From ecology to a broader conception of life

Ecology as a starting point:

The need for a broader view of life comes about, in a simple way, from the ecological viewpoint. Nowadays many people have begun to recognize the importance of animals, plants, and living systems to the earth; and have begun to seek a view of architecture and city planning which is consistent with the maintenance of life.

So far this has been fairly intuitive. It has meant that, in addition to buildings, architects want to create systems of trees and plants which sustain themselves: systems of building that are wholesome with respect to nature, coordinated with natural processes, not damaging to the great forests of the Amazon, not damaging to the birds and butterflies in the backyard. For several decades architects and lay people have understood this form of architecture as something desirable.

Pushing that idea further, we can get to a new conception of life which unites life in natural and human-made things:

But we need to push the ecological idea further. What it needs — what it already has, as a seed within it — is a conception of life which goes beyond the narrow mechanistic biological view of life, and somehow embraces all things. This arises from the desire to take everything as a single system and to make it whole. If we want to take an ecological view of architecture, we naturally try to take the view that our job on earth is to create life in buildings and in towns, not only in the “wild” part of nature. This is quite different from merely preserving the natural life which exists. It means creating life in man-made things and natural things together.

#book/The Nature of Order/1 The Phenomenon of Life/1 The phenomenon of life#

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