Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Ecological Design

I find it astonishing that ecological design is not more widespread - both in society and in design education.

It is such a vital area - to our quality of life and ultimately our survival. What can be a stronger motivation for engaging in any type of practice? Our ecological situation is critical - with toxins in our air, water, and food, soil loss and depletion, depletion of natural resources, unravelling ecosystems, and more. We are in an ecological crisis. A crisis that is already dramatically influencing the lives of many of us (through diseases, hunger etc) and will dramatically impact all of us (through unravelling ecosystems, social unrest, and more).

I also find ecological design immensely attractive. It offers a partnership approach with the Earth community and future generations. It facilitates a sense of well being and increased quality of life of the inhabitants (daylighting, nontoxic materials, air quality, indoor living ecosystems, social interaction). It requires innovation and whole systems thinking (looking at feedback loops and how the components in the built, social and natural systems interact) - going beyond fragmented and shortsighted considerations. It is a design grounded in real and urgent needs. Most of all, it is fun!

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