Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
chapter 1
The Evolution of Design
The exact point in time when design professions' embrace of green principles
changed from a desirable commodity to a fully integrated design expectation is
probably lost in history. The difference between both designer and client expecta-
tions now versus the 1990s is striking. Green design transcends mere descriptions
of the techniques that may be employed in shaping a more sustainable exis-
tence on Earth. It must also incorporate the principles, processes, and cycles of
nature in a way that leads to a deeper understanding of what makes a design
successful. Ideally, a topic in the first decade of the third millennium that ad-
dresses green design should form the foundation for exploration and discovery
of new and innovative ways to minimize ecological footprints. But it must be
even more than avoiding the negative. Now, and from now on, designers must
strive for an end product that mutually benefits the client, the public, and the
It is only through creating a better understanding of the natural world that new
strategies can emerge to replace the entrenched design mind-sets that have relied
on traditional schemes steeped in an exploitation of nature. Designs of much of
the past four centuries have assumed an almost inexhaustible supply of resources.
We have ignored the basic thermodynamics.
Almost everything we do in some way affects the health of the planet, from
showering and brushing our teeth in the morning to well after we are finally
tucked in at the end of the day, and the small clock on our nightstand continues
to demand energy from the grid. One of the great misconceptions of scien-
tists and nonscientists alike is that environmental consciousness is not dictated
by sound science. To the contrary, everything that we do to the environment
can be completely explained scientifically. The good news is that by applying
the laws of science, we can shape our environment and provide the products
demanded by society both predictably and sustainably. That is, strategic use of
the principles of physical science informs our designs and engineering decisions.
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