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 sustainability. A new generation of architects and engineers aims to recast the green movement for the twenty-first century and transform design into a positive agent by balancing the societal needs of humans with environmental considerations. Design in this sense is a larger concept having as much to do with politics and ethicsas with buildings and technology.
Design Ecologies is a groundbreaking collection of never-before-published essays and case studies by today's most innovative "green" designers. Their design strategiessocial, material, technological, and biologicalrun 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 introduction by designer Bruce Mau leads off a stellar list of emerging designers, including Jane Amidon, Blaine Brownell, David Gissen, Gross.Max, Peter Hasdell, Stephen Kieran and James Timberlake, R&Sie(n), Studio 804, and Work Architecture Company.