Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Environmentalism and Design
Thanks for your suggestions. I guess I was a little bit vague in my request. Let me try to explain.
For Chapter 1.2* I am looking at landscape architect Lawrence Halprin's relationship to the environmental movement emerging in the 1960s (his work 1960-1976). In doing so I need to define environmentalism from the perspective of environmental design professionals (architects, planners, engineers, etc) and the popular political movement. I am trying to give myself a quick briefing on how the environmental movement is discussed or historicized in both political science/social science circles in order to make the correlation to the design/architecture field and then in particular Halprin's own work.
Since the 19th century urban planners and architects have theorized the importance of preserving the natural environment to ensure the well-being of humans living in the urban environment. One might consider early designers such as Ebeneezer Howard (inventor of the Garden City concept) and Frederick Law Olmsted (designer of Central Park) as early environmentalists. The importance of these earlier concepts of integrating nature into the urban environment was revived in the 1950s as Environmentalism began to gain momentum as a political movement; an example of this can be seen in the 1950s protests to ban A-bomb testing. And I'm sure there are strides being made in environmental science that went along to support these raising concerns in national policy. And while I am more familiar with Environmentalism as an idea as it developed in the design field, I am still wondering about specific discussions/events texts taking place in the scientific community.
Anyhow, I hope this explains my position a little bit. This topic is something that interests me not only for my dissertation, but I am also thinking of designing a class about the history of Environmentalism in architecture or Ecological design..."Green" architecture (still need to think of a sexy title to attract students). And like my dissertation I would like to provide some wider context for the course.
* Chapter One is for the time being Chapter 1.1 and 1.2 it will likely be changed to Chapter 1 and 2 and then the current Chapter 2 will be Chapter 3...etc. Essentially the original Chapter One that was written a year ago is being split up and expand to become the entire dissertation.