a high-performing building? Do the two yardsticks of performance — efficiency and well-being — complement each other? If there are trade-offs, how do we prioritise?

62 min

Chrisna du Plessis and Bill Reed: Regenerating life by design2023-06-19

Should our buildings and cities minimise harm or do 'good' by design? In a world already at risk, less harm is no longer enough. We must repair, regenerate and create new life. So where do we start?

58 min

Bill Browning, Terrapin Bright Green: Crafting biophilic solutions2023-06-19

As a species, we seek closeness to nature. Designing for well-being, therefore, aims to bring nature to the heart of the built environment. But what do these ‘biophilic’ spaces feel like? And how do we set the stage to reap their benefits?

59 min

Kotchakorn Voraakhom, LANDPROCESS: Designing cities for water2023-06-19

Bangkok, Thailand's capital, is sinking fast, like many other cities around the world. How can urbanists turn this congested megacity, threatened by flood and saltwater intrusion, into a resilient amphibious metropolis?

57 min

Daliana Suryawinata and Florian Heinzelmann, SHAU: Being tropical2023-06-19

Tropical architecture: is it a perspective on place or a question of performance? How can architects from nations along the equator, like Indonesia, draw on local know-how rather than imported technology?

61 min

Prasoon Kumar, BillionBricks: Innovating homes for the homeless2023-06-19

More than a billion people are without shelter today. They could be 3 billion by 2050. Is the growing demand a giant opportunity? What if houses for those in need could produce both renewable energy and long-term profits?

52 min

Herbert Dreiseitl, DREISEITLconsulting: Thinking fluid2023-06-19

Water is a pressing design challenge of the climate crisis. Too much or too little and we struggle to survive. What is the sweet spot where we, our cities and the ecosystems that we rely on, can thrive?

55 min

Alyssa-Amor Gibbons, Studio Amor: Standing up to hurricanes2023-06-19

Extreme weather is often a matter of life and death. How do we design for the growing frequency and ferocity of storms? Do we resist at all costs or should we build structures that give in a little to save the whole?

59 min

Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell, WOHA: (Re)Defining beauty2023-06-19

Can sustainable buildings be both high-performing and beautiful? In the age of social media, image is king. Is our appetite for novel forms at odds with our goals for better performance?

52 min

Looking back at season 2 from the cutting floor2023-08-04

Season 2 of Ecogradia has come to an end. Before we move on, let’s take a peek at some of the talking points that didn’t make the cut in the last ten episodes. Here is what was left 'unsaid'.

58 min

The heat is on: Pressing ahead with a third season of ten new episodes2023-08-04

The climate crisis is here. Extreme weather is perturbing all lives rapidly across the world. How should buildings and cities respond? Should action be rooted in science or vernacular know-how? Or maybe both?

2 min
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