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

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Oxford University Press, Apr 18, 2002 - Science - 247 pages
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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 the critical 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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Contents

II Pathologies and Barriers
33
III The Politics of Design
83
IV Design as Pedagogy
125
V Charity Wildness and Children
169
Bibliography
221
Index
233
Copyright

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Page 102 - Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites ; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity ; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption ; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves.
Page 187 - And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it.
Page 96 - Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Page 196 - Oh, what a catastrophe for man when he cut himself off from the rhythm of the year, from his unison with the sun and the earth. Oh, what a catastrophe, what a maiming of love when it was made a personal, merely personal feeling...
Page 98 - You. will observe, that from magna charta to the declaration of right, it has been the uniform policy of our constitution to claim and assert our liberties, as an entailed inheritance derived to us from our forefathers, and to be transmitted to our posterity ; as an estate specially belonging to the people of this kingdom without any reference whatever to any other more general or prior right.
Page 57 - A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.
Page 103 - Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without.

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About the author (2002)

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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