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

Paperback | September 29, 2004

byDavid W. Orr

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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 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 thecritical 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 des...

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 Award.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 5.39 × 8.11 × 0.51 inPublished:September 29, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195173686

ISBN - 13:9780195173680

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Table of Contents

I. The Problem of Ecological Design1. Introduction: The Design of Culture and the Culture of Design2. Human Ecology as a Problem of Ecological DesignII. Pathologies and Barriers3. Slow Knowledge4. Speed5. Verbicide6. Technological Fundamentalism7. Ideasclerosis8. Ideasclerosis, ContinuedIII. The Politics of Design9. None So Blind: The Problem of Ecological Denial (with David Ehrenfeld)10. Twine in the Baler11. Conservation and Conservatism12. The Politics Worthy of the Name13. The Limits of Nature and the Educational Nature of LimitsIV. Design as Pedagogy14. Architecture and Education15. The Architecture of Science16. 2020: A Proposal17. Education, Careers, and Callings18. A Higher Order of HeroismV. Charity, Wildness, and Children19. The Ecology of Giving and Consuming20. The Great Wilderness Debate, Again21. Loving Children: The Political Economy of DesignBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"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 technologicalfundamentalism constricting so much current thought."--Ecologist