Profiles in Regeneration: Samuel, 22, Canada
There is no reason to plan for the future if we cannot solve the issues of the present.
22-year-old architect Samuel Bager is looking to build solutions to our world’s current and future environmental issues. One project, the Biomimic Pavillion, will be a public pavilion module that diverts single-use-plastics from landfills while simultaneously introducing a closed-loop system into the single-use-plastic industry.
Regenerative Futures: How are you feeling right now?
SB: I’m currently on my third consecutive all-nighter for my architecture classes at GSAPP, but I feel AMAZING. Also, the weather has finally cooled off so I can wear my toque and some layers, and I can also sleep with all my windows open without waking up in the morning covered in sweat!
RF: What’s a secret your search history can tell us about you?
SB: I’m normally a very organized and clutter-free human, but at any given time, I have at least 70 tabs open on my phone’s browser (yikes). Right now, 64 are various architecture projects and articles, and the other six are recipes for some delicious plant-based meals!
RF: What are you reading/learning about at the moment?
SB: In my “Footprint: Carbon & Design” class I’m currently learning about embodied energy in architecture and the building arts. Different from Operational Energy, which refers to the amount of energy used throughout the entire lifetime of a building (lighting, cooling, heating, etc.), Embodied Energy is much harder to visualize and calculate. Embodied Energy is the total amount of energy used throughout all processes of the construction of a building. Some examples are the process of extracting raw materials from the earth, transportation of all raw and processed materials, even the amount of labor involved in the construction process. As of right now, buildings account for roughly one-third of the world’s energy consumption, and 40% of that is attributed to Embodied Energy. The topic is incredibly timely, and I believe it should be at the forefront of all architectural discussion, discourse, design, and research.
RF: Who is your favorite human and why?
SB: Without a doubt, my mother, father, and brother. Jodi, Steven, and Theo Bager are three of the world’s most incredible humans. Every day they surround me with endless love, happiness, and inspiration, and I can confidently say that I would not be where I am in my life right now without them.
RF: Which key moment inspired you to start your project?
SB: During my spring quarter of 2019 at SCAD, I took a course called “Biomimicry: Collaborative, Nature-Inspired Design” taught by Scott Boylston. It completely changed the way I approach architecture and design in general. It was in that class that I came to realize that an architecture that does not give back at least as much as it takes away should not exist in the first place. Only when there is a thoughtful consideration for the environment, the social and political context, and the community, should it then be realized. Specific to my project was an exercise where we were asked to select three organisms at random and create/design something or solve some sort of a problem engaging the principles of the biological strategies that the organisms utilize to survive. For the design of my Biomimic Pavillion, I ultimately selected the burrowing owl, the radiolarian, and the scarab beetle.
RF: In two years' time, what would your project’s success look like?
SB: In two years, I would love to see the first Biomimic Pavillion completed and fully functional in a public park in a big city somewhere in the world. Additionally, it would be nice to see it being used as a model/template for more Biomimic Pavillions in public parks within cities all over the world! Its implementation in public spaces across the world would serve the purpose of helping to divert single-use plastics from landfills and our oceans while simultaneously increasing public knowledge and awareness of this already pressing issue.
RF: If you could focus a large percentage of government funding on one industry or project for the next five to ten years, which would you choose and why?
SB: THE ENVIRONMENT. There is no reason to plan for the future if we cannot solve the issues of the present. At this rate, there may not be a future for the next generations, and it is our responsibility as a human race to do everything we can to either reverse the damage that has been done or prevent it from getting any worse than is it right now.
RF: What are the best and the worst things about the education system in your country?
SB: The best thing would be the seemingly endless topics and subjects you can learn within your field of study, and even the flexibility to try other courses in various areas of interest. A drawback would most definitely be the cost and overall accessibility (or lack thereof) to other students around the world. Education is an invaluable gift, and not providing everyone equal opportunity to access it should be a crime.
RF: Do you have a message for anyone your age living in the year 2060?
SB: Hello, 22-year old living in 2060! I REALLY hope we’ve started to figure out this whole climate thing for both my sake and yours. OH, and please tell me the cops who murdered Breonna Taylor have been brought to justice.
RF: What inspires or frightens you most about the future?
SB: The multivalent methods of innovation and seemingly endless design processes in architecture that address the climate. Everyone has a different way they approach design, and what makes no sense to some can be second nature to others. With reference to the environment, the topic of the design approach is so broad and relatively unexplored, but that only makes it more interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by the ways with which other designers and architects approach the conceptualization and formalization of a project, so putting that in the realm of an environmentally conscious design could be incredibly inspiring.
RF: Regeneration is…
To learn more about Regenerative List finalist, Samuel Bager, click here.