The Nature of Design

The Nature of Design : Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention

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The environmental movement has often been accused of being overly negative-trying to stop "pogress." The Nature of Design, on the other hand, is about starting things, specifically an ecological design revolution that changes how we provide food, shelter, energy, materials, and livelihood, and how we deal with waste. Ecological design is an emerging field that aims to recalibrate what humans do in the world according to how the world works as a biophysical system. Design in this sense is a large concept having to do as much with politics and ethics as with buildings and technology. The book begins by describing the scope of design, comparing it to the Enlightenment of the 18th century. Subsequent chapters describe barriers to a design revolution inherent in our misuse of language, the clockspeed of technological society, and shortsighted politics. Orr goes on to describe the critical role educational institutions might play in fostering design intelligence and what he calls "a higher order of heroism." Appropriately, the book ends on themes of charity, wilderness, and the rights of children. Astute yet broadly appealing, The Nature of Design combines theory, practicality, and a call to more

Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 148.8 x 217.4 x 20.3mm | 421.85g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019514855X
  • 9780195148558

About David W. Orr

David W. Orr is Professor and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College. He is the author of Ecological Literacy and Earth in Mind, as well as more than 100 published articles. Among other awards, he has received a Lyndhurst Prize Fellowship and the National Wildlife Federation's National Achievement more

Review quote

"The creativity of thought displayed is refreshing when compared to the hundreds of texts that criticise current practice without offering substitutes. And Orr's understanding of the role pysical surroundings play in human thinking inspires a vital alternative to the technological fundamentalism constricting so much current thought."--Ecologistshow more

Table of contents

THE PROBLEM OF ECOLOGICAL DESIGN; 1. Introduction: The Design of Culture and the Culture of Design; 2. Human Ecology as a Problem of Ecological Design; PATHOLOGIES AND BARRIERS; 3. Slow knowledge; 4. Speed; 5. Verbicide; 6. Technological Fundamentalism; 7. Ideasclerosis; 8. Ideasclerosis ... continued; THE POLITICS OF DESIGN; 9. None So Blind: The Problem of Ecological Denial (with David Ehrenfeld); 10. Twine in the Baler; 11. Conservation and Conservatism; 12. The Politics of Design; 13. The Limits of Nature and the Educational Nature of Limits; DESIGN AS PEDAGOGY; 14. Architecture and Education; 15. The Architecture of Science; 16. 2020: A Proposal; 17. Education, Careers, Callings; 18. A Higher Order of Heroism; CHARITY, WILDNESS, AND CHILDREN; 19. The Ecology of Giving and Consuming; 20. The Great Wilderness Debate ... Again; 21. Loving Children: The Political Economy of Designshow more

Rating details

96 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 32% (31)
4 38% (36)
3 19% (18)
2 9% (9)
1 2% (2)
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