Sarah Wigglesworth on Sustainable Futures

External façade of the Bermondsey Cycle Store | Photo by: Mark Hadden

As designers explore strategies for a more sustainable built environment, they are increasingly recognizing the benefits of design principles and materials that respond to the particularities of different users and climates. But the ecological credentials of buildings also depend on how they are used over time, not just how — or of what — they are built. And though the number of high-performance buildings constructed is growing, the study of that performance has not. Architect Sarah Wigglesworth frames the work of her firm around a dedication to both sides of the process. Her firm’s “commitment to social sustainability — shaping the built environment for the benefit of everyone,” is matched by an enthusiasm for ecological and economic sustainability — as evidenced by explicit concern for user experience, use of innovative technologies and materials, and careful post-occupancy evaluations to inform and refine the firm’s design strategies.

This Thursday, February 28th, at 7:00pm, Wigglesworth will discuss her innovative work as part of the Architectural League’s Current Work series in a talk co-organized by the League, The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design, and The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union as its 2013 Eleanore Pettersen Lecture. Read on for more information from the program listing, or check the League’s website for the latest about the event or to purchase tickets online.

Current Work
Sarah Wigglesworth, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects
Moderated by Kevin Bone
Thursday, February 28, 2013
7:00 p.m.
The Great Hall, The Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
1.5 AIA and New York State CEUs

Since founding her London-based practice in 1994, Sarah Wigglesworth has developed a reputation for bringing great design to ecological buildings with innovative materials. At the heart of her firm’s interest in sustainability is a professed desire to help things run more efficiently, improve people’s well being, and make life more enjoyable.

Working primarily for public organizations and their communities, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects hopes to research and explore issues surrounding sustainable futures in its many aspects. Since 2006, the work of the office has grown in scope and has begun to encompass neighborhoods and master plans, such as the plans for Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire and New Cross, Lewisham. Wigglesworth explains that the scale is of interest “because of the greater opportunities it offers to help build truly sustainable communities (socially, financially and environmentally).”

Published and award winning projects include 9/10 Stock Orchard Street, the Sandal Magna Community Primary School, and the Siobhan Davies Dance Studios, among others (see images of all of these projects in the slideshow above). Together with her partner, Jeremy Till, Wigglesworth was the first architect to be awarded the Fulbright Arts Fellowship. In 2004, she was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Wigglesworth currently teaches at Sheffield University.

Kevin Bone is a Professor of Architecture at The Cooper Union and is the Director of The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design. He is a principal of the practice Bone/Levine Architects.

Reception to follow the lecture. The exhibition, Lessons from Modernism: Environmental Design Considerations in 20th Century Architecture, 1925-1970, will be open for extended hours during the reception.

Tickets are free for League members; $15 for non-members. To purchase tickets online, visit


The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.