Chris is an environmental architect, consultant, lecturer, and author. Other interests include creative writing, painting, music, and organic gardening. He has 40 years of international experience in green building, energy and sustainable development. A Norwegian citizen and co-founder of the GAIA group (see below), he has also lived and worked in Spain, France, Britain and Bhutan. After a 3-year research posting at Warwick University, UK, he is now a researcher at the Centre for Development and the Environment, Oslo University. Chris has also published about Bhutan and Buddhism.
Brief Bio see full CV here>>
Born in Capetown, Chris took a BA degree in Literature at Stellenbosch University. He then worked in Mallorca, Spain before living in France for 7 years where he completed his MA in architecture at Montpellier and engaged in ecology, solar energy and green building. He co-authored two books (in French) on Ecological Rural Construction, and worked as self-employed builder and organic farmer.
Moving to Norway in 1980, Chris led courses in sustainable planning and design at the Oslo School of Architecture, initially with Howard Liddell. With former students this led to formation of the GAIA architecture group. In 1981 he was appointed course leader for the international summer program Energy, Environment and Social Change at Oslo University, which he leads to this day. Four years based in Bergen included architecture projects, energy conservation, consultancies and teaching.
During 10 years living in Bhutan he designed schools and a hospital, plus consultancies for international agencies including SNV, UNICEF and FAO. Together with his family he founded the first ever preschool in Bhutan. Chris also worked at the National Library of Bhutan on Buddhist texts and translations from Tibetan, publishing a book on Bhutanese religious history in 1995.
Returning to Norway, Chris became leader of NABU, Norwegian Architects for Sustainable Development, which he built up over 6 years as a self-financing organisation employing 4 staff working with designers, ministries, municipalities, housing groups and business. He led conferences, workshops, exhibitions and study tours, and published the first of his 3 books in Norwegian on green architecture. The following years saw work with GAIA International in Taiwan and Scotland, and two years as Special Adviser at the Ideas Bank Foundation, Oslo, working with communities and municipalities, including two booklets in English on successful examples of local Sustainable Development in Scandinavia and worldwide.
In 2014 Chris was appointed researcher at Warwick University School of Engineering, UK, on a 3-year EPSRC program on low impact housing in hot climates, with partners in Asia and Africa. This led to several peer reviewed publications and a book, Designing Cooler Cities with contributions by researchers in six Asian countries. In 2017 he joined SUM, the Centre for Development and the Environment in Oslo, for research on sustainable consumption.
Music: Debussy, Scriabin, Crowded House, Steely Dan, Incredible String Band, The Who, Radiohead …
Authors: Lao Tzu, Alan Watts, C.G.Jung, Næss, Blake, Rimbaud, Yeats, Calvin and Hobbes …
Films: Blade Runner, As Good as it Gets, Life of Brian, Being There …