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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 "progress." 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 rec The environmental movement has often been accused of being overly negative--trying to stop "progress." 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 action.


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The environmental movement has often been accused of being overly negative--trying to stop "progress." 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 rec The environmental movement has often been accused of being overly negative--trying to stop "progress." 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 action.

30 review for The Nature of Design: Ecology, Culture, and Human Intention

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tereneh

    By page 75 I decided I was just going to read it all in one day. In addition to feeling confirmed in my convictions personality, it also challenged me. The same pages that supported the ideas of my eco-design project working with Maasai women, also uncovered ways to improve our collaboration. All in all this is the third book I read this year that has changed my life. I actually took a moment, well an hour, to listen to his talk in 2013 at Parsons (where I used to teach). I wanted to see how ess By page 75 I decided I was just going to read it all in one day. In addition to feeling confirmed in my convictions personality, it also challenged me. The same pages that supported the ideas of my eco-design project working with Maasai women, also uncovered ways to improve our collaboration. All in all this is the third book I read this year that has changed my life. I actually took a moment, well an hour, to listen to his talk in 2013 at Parsons (where I used to teach). I wanted to see how essays written in the late 1990s and 2000, held up for him. All the basic principles are still there, though time is not on our side. Honest, optimistic, clear and we need to do it now.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    This is wonderful read about the state of our culture. David Orr has an excellent command of the English language and uses it to intelligently convey his arguments. He seeks to speak at you, rather than down to you. He touches on a variety of ideas how to revolutionize society to change. The chapters cover planning, wilderness, architecture, language, economy, and more. The chapter "Verbicide" provides a great argument on why we should seek to master our language. The last chapter titled "Loving This is wonderful read about the state of our culture. David Orr has an excellent command of the English language and uses it to intelligently convey his arguments. He seeks to speak at you, rather than down to you. He touches on a variety of ideas how to revolutionize society to change. The chapters cover planning, wilderness, architecture, language, economy, and more. The chapter "Verbicide" provides a great argument on why we should seek to master our language. The last chapter titled "Loving Children" is the gripper and weaves together all his arguments and why we need to change. As one reviewer on the back cover says, "If you are looking for a warm glow because you recycled your tine cans and sent a check to the Sierra Club, you better pick another book. These are urgent, impatient, absolutely realistic essays."

  3. 4 out of 5

    jenne

    that david orr is amazing. anyone interested in this book, or is reading this book or read it should read the article he wrote called "loving children: a design problem." you can read it here: http://www.resurgence.org/resurgence/... and this book is his thoughts on how to love. via ecologial design. amazing. that david orr is amazing. anyone interested in this book, or is reading this book or read it should read the article he wrote called "loving children: a design problem." you can read it here: http://www.resurgence.org/resurgence/... and this book is his thoughts on how to love. via ecologial design. amazing.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Great book. Gave me a completely new perspective on how to really look at a building and evaluate new structures. Highly recommend to anyone. Easy read and great information.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Har

    Great!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    brilliant so far.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dianna Xu

  8. 4 out of 5

    Shashwat

  9. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Norman

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael Beaton

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cory

  12. 5 out of 5

    Muñoz

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  15. 5 out of 5

    Arturas

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julio Sueiras

  20. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris Stratton

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bill White

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julie McKnight

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Powers

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alix

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyn Stephens

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mikayla Anderson

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