Theoretically, ecological thinking connects to the idea of nature and the environment. In the sense of new media, the process of HOW environmentalists find ways to save the environment is relatively the same as when designers encounter a problem with their designs. The key to both is thinking with an open mind; also known as ecological thinking. Whenever an issue arises, one must be able to consider all options to benefit the most out of their audiences. No answer is necessarily the right answer, therefore the “whole issue” must be looked upon from every angle with any given consequence.
According to Mitchel Resnick, ecological thinking can be compared to a tree. “As conditions change, ecological strategies adjust and produce new solutions tuned to the new conditions. There is no pre-planned script; decisions and solutions change over time.” For environmentalists, they must look at their conditions based on the time period, the audience and the already existing circumstances. Designers too must look at their product and make it adapt to present day needs, interests and knowledge. The key to doing this is having a strategy that is flexible where there are decentralized approaches to the matter. Ecological thinking, like a tree, is made up of many contributions to a problem, rather than just one guaranteed solution. In the case of the environment and designing, many know that there is never a guaranteed solution because conditions are always changing. In a case like this, trial and error is typically present because ecological thinking involves being amenable to the current status of a problem, but also adapting if it does not succeed.
In conclusion, to think ecologically, is to respect diversity. One must be able to take on a project with positive thoughts, but also be aware of the negative and be rational about them if they occur. Being open minded is the key to success but sustainability is also the key in ecological thinking.
Lorraine Code, Ecological Thinking: The Politics of Epistemic Location
Fred S. Kleiner, Art Through The Ages
Websters Dictionary: Ecology