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Taking Turns: A Conversational Approach to Ecological Desgin
Rapp, Peter Edward
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Taking Turns: A Conversational Approach To Ecological Design. [Abstract] Better integration of human cultures and ecological communities is needed to sustain the health of people and the land. The inherent difference between concepts and things themselves, and the cultural disconnection between intellectual-conceptual and physical-material work, are implicated in environmental problems. Landscape designbuild is an opportunity to reconnect words, actions, and the land, to set convincing, practical examples for clients to follow, and to foster a mutually beneficial 'culture of habitat' (Nabhan). A collaborative home and landscape design project was undertaken with a family of three. Fieldwork involved a variety of interactive design techniques combining dialogue AND direct experience. The project ended with the completion of a conceptual design but did not reach construction stage before the close of fieldwork. 'Embodied conversation' describes the design process, characterized by alternating modes of interaction, turn-taking, negotiation of differences, and emergence of meaning and purpose. This approach heightened participants' awareness of their environment and generated a variety of useful design ideas, but better procedures were needed for moderating the pace of interaction and for making durable decisions. By balancing dialogue and direct experience, a 'conversational' approach to ecological designbuild work can help participants make sense of and use of their habitat in a way that reconciles human needs with ecological functions.
- Masters Theses