Friday, September 4, 2009

Nature's Design Studio

Meet my neighbor. She drops by at unexpected times to remind me that my species isn't the center of the world. I think of her when people talk about green building. They focus on structures that are energy efficiency, photovoltaics and renewable resources. Nothing wrong with that. But, are those the concerns of my neighbor?

Much of green design is approached from the problem-solving, left brain attitude that slices the world into defined pieces and then wonders why the eco-system is breaking into bits. This is like appreciating a bird's ability to fly, dissecting the bird, studying its anatomy, putting it on the window sill and wondering why it doesn't fly away. That's what we do on a global scale. We take the immense power of our brains, focus it on finding logical solutions to the problems of building in the garden of the world, and don't see that our fragmented viewpoint only creates more fragments.

One way to get out of this mess may be to look beyond our human-centeredness and look into the eyes of the ecosystem we inhabit. What shapes do you see in the land, plants and animals that share your neighborhood in the city of planet earth? What colors are specific to that place? How do the patterns of light and shadow move through out the day? Where do the birds hang out during the day? Notice that patterns of food gathering for all the species that share your natural neighborhood. How can you participate in the multi-dimensional life of this community life?

What you will find, I don't know. That's the point; to move beyond what we think we know and learn from our neighbors. They have worked in nature's design studio for millions of years, researching how to live sustainably. The architecture they've developed is elegant, beautiful and functional in ways we can only hope to achieve.

No comments:

Post a Comment