Culture, Architecture and Nature : An Ecological Design Retrospective book cover
1st Edition

Culture, Architecture and Nature
An Ecological Design Retrospective

ISBN 9780415839679
Published December 4, 2013 by Routledge
176 Pages 33 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

Gathering his most compelling essays and addresses from the last fifty years in one accessible volume, this book looks at the pioneering ideas that underpin Sim Van der Ryn’s ecological design philosophy. It offers a unique decade-by-decade retrospective of the key issues in environmental design, beginning with the most recent years and looking back to the 1960s. With an introductory chapter and further recommended reading for each decade, this book is key reading for any architect or designer practising today, and students will find a wealth of knowledge with which to support their studies. The author’s beautiful illustrations, painted in a corresponding timescale to the chapters, offer further insight into the way he understands the challenges of humanity’s stewardship of our planet.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Nature's Mad as Hell Part 1: The Two-Thousands and Beyond: A New Radicalism... 1. 'Transformation', Keynote, Cascadia Green Building Council, Seattle 2009 2. Athena Award Reception Speech, Congress for the New Urbanism, San Francisco 2008 3. Keynote, Environmental Design Research Association, Sacramento 2007 4. ‘Greening Campuses, Greening Education’, Los Angeles 2006 5. For Further Reading: The Decade’s Seminal Books Part 2: The Nineties: Integrating the Ecologies of Nature, Culture and Humans 6. Keynote, Solar Energy Association of Oregon, Portland 1999 7. ‘Healthy Building’, Resurgence Magazine, 1993 8. Keynote, Ecological Cities Conference, Los Angeles 1991 9. Christopher Alexander and Sim Van der Ryn: a Dialogue, Esalen Institute Big Sur 1991 10. For Further Reading: The Decade’s Seminal Books Part 3: The Eighties: The Lost Decade 11. ‘Integral Design’, Sausalito 1988 12. ‘The Next Urban Transformation’, Sausality 1985 13. ‘Little America’, Le Monde, 1981 14. For Further Reading: The Decade’s Seminal Books Part 4: The Seventies: The Environmental Awakening and Response 15. Bateson Building Dedication, Sacramento 1979 16. ‘Ecotopia Now’, New Age Journal, 1979 17. ‘The Coming of Age of Natural Design’, L’Architecture d’Ajourd’hui, 1975 18. For Further Reading: The Decade’s Seminal Books Part 5: The Sixties: Questioning the Dominant World View, Ethos, and Paradigm 19. ‘Building a People’s Park’, Berkeley 1969 20. ‘Problems and Puzzles’, AIA Journal, 1966 21. For Further Reading: The Decade’s Seminal Books

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Sim Van der Ryn is the president of EcoDesign Collaborative, a Northern California firm known for its pioneering work in integral design. For over 30 years he taught architecture and design at the University of California, Berkeley, inspiring a new generation to create buildings and communities that are sensitive to place, climate, and the flow of human interactions. As California State Architect in the seventies he was responsible for designing and building the first series of groundbreaking energy efficient, people-friendly, climate responsive government buildings. He is the author of six groundbreaking books about planning and design, which have helped inspire architects to see the myriad ways they can apply physical and social ecology to architecture and environmental design. Van der Ryn lives in the San Francisco Bay area.


"Glimpse into the genealogy of one of the pioneers of the "sustainability ethic" that has now captured the hearts and minds of the built environment practitioners.  Maybe you never had the chance to cross paths with Sim Van der Ryn; you were busy, far away, or born in a different time and place that didn’t allow for this particular serendipity to grace you. Wander through Sim’s speeches. Appreciate the consistent, gentle, tenacious message that runs throughout early Sim to recent Sim. Our goal as designers is to evolve; observing Sim’s evolution provides a model of hope, perseverance, and dignity. Lean on this book for inspiration, comfort, and courage." Jane Talkington, Sustainability Scholar-in-Residence, Institute of Creativity and Innovation, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University

"[The] book leaves the reader with a deeper understanding of the possibilities for sustainable living" Gwen Williams, Gwen Photoblog