this is a response to the art and ecology question, "how are human designed
spaces part of an ecological system?"
to me this raises the possibility that human designed spaces may not be part
of an ecological system.
the way i see it, everything created by man necessarily becomes part of the
ecosystems. the question is whether the designers of a building take the
potential interactions with the ecosystems into consideration or not.
failure to understand the ecosytems of the area where building is to take
place, can lead to negetive impacts on both the environment and on the
the hills of southern california are coverred with long grasses. part of
this areas ecosytem are periodic fires, which serve to clear out the old dead
grass so new growth can take place. however, people have failed to recognize
this ellement, or perhaps they just ignored it, and consequently many homes
are destroyed by fires.
at arcosanti, the ecosytems of the area have been taken into consideration.
the buildings are close together and vertical in nature so that no cars are
needed to get from one part of the city to the other, and pollution is
reduced. the buildings are constructed from concrete, which stays cool even
in the summer. in addition, the buildings take advantage of the sun for
lighting but are angled so as to prevent too much heating in the summer.
they also lessen the impact on the environment by building on areas which
support the least amount of vegitation, and leaving most of the land
the point is, every man made structure is going to interact with ecosystems.
the degree to which this is realized by the builders determines what type of
impact the building will have on the ecosystems, and also how the building
will be effected.
arted university of arizona