the recent challenges of environmental science and activism have not been met by the architectural profession with innovative intellectual or imaginative propositions. and yet, it is the task of the design disciplines to discover new ways of understanding the human relationship to the environment, even ones that leave much of its past conventions behind. “ecological thinking” represents one such radical foundational departure, but it is one that should not be seen as foreign to the design disciplines, for it has everything to do with how forms are made and how they arrive in our midst.
contemporary models from evolutionary theory to the neurosciences are adopting ‘ecological’ perspectives and conceiving their objects as products of networked interactions. a change in thinking is called for today that goes well beyond the current scope of ‘sustainability’ discourses.
sanford KWINTER is a canada-born, new york-based writer and world-renowned architectural theorist, and a co-founder of the influential zone books publishers. KWINTER currently serves as professor of theory and criticsim at the harvard university graduate school of design.
in 2007, the institute of architecture (ioa) initiated an annual series of lectures and exhibitions to foster exchange between students, faculty, professionals and the general public. the ioa sliver series presents a set of thin but deep ‘slices’ through a variety of design disciplines.