Monday, February 15, 2010

Ecological Design

Showing various components of ecosystem and th...Image via Wikipedia
Ecological design was defined by Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan as "any form of design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes."[1] Ecological design is an integrative, ecologically responsible design discipline. It helps connect scattered efforts in green architecture, sustainable agriculture, ecological engineering, ecological restoration 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, restoring ecosystems, inventing landscapes, and fostering community, health and beauty. [2] Ecological design provides a new way of thinking about human interventions into the natural world by going beyond many streams of environmentalism, which often merely call for a minimization of human impacts on the natural world. Ecological design thus can be defined as a careful and deliberate form of human intervention with the natural environment that attempts to improve natural conditions or reverse environmentally destructive impacts.[3]

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