Ecological Design

Ecological Design is any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes. Ecological design is an integrative, ecologically responsible design discipline. It helps connect scattered efforts in green architecture, sustainable agriculture, ecological engineering, and other fields. Ecological design is both a profoundly hopeful vision and a pragmatic tool. By placing ecology in the foreground of design, it provides specific ways of minimizing energy and material use, reducing pollution, preserving habitat, and fostering community, health and beauty. It provides a new way of thinking about design. (Van der Ryn and Cowan, 1996)

History

**1971 Ian McHarg, in his book "Design with Nature", popularized a system of analyzing the layers of a site in order to compile a complete understanding of the qualitative attributes of a place. McHarg would give every qualitative aspect of the site a layer, such as the history, hydrology, topography, vegetation, etc. This system became the foundation of todays Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a ubiquitous tool used in the practice of ecological landscape design.
**1994 David Orr, in his book "Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect", compiled a series of essays on "ecolgocial design intelligence" and its power to create healthy, durable, resilient, just, and prosperous communities.
**1994 John and Nancy Todd, in their book "From Eco-Cities to Living Machines" describe the precepts of ecological design.
**2004 Fritjof Capra, in his book "The Hidden Connections: A Science for Sustainable Living", wrote this primer on the science of living systems and considers the application of new thinking by life scientists to our understanding of social organization.
**2004 K. Ausebel compiled compelling personal stories of the world's most innovative ecological designers in "Nature's Operating Instructions."

Theory

Concepts

Practitioners

Case Studies

Relevant Wikipedia Pages

*Energy-efficient landscape design
*Environmental graphic design
*Green roof
*Principles of Intelligent Urbanism
*Sustainable landscape architecture

References

External links


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