Ecological thinking is not only a geography term; it is also the most important principle for a good design. For me this term means a type of thinking that evolves in relation to particular environment, the way of think will be change due to the local conditions.
An article from the International Journal of Computers for Mathematical Learning states that ecological thinking means thinking like a walking tree. A walking tree is a plant that grows in Costa Rica, and it will follow the nutrients and move their root over. This is similar to the main reason of ecological thinking, we have to be responsive to local conditions, consider which is the problem, and make a proper response to it. In addition, if the condition changed, it is also able to do the adjustment and make new solution according to the new condition as well.
Professor Gorbert once taught us a “sausage” game, she told us to ask questions to our classmate but they can only answer “sausage”, and afterward she told us that design need to understand other people’s need, we cannot only answer “sausage” to every question. I think this is the idea of ecological thinking, decision are based on local information, but not centrally-planned solutions.
Ecological thinking is a critical thinking way that needs to be simple, flexible, and robust all the time. Always think like the walking tree, evolves and changes due to different conditions.
Ecological Thinking by Code, Lorraine