This writing is not meant to condemn anybody. It is just a thought and not intended to be self-proud. This is a thought about something from my point of view. I've been raised in a traditional Malay village somewhere in south Perak, Malaysia. On that time, there were many traditional Malay houses still exist and habitable. One of them was my grandparent's house. As I can remember, the house was made from wooden planks, on stilts, and some parts were still using 'nipah roof' as well as new material of zinc. The surrounding environment was flourished with various of plants such as coconut trees and some local fruity trees. The comfort level inside and outside the house was good with natural ventilation, has a good level of day lighting and using organic base construction materials.
Typical Malay House
On that particular time and I think now, my grandparents depending on the never-dry artificial well as a secondary water source apart from the modern water supply. They also plant some local vegetables and have livestock such as chicken and goat for daily food usage. This was in 1980s where I was raised and lived with this sustainable lifestyle.
The question that lingers in my mind is, why the concept described as a new concept? In fact, many architects, engineers and designers are re-branding the previous generations of sustainable life. As we moved to the new era of modernization and urbanization and along the way, we had invented new technologies that contributed to the new problems, I would say that we just found the solutions of that new problems only. The previous generations created their own version of sustainable life and now is our time to create our way of sustainable life
Some names of great architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and Mies Van Der Rohe for me were the founder of the sustainable design. The 'falling water house' design by FLW, for example, was totally well-blended design with nature. The building scale, materials and technology implemented were ahead of the time. That was as early as 1920s this such sustainable design had been designed.
I dedicate this writing to all designers all around the world. The best environmental solution is from the local traditional buildings. Let's have a deep thought about it.
The Falling Water House designed by FLW