Ecology, Research, and Design in the Climate Age
The past two decades have witnessed a resurgence of ecological ideas and ecological thinking in discussions of urbanism, society, culture, and design. The field of ecology has moved from classical determinism and a reductionist Newtonian concern with stability, certainty, and order in favor of more contemporary understandings of dynamic systemic change and the related phenomena of adaptability, resilience, and flexibility. But ecology is not simply a project of the natural sciences. Researchers, theorists, social commentators, and designers have all used ecology as a broader idea or metaphor for a set of conditions and relationships with political, economic, and social implications. Projective Ecologies takes stock of the diversity of contemporary ecological research and theory—embracing Felix Guattari’s broader definition of ecology as at once environmental, social, and existential—and speculates on potential paths forward for design practices. Where are ecological thinking and theory now? What do current trajectories of research suggest for future practice? How can advances in ecological research and modeling, in social theory, and in digital visualization inform, with greater rigor, more robust design thinking and practice?