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Thursday, March 14, 2013


If you can see the land or sea beyond your pavement, look around you. This is our source of life. Even a small yard and a single tree contributes to its integration and our benefit. It is a Natural Domain challenged by a Built Domain of Shelter, Movement, and Life Support. The Built Domain has led us to believe we live in a separate world; but the reality is that we are competing with the planet and neither domain is free from a universe beyond our comprehension.

We are not free to compete without consequence since the evolution of a threat to the planet will not prevail. The results consume and pollute the land and sea, not to mention the atmosphere, which I think all recognize as our source of life. Among us, a completely free market is free to cannibalize vulnerable populations. This is not Darwinian evolution and improvement of the species. It is predatory competition disguised as evolution that consumes the planet based on a Ponzi concept of growth. It will eventually lead to extinction. The course must be adjusted with the responsibility we often choose to ignore. Competition with five fouls to give only applies to sport and war.

A building has its roots in the land and will not flower until its functions are in harmony with the planet’s ecologic functions. Until then it will remain a parasite consuming our source of life. This means that a building and its occupants must recognize the sovereignty of the planet and contribute to its health and welfare. This is the question before architecture and it must expand its knowledge, skills, and correlation with others before it can begin to address a question that is part of our evolutionary responsibility. The challenge is to design cities and shelter that represent a new period of symbiotic awareness on an evolutionary path we are expected to define.