Ecological Design, Tenth Anniversary Edition

Ecological Design, Tenth Anniversary Edition

Sim Van der Ryn

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1597261416

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Ecological Design, Tenth Anniversary Edition

Sim Van der Ryn

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1597261416

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Ecological Design is a landmark volume that helped usher in an exciting new era in green design and sustainability planning. Since its initial publication in 1996, the book has been critically important in sparking dialogue and triggering collaboration across spatial scales and design professions in pursuit of buildings, products, and landscapes with radically decreased environmental impacts. This 10th anniversary edition makes the work available to a new generation of practitioners and thinkers concerned with moving our society onto a more sustainable path.
 
Using examples from architecture, industrial ecology, sustainable agriculture, ecological wastewater treatment, and many other fields, Ecological Design provides a framework for integrating human design with living systems. Drawing on complex systems, ecology, and early examples of green building and design, the book challenges us to go further, creating buildings, infrastructures, and landscapes that are truly restorative rather than merely diminishing the rate at which things are getting worse.

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bring the problem to the attention of the community. Sustainability begins in modest acts of responsibility. In Berkeley, California, a group called Urban Ecology has begun to make the city streets speak of the land hidden beneath their surface. The Urban Ecologists have stenciled “creek critters”—frogs, salamanders, salmon, and other creek species—on streets above culverted creeks and painted the unambiguous warning “NO DUMPING— DRAINS TO BAY!” next to storm drains around the city. One can no

before reaching the Rio Grande. It also uses local resources—vegetation (mesquite tiles) and minerals (caliche, lime, pozzolan, iron trusses)—and locally produced wastes (straw bales). Max’s Pot is “mining for the knowledge to capitalize on local resources . . . and local farmers, metalworkers, and builders to sustain the small Blueprint Farm community and, by extension, dozens of such settlements on the periphery of existing cities.”21 By responding in an information-rich, energy-poor, and

American Architecture (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1989), 247. 6. Gary Paul Nabhan, Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1989), 71. 7. Ibid., 72. 8. Vandana Shiva, Monocultures of the Mind: Perspectives on Biodiversity and Biotechnology (London: Zed Books, 1993), 14. 9. Cajete, Look to the Mountain, 79. 10. We are indebted to Katy Langstaff for her provocative notion of a “pattern for sustainability.” 11. Thomas Berry, The

Unfortunately, most design is hostile to ecotones. In reaction to the rapid, haphazard growth of cities in the industrial era, city-planning practice as it developed in the early twentieth century zoned development into separate single-use land areas for housing, industry, commerce, and recreation. Government action discouraged and often ruthlessly eliminated the older, more organic concept of mixed uses in close proximity. Architects focused on creating new prototypes for single-use buildings.

Everyone is a Designer 175 At the community scale, ecological design is an experiment in democracy. Daniel Kemmis, mayor of Missoula, Montana, writes of an issue that divided his town a few years ago. Missoula, located in a broad mountain valley, is often subject to inversion layers during the winter. These layers were trapping the smoke from thousands of wood stoves, producing unacceptable levels of particulates. In this case, a renewable local resource—wood—was causing damage to the shared

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