chapter  1.4
7 Pages

Responsible Design

WithJanis Birkeland

Dysfunctional human society-nature relationships remain largely unchallenged in built environment design. Eco-logical design can be viewed as an ethic and method for achieving social transformation. Responsible Eco-logical design redefines project goals around issues of basic needs, social equity, environmental justice and ecological sustainability. Design decisions are fundamental to the social, environmental and economic impacts of development on all scales. Eco-logical design is an integrative, multilateral problem-solving method that seeks to reduce ecological, economic and social impacts over the life of the product or structure. Because design is a social activity, the built environment in many ways mirrors, or is a projection of, the culture. Eco-logical design is directed toward a vision for a better future. Pyramidal design has distributed the burdens of production primarily onto the poor, creating dependency and distancing them from access to healthy, clean environments. Eco-logical design can help reintegrate the social and natural world, restoring physical and psychological health and recultivating a sense of wonder.