The Emperor Has No Clothes

That is to say, how the NEB, trying to overcome it, reveals the difficult relationship between sustainability and beauty


  • Marco Bovati Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani del Politecnico di Milano



sustainable architecture, ethic-aesthetic, venustas


NEB initiative proposes to consider aesthetics, sustainability, and inclusion as keywords for the transformation of social spaces and the construction of a different culture of living for the new Europe.

However, NEB's invitation reveals a fundamental need to construct a strong relationship between sustainability, inclusion, and beauty. The reasons for this are to be found in the profound sense of the word sustainability, which, while it clearly shows the close relationship with the concept of inclusion, in no way refers to aesthetics.

We must seize the opportunity offered by the NEB to resolve this problematic relationship and to help overcome its consequences, expressed in the insipidity of an architectural practice that, for decades now, has treated sustainability as a mere parameter of energy-environmental efficiency.

Finally conjugated with the term beauty, sustainability and inclusion could represent a maturation of sustainable architecture that, to date, has only rarely been able to include the relationship between ethics and aesthetics among its priorities.