1st Edition

Saving The Planet By Design Reinventing Our World Through Ecomimesis

By Ken Yeang Copyright 2020
    214 Pages 9 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    214 Pages 9 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Can we ‘save the Planet’? For a resilient, durable and sustainable future for human society, we need to repurpose, reinvent, redesign, remake and recover our human-made world so that our built environment is benignly and seamlessly biointegrated with Nature to function synergistically with it. These are the multiple tasks that humanity must carry out imminently if there is to be a future for human society and all lifeforms and their environments on the Planet. Addressing this is the most compelling question for those whose daily work impacts on Nature, such as architects, engineers, landscape architects, town planners, environmental policy makers, builders and others, but it is a question that all of humanity needs to urgently address.

    Presented here are two key principles as the means to carry out these tasks – ‘ecocentricity’ being guided by the science of ecology, and ‘ecomimesis’ as designing and making the built environment including all artefacts based on the emulation and replication of the ‘ecosystem’ concept.

    Designing with ecology is contended here as the authentic approach to green design from which the next generation of green design will emerge, going beyond current use of accreditation systems. For those who subscribe to this principle, this is articulated here, showing how it can be implemented by design. Adopting these principles is fundamental in our endeavour to save our Planet Earth, and changes profoundly and in entirety the way we design, make, manage and operate our built environment.

    Foreword  Preface  1. Reinventing the human-made world to address the sustainability equation  2. Redefining design to include the ecological sciences: The principle of ecocentricity  3. Reinventing the built environment by 'ecomimicry'  4. Ecological Design as the biointegration of a set of 'infrastructures': The 'quatrobrid' constructed ecosystem  5. Nature-based infrastructure - Earth's 'life support system'  6. Hydrological infrastructure  7. Technological infrastructure  8. Anthropocentric infrastructure  9. Being 'at one' with Nature  Glossary  Bibliography  Index


    Ken Yeang is an architect, planner and ecologist, best known for his signature ecoarchitecture and ecomasterplans, which are differentiated from other green architects by an authentic ecology-based approach, and by their distinctive green aesthetics, performance and biodiversity, beyond conventional rating systems. He was trained at the Architectural Association School in the UK. He is a pioneer in the field of green design, starting from his doctorate in the 1970s at Cambridge University on ecological design and planning.

    "...Yeang’s goal is to restore the broken link between human and natural systems. Biointegration makes architecture a "prosthetic" to nature. This aligns Yeang with the idea of ecological engineering, the hybridisation of the natural and human-made. His projects, even where they do not reach full potential, are prototypes, he says, to refine ideas that – for the potency of what they promise –challenge the design profession at a time when the restoration of natural systems has a newfound urgency..." - Dr. Nirmal Kishnani, National University Singapore

    "Without wildlife there is no life. Dr. Yeang’s concept of ‘bio-integration’ gifts people with an invitation to survive on the planet. Dr. Yeang sits uniquely in the midst of shifting the very concepts of architecture and sustainable design through ‘ecomimicry’, crucial in showing how humanity can thrive by emulating and replicating the attributes of the ecosystems around us". - Dr. James Karl Fischer, Architect and Zoologist

    "This is a critical time for our planet, and the design of the built environment is essential in addressing these challenges. This book is timely as it centers the debate on the importance of holistic ecological design." - Ali Malkawi, Professor of Architectural Technology, Founding Director of Harvard Center for Green Building and Cities, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

    "Ken Yeang has been a leader in bio-climatic architecture for decades. His pioneering research and buildings, combining architecture and nature, have provided inspiration for a generation of architects and planners concerned with ecology and the future of the built environment. His latest publication is an eloquent argument for the role that design, as a form of ‘ecomimesis,’ can and should play in helping us construct a more resilient and sustainable world." - Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean, and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

    "CAN WE ‘SAVE THE PLANET’ by reinventing, redesigning and remaking our human-made world to be truly resilient and sustainable? This is arguably the most compelling issue confronting designers given the current state of impairment of the global environment. Ken Yeang maintains that preventive action needs to be replaced by an environmental ‘race and rescue’ mission.

    Presented here are a set of ecology-driven design approaches intended to provide a "compass" for architects, designers, planners, policy makers — and indeed anyone involved in the human-made world — on how to protect and restore planet Earth effectively.

    Approaching design through ‘ecomimesis’— a ‘nature-centric’ idea based on the science of ecology— Yeang proffers a built environment that harmoniously integrates the characteristics of natural and semi-natural ecosystems in a way that combines the characteristics of both to design a human-made world capable of emulating these attributes. The call is to strive for an ‘ecotopia’— a world in which human society and its artefacts co-exist with nature in a dynamic and harmonious partnership — and in which net positive socio-environmental consequences are achieved wherever possible.

    KEN YEANG trained at the Architectural Association School (UK) and Cambridge University. He has been awarded Malaysia’s Merdeka Award, the Malaysian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, and the Architectural Society of China Liangsicheng Award. He has been a Council Member of the RIBA, is Distinguished Plym Professor (Illinois University) and an Honorary Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge University.

    Ken Yeang articulates a set of design approaches based on the function and structure of natural and semi-natural ecosystems that all designers should consider. He envisages the urban realm dominated by purpose-designed 'hybrid urban ecosystems' in which designed abiotic and biotic components interact synergistically to support and restore biodiversity and support humankind in the long term. It is a passionately expressed vision addressing an urgent challenge. " - Dr. Michael John Wells Ecologist & Ecourbanist, Founding Director, Biodiversity by Design Ltd.

    "You will learn a new language when you read this book. You will be drawn into thinking differently about everything around you. You will, in short, be made "eco-aware" when you finish and gain, perhaps, an understanding of the impact you have on people and things around you.

    What is refreshing about Yeang’s writing is he is forthcoming about how his learnings have evolved into a way of consideration of all things made by us, and not made by us. His writing is poetry in a sense, and poetry has always been quiet intensity in shaping the way we think and feel about things. As Ezra Pound put it, literature is "language charged with meaning." And that’s exactly what Yeang’s book is."  - Jim Nowakowski, President of Interline Creative Group, Inc. in a review on behalf of KB-Resource.com.