chapter  6.2
6 Pages

Models of Ecological Housing

WithLiz James, Janis Birkeland

Ecological housing referred to housing that conserved energy through passive solar design, and gradually included the use of low-impact materials and closed-loop water and waste systems. This chapter examines ecological homes, and provides a capsule overview of some of the studies of the home in its social, political and historical context. Feminists have argued that the concept of 'home' itself became an embodiment of Western patriarchal culture. In order to create transformative homes and settlements, designers will need to undertake rigorous intellectual work. This will include rethinking the concepts of domestic life, work, reproduction, the division of labour, and the private/public, nature/culture, mind/body dualisms and other vestiges of the dominant paradigm that are manifested in even eco-housing design. Suburban housing could be seen as a manifestation of market relationships. As the design of habitats tends to reflect the social order, designers need to be aware of the role that housing plays in maintaining a sometimes materialistic, competitive and power-based society.