Design Ecologies

Essays on the Nature of Design

Lisa Tilder, Beth Blostein

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     6 × 9 in (15.2 × 22.9 cm)
256 pages
72 color illustrations, 64 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 12/15/2009
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568987835

Contemporary architects are under increasing pressure to offer a sustainable future. But with all the focus on green building there has been little investigation into the meaningful connections between architectural design, ecological systems, and environmentalism. A new generation of architects, landscape architects, designers, and engineers aims to recalibrate what humans do in the world according to how the world works as a biophysical system. Design in this sense is a larger concept having to do as much with politics and ethics as with aesthetics and technology. This recasting of the green movement for the twenty-first century transforms design into a positive agent balancing societal values with environmental needs.

Design Ecologies is a ground-breaking collection of never-before-published essays and case studies by today's most innovative designers and critics. Their design strategies--social, material, and biological--run the gamut from the intuitive to the highly technological. One essay likens window-unit air conditioners in New York City to weeds in order to spearhead the development of potential design solutions. Latz + Partner's Landscape Park integrates vegetation and industry in an urban park built amongst the monumental ruins of a former steelworks in Duisburg Nord, Germany. The engineering firm Arup presents its thirty-three-square-mile masterplan for Dongtan Eco City, an energy-independent city that China hopes will house half a million people by 2050. An essay by designer Bruce Mau leads off a stellar list of emerging designers, including Jane Amidon, Blaine Brownell, David Gissen, Gross.Max, Robert Sumrell and Kazys Varnelis, Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, R&Sie(n), Studio 804, and WORKac.

Lisa Tilder is an architect and an associate professor at the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University, where she teaches design, representation, and theory. She has received design awards including the Young Architect's Award from the Architectural League of New York and the Far Eastern International Digital Architectural Design Award. Beth Blostein is an associate professor at the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University and a partner with Bart Overly in the architecture firm Blostein/Overly Architects. Their work has been exhibited nationally at venues including the National Building Museum and the Center for Architecture in New York.

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