Born in Belgium in 1977, Vincent Callebaut attended and graduated from the Institut Supérieur d’Architecture Intercommunale Victor Horta, Bruxelles in 2000. After graduating he moved to Paris to intern with architects Odile Decq and Massimilano Fuksas. Not long after his internship, which lasted for 2 years, he founded his own company Vincent Callebaut Architectures.
Callebaut is very concerned about the environment, particularly the damaging effects human carbon emissions. Many of his achitectural designs focus on creating buildings, or even whole cities that combine "ARCHItecture + BIOtechnologies + Information and Communication Technologies (ICT, TIC in French) or Archibiotics, a conception field that aims to invent new eco-friendly lifestyles" (1). His numerous designs are geared to make humanity less dependent on fossil fuels and achieve a point where we are actually carbon negative.
While some of his designs, like the Lilypad city and the aqeuorea oceanscrapers are still just concepts, others, like the Tao-Zhu garden, a sustainable residential tower that should be completed sometime this year, are currently being built.
But, he doesn't just design sustainable buildings and cities, but he is also an active voice in trying to bring about more sustainable practices in general. He has written numerous publications (books, magazine articles, newspaper articles) on environmental sustainability. When he introduced his oceanscraper concept Callebaut presented "the idea in the form of a letter addressed to the "people of the land", which accuses the present population of carelessly "mortgaging the fate of future generations". It is penned by a fictional teenage "aquanaut" named Oceane based Aequorea and dated 24 December 2065" (2).
Callebaut exhibits both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in his concepts for sustainable buildings. Building anyone of these would make Callebaut a substantial amount of money, and would make him world famous, but he is very passionate about the environment and bringing these to life would help him achieve his ideal of protecting the earth and helping people. His motivation for designing the Lilypad floating cities was to help refugees that will lose their homes due to rising ocean levels (if nothing is done to help the environment before that happens) (3).
Vincent Callebaut is challenging the idea that urban life and a net zero carbon footprint can't go together. After seeing his designs I know that I would love to live in one of the buildings or cities that he designs. I encourage you to check out the Vincent Callebaut Architecture's website and see all the other cool designs he's made.