Principles of Regenerative Environmental Design:
1] Design as a Way of Life. 2] Reflection of Evolving Regional Society, Tradition, Culture, and Religion 3] Utilization of Indigenous Technology, Materials, and Labor Skills 4] Direct Response to Microclimate / Seamless Site Integration 5] Minimum Inventory / Maximum Diversity Systems 6] Direct Designer / Builder / Inhabitant Participation 7] Net Resource and Energy Production 8] Self-Regenerating 'Living' Systems
"Regeneration" is a term perhaps more accurate than "Sustainable", in conveying the noble vision and intensions of the growing movement in ecologic awareness and accountability. Beyond merely maintaining existing conditions, regeneration implies a self-perpetuating living process, of continual reformation, rebirth, and renewal. "Environment" includes the food we consume, the clothing we wear, the shelters we inhabit, and the biosphere we live within. Thus environmental design is both the primary means and the end by which we may hope to influence our collective destiny. Our future may well be determined by the environmental / architectural quality and opportunity we provide.
Environmental Design is a unique art form, analogous to the "pure" arts, which affects the consciousness and experience of the participating observer. Environmental Design however, must embrace a more urgent and far reaching purpose and responsibility, with a direct relationship to the evolution and quality of life on Earth. Environmental Design must be synonymous with "Architecture", as the integrated beneficial inter-relationship, between all external conditions and things, that affect the existence and development of the organism, individual, or group. Organism in this sense must be understood to mean our entire living universe, and the definition of environment to include the food we consume, the clothing we wear, the shelters we inhabit, and the biosphere we live within. Thus environment is both the primary means and the end by which we may hope to influence our collective destiny. We are in an era when the esoteric ecologically negligent monuments to human ego of our past, no longer have meaning, or can be condoned in our future. Indeed, our future survival itself may well be determined by the environmental / architectural quality and opportunity we provide. Our conceptions of reality, and our visions of the future are reflections of our own self-image. Thus our concepts of environmental reality must facilitate both the present and the future we desire for ourselves and our children's children, by reflecting and projection our evolving concepts of ourselves as Homo Sapiens. Environmental space-forms, both geophysical and built, in a sense, determine our fate. Different spatial geometries directly affect the quality and types of interactions, relationships, and organizations which may take place. Personal, social, political, cultural, and spiritual fibers must all be seamlessly interwoven into an architectural fabric which nourishes the beauty and health of both our individual and collective home in the cosmos. The focus of this thesis is not to document and substantiate the current state of our global environmental condition. It is assumed that the reader is well aware of information on this subject, and has already drawn personal conclusions, regarding the magnitude of the situation. We must not make the mistake however, to assume that technology can get us out of the situation that technology has gotten us into. And the important point is, even if our current condition is "sustained", and doesn't get any worse, it could be so much better for us all. While not a prediction or a prescription, the hope is to enlighten and inspire the reader / participant's mind, to reveal what can be done, to suggest perhaps what should be done, but not what must be done. It is hoped that this work will help to facilitate our transition from an ailing diagnosis, into a healthy prognosis, through the appropriate application of knowledge, and simple loving care. We have taken from the Tree of Knowledge, and the fruit can never be replaced, once it has been eaten. Our hope lies in using our knowledge with humility, appreciation, and reverence, to "divinely conceive" the rebirth of our innocence lost. Hence we will not be expelled from our earthly garden. It is this, that together, we must unlearn to do. We can return to the Earth... more than we have taken. We can contribute to the collective benefit of life...
Blossom In the Seed:
The place of man is not only to live in harmony with nature, but also to exhault, celebrate, and express the great sense of awe, wonder, and creativity of mankind. Thus, ecologically responsible architecture need not be anonamous, unseen, and unexiting. Quite the contrary, it should be a stimulating artistic expression and testament, of the people who design, build, and inhabit the buildings of their dreams. We should celebrate that within us which is human. What should be taken seriously... is the joy. We can evolve systems and conditions that will allow for the maximization of life potential, and new definitions of what constitutes "Fact", if indeed facts exist at all. [The only fact may be that there are no facts.] We can try to understand and respect the consequences and the inter-relatedness of all our actions. We can evolve a higher order of cultural cohesion and a sense of future destiny. Manifesting least effort and maximum advantage, our built environment can have meaning not only in the present, but also embrace accountability and consequence, by anticipating and providing an inherent potential responsiveness to future needs and conditions. Unity is a homogeneous inter-relatedness, of and between disparate specialized elements, combined in such a manner to create a more meaningful and beneficial whole. Not only is the total greater than the sum of its parts, but it is the manifestation of wise design, which transcends the moment. The essential nature of design is neither confined to its form, function, environmental impact, or socio-political consequence. What is truly essential... is invisible to the eye. The real nature of design lies in the symbiotic development and relationship of all parts, i.e., in the totality of its spacial and temporal unfoldment. Regenerative Design is a confluence, where a myriad variety of streams of intention merge together, forming an integrated and interrelated flow... which is itself a tributary channel of a greater river of meaning... flowing into a sea of unity.
© Copyright H. Frederick Oesch * 1998 - 2012 * All rights reserved.