By Liat Shalom
We live in a time when environmental issues are constantly emerging as deeply contentious political and social issues; this affects almost every aspect of our lives. We have been made aware as a society to things that we weren’t aware of 30 years ago, things like carbon imprint. In simpler terms Ecological thinking means Art should not take away it should make things better. Part of ecological thinking is calculating forward the carbon imprint that your piece is going to have on the environment.
Ecological thinking expresses the notion that the simplest answer may be best. We live in a world of technology and information and we use these tools to contribute our piece to the world, but sometimes in the simplest manor.
I love the notion discussed in William McDonough & Michael Braungart write in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, responsible sustainable design. They talk about the thought process that goes into the durability and life content of the design.
The goal is to make a piece which is timeless.
We can still appreciate the magnificent design of the Egyptian pyramids but I don’t think My IPod design will still amaze anyone in 30 years, seeing as how a new version of it comes out every year I believe it was made to have a shorter life span(Or shorter shelf life) and become obsolete faster.
For example William McDonough & Michael Braungart discuss intelligent design in a case study, On a new material they were trying to develop called Nylon 6. They bring up the term Eco-effectiveness: Theory and Practice, in the case study the idea was to make a nutritious fabric that is also Bio degradable. So once it wore down the user can toss it and it would biodegrade to food for the soil. That’s how they came up with blended wool and ramie. The study talks Nylon 6 is an ideal material for use as a technical nutrient and the key to the transformation of the carpet industry.
In conclusion ecological thinking teaches us to think a head about making pieces that don’t only take resources from the world but can also give them back. Teaches us eco-effectiveness things like using bio Bio-degradable materials, environmentally safe ingredients recycling , and solar power the list goes on and on , ways to not just contribute and leave a mark but hopefully make a timeless creation that is here to stay and give back to the earth, and its society for generations to come. It teaches us the thought process of where am I as a designer? And where do I want my ideas to go. This as a designer and artist I found was the most important part of ecological thinking.
Ecological thinking – a new approach to educational change by Shoshana Keiny :2002, University press of America, MD
Thinking through the environment By mark J .smith: Rutledge 1999, NYC
The promise of Nylon 6, a case study, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things- in intelligent product design, W. McDonough & M. Braungart (2002) :
Talks on cradle to cradle by W.Mcdonough (Feb 2005) . [Video file]. Retrieved from
Talks on cradle to cradle by W.Mcdonough.[Video file]. Retrieved from
Talks on cradle to cradle by M. Braungart .[Video file]. Retrieved from