Ecological design / Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowan.

by Van der Ryn, SimLooking glass; Cowan, Stuart, 1965-Looking glass.

Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Island Press, 2007.Edition: Tenth anniversary edition.Description: xv, 238 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.ISBN: 9781597261418; 9781597261401; 1597261408; 1597261416.Subject(s): Environmental policyLooking glass | Human ecologyLooking glass | Social ecologyLooking glass | BiodiversityLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan Central Saint Martins
Main collection
Printed books 333.72 RYN (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 54055418
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Ecological Design is a landmark volume that helped usher in an exciting new era in green design and sustainability planning. Since its initial publication in 1996, the book has been critically important in sparking dialogue and triggering collaboration across spatial scales and design professions in pursuit of buildings, products, and landscapes with radically decreased environmental impacts. This 10th anniversary edition makes the work available to a new generation of practitioners and thinkers concerned with moving our society onto a more sustainable path. Using examples from architecture, industrial ecology, sustainable agriculture, ecological wastewater treatment, and many other fields, Ecological Design provides a framework for integrating human design with living systems. Drawing on complex systems, ecology, and early examples of green building and design, the book challenges us to go further, creating buildings, infrastructures, and landscapes that are truly restorative rather than merely diminishing the rate at which things are getting worse.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Preface (p. ix)
  • Acknowledgments (p. xiii)
  • A Ten-Year Retrospective (p. 2)
  • Part 1 Bringing Design to Life
  • Sustainability and Design (p. 18)
  • An Introduction to Ecological Design (p. 32)
  • Nature's Geometry (p. 50)
  • Part 2 The Ecological Design Process
  • Introduction: The Compost Privy Story (p. 68)
  • First Principle: Solutions Grow from Place (p. 76)
  • Second Principle: Ecological Accounting Informs Design (p. 102)
  • Third Principle: Design with Nature (p. 124)
  • Fourth Principle: Everyone Is a Designer (p. 168)
  • Fifth Principle: Make Nature Visible (p. 184)
  • Resource Guide for Ecological Design (p. 199)
  • Bibliography (p. 215)
  • Index (p. 229)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


This review is ambivalent. Positively, the authors focus nontechnically on environmental problems from a design perspective. Thus, their book could serve as a primer in environmental awareness for architecture students (building and landscape) and as a healthy reminder for the experienced. Negatively, those who read regularly about environmental solutions will find nothing new. Use of solar orientation for buildings, knowledge of site characteristics (slope, drainage, soil, wind), use of nonpolluting and renewable materials, sensitivity to indigenous flora and fauna, etc., are sound but well-known ideas. Still, we should welcome all calls for environmentally sustainable practices, especially in disciplines that so directly influence the natural world and our experience of it. Part 1 is a general call to sustainable, ecological design; part 2 is an extended description of five of its principles (solutions grow from place; ecological accounting informs design; design with nature; everyone is a designer; make nature visible). The connections among those ideas produce some repetitiveness. Contains a useful resource guide and bibliography for ecological design. All levels. W. Ouderkirk SUNY Empire State College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Sim Van der Ryn is the founder of the Eco-Design Collaborative, the non-profit Ecologic Design Institute, and the Center for Regenerative Design at the College of Marin
Stuart Cowan is a General Partner of Autopoiesis LLC

Other editions of this work

No cover image available Ecological design / by Van der Ryn, Sim ©1996
No cover image available Ecological design / by Van der Ryn, Sim ©1996