Monday, January 31, 2011

reflections on ecological design

The human being is a living creature. He is a part of  nature itself thus follows a defined and known life cycle; this lifecycle is  the sequence of day, month, year through out the different seasons .

The cycles of a man's life  consisting of birth, up-bringing, marriage, fatherhood, retirement, death is the complete path for one’s life leaving away for his children and his grandchildren to continue this journey.This is the definition of sustainability on the inidvidual level.

His successors will also draw other cycles for their life that connects with who they are and their personas but also connected to their fathers, family, tribe , communities, nation.

These multiple life cycles form  society and through them and their lives that the continuity of the historical, cultural aspects of a society is preserved.

These social cycles have been the foundation of anthropology in understanding how communities and societies are formed.
These interrelationships unveil  the invisible connections of the communities to the way it constructs meanings of the space  with time through its activities  
In designing our  plans and thinking about our development frameworks of design schemes, wether we are practitioners,
planners,policy makers, there needs to be more awarness to the mental plans of the city as a reflection of  these cycles .

The city becomes an ecosystem that through obeservation will reveal to us  the interaction of the different activities within it.

Sequence is  in the ecological cycles of earth, flora and fauna as well as in the sequence of the day (dawn, noon, sunset, late night) and the seasons ( winter , spring , summer, fall). 

 Our urban ecosystem is connected to the wider ecosystem in nature and thus a bigger picture also needs to be considered when we talk about enviromental consideration - it is not only how much we are impacting the enviroment around us.

it is about also how the cycles inside our masterplans link to the bigger cycles of the context we are living in and to think about how we will reflect these nodes of linkages without making the plan too rigid that it can not allow for the community to retrace meanings and emabed it in the framework.
The human life cycle is centered on the individual by excellence .As a living creature, the human being moves, migrates, grows and changes and by consequence is not static.

So, the concept of human life is one that does not accept state in one location and one era. We need to under-stand this flexibility ,resilience and adaptibility as it becomes crucial to strive to it since it is at the core of sustainable development.

One must not confuse stillness and presence with statism because it is in stillness that one observes his achievement and contemplates its proceedings. 
Therefore, he must be present to do so meaning being alert and conscious .Consciousness in this sense is a faculty that one uses to optimize his cycle. Our plans become more tolerant in  providing the community places of stillness. 
places of meaningfull meditation as people strive not only to be engaged but also to disengage , not only to connect but also to disconnect.

 The human life is a journey through out space and time- it the series of small choices we make , which route we take, which district we live in - most of our choices are affected indirectly with the planning challenges and opportunities that our city provides.In this sense, the plan needs to be in line with the choices that the community is making on daily basis and call for also a reevaluation of these choices mitigating the one chosen by constraints and putting weight on opportunistic choices- ones that may enhance the experience of one's life inside the city.

This motion through out space and time begins from the moment the human being is reflected in his small travels such as his day going to work and leaving his home. Our plans need to account for the small journeys , how they will look like , what they will mean to the community.

So, Respecting cycles of activities, of flows,of seasons, of time and space would allow our plans might to last  more than the next generation. 


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    Thank you, nadine!

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