Introduction: Ecologies and Architecture

2 – “Urbanisms in the Plural” – Stan Allen

Urbanism is a trend from west to east. Similar models of city are copied everywhere because of the global life characters. At the same time, the complex organization of city brought conveniences and problems. The city is a mirror that reflects the change of activities, thinking and history.

The metropolis concentrated the movement of all aspects in our society. Here is a place of conflict between innovation and tradition. The new technology muted or amplified that conflict, however, it also shaped the city according to the city’s right or wrong requirements. City is like as a huge technical device that can exchange all kinds of information. It is a center of communication.

Artificial ecology in the city is similar as the natural system to enhance the connection between all the agents with the objects, but this system is not same with the natural ecology. Artificial ecology can be “helpful” or “harmful”.

The landscape ecology is different with the landscape urbanism as difference between natural l ecology with city’s artificial ecology.

The architecture and landscape made up of the city, and both of them could not be isolated each other. The buildings, pathway and movement system formed the horizontal texture of city.

The city is a dynamic, complex and synthetical occupancy place.

1. Urbanism is a trend for the human society, but some cities are dying out, for example – Detroit, USA. How do we explain this kind of phenomena?
2. Landscape is the most important texture of city. How did the city to keep the balance between the landscape and the trafficway.


1 – “Architecture, Ecological Design, and Human Ecology” – David Orr

Architecture is a multi-disciplinary field which includes the ecology that is most important subject in our world, because the pollution, confliction and destruct frequently happened in our planet. As the article reminded, “the perennial problem of human ecology is how different cultures provision themselves with food, shelter, energy, and the means of livelihood by extracting energy and materials from their surroundings”. For example, the Japanese always hunt the cetaceans to get high economic interest with the excuse of science research.

Human’s requirement overload the indeed need of themselves, for example, the American life are luxurious with huge consume and it depends on the plunder from out of America with wars, penury and environmental destruct. The international transport accelerated the energy waste as mentioned in the article -“For every 100 pounds of product, we create 3200 pounds of waste.” The speed of recycling the wastes is lower than the yield of wastes.

In the next century and a lot of species will die away with the human population reaching a burdensome level. Some people expected that science and technology can improve the capability of our planet for the population. However, science and technology are only the last excuse of human beings’ cupidity. Management of the Earth is a camouflage of plundering our planet by vested interest. The development of technology can deal with some problems but cannot avoid the problems and even it will produce the problems.

We could not throw away the apple because of the core, just as Human isolate themselves with the nature to protect it. Ecological design gives us new way to recalibrates our behavior and thinking. However, it is also a huge challenge to human previous abuse. Enormous changes of our social, economic and cultural structure are uncertain. For example, the control of population is a good but controversial way to protect our planet. The one children policy in China kept the national development in a reasonable level but was vilipended as a Nazi’s Racial Hygiene.

Our knowledge is still limit and uncontrolled for the nature, and we need to carefully treat with our planet.

To respect larger cultural and social patterns is a very important principle in ecological design. It can bring the peace and progress for our world instead of conflictions and wars.

Ecological design is more like finding a good way to come back home than finding a new way to leave home.

1. Which aspect of Architectural education is more important? Ecology or other?
2. Are there some shortcomings of ecological design?


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