Ecological Design Ecological Design


Sim Van der Ryn & Stuart Cowan
Format: Soft Cover
Length: 216 pages
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1559633891
Copyright: 1996

Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan present a vision of how the living world and the human world can be rejoined by taking ecology as the basis for design. Ecological design intelligence – effective adaptation to and integration with nature's processes – can be applied at all levels of scale, creating revolutionary forms of buildings, landscapes, cities, and technologies.

The authors weave together case studies, personal anecdotes, images, and theory to provide a thorough treatment of the concept of ecological design. In the process, they present and explain a series of design principles that can help build a sustainable world with increased efficiency, fewer toxics, less pollution, and healthier natural systems.


“With vision and coherence, Van der Ryn and Cowan lay the basis for a new philosophy and practice of design. Ecological Design expands and enriches the nexus of human and natural systems.”
-- Amory B. Lovins, Director of Research, and Bill Browning, Director of Green Development Services, Rocky Mountain Institute

“An elegant introduction to the field of ecological design. This ground-breaking book will change the way we think about buildings, agriculture, industrial processes, and our management of resources and wastes.”
-- Alex Wilson, Editor and Publisher, Environmental Building News

About the Authors

Sim Van der Ryn is professor emeritus in the department of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

Stuart Cowan, who received his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, is principal of Ecological Design Team.

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