University of Cambridge > > Martin Centre Research Seminar Series - 40th Annual Series of Lunchtime Lectures > Ecological design and planning

Ecological design and planning

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Abstract: The premise is that there is no one single best approach to achieving green design, but a number of ways to arrive at the same goal. The presentation presents five propositions. The first proposition regards green design as designing to weave four ecoinfrastructures: the ‘grey’, ‘blue’, ‘green’ and ‘red’ into a system. The second regards green design as the seamless and benign biointegration of the artificial (human made) with the natural at three levels: physically, systemically and temporally. The third proposition regards green design as ecomimesis: designing the human built environment as an artificial ecosystem that mimics natural ecosystem: their structure, functions, processes, features and their development. The fourth approach to ecodesign is one of the restoring of existent devastated natural environments and the rehabilitation of our existing built environments and cities. The fifth proposition is where ecodesign is regarded as the monitoring of ecosystems and built systems in the biosphere and the subsequent rectifying of any environmental imbalances and coordinated sets of environmental interactions. A theoretical model for green design is presented together with the attendant technical and design issues. The above propositions are illustrated by a series of design examples. Other unresolved areas of green design are also discussed.

Biography: Ken Yeang (Dr.) is an architect-planner, ecologist and author who is best known for his signature and innovative green buildings and masterplans. He is regarded as one of the foremost designers and noted authority on ecologically- responsive architecture and planning. He has authored several books on ecological design and tall building design, one jointly authored with Professor Ivor Richards (partner of Sir Leslie Martin). He has received numerous awards for his work and designs. His key built works include the Menara Mesiniaga (IBM) Tower (Malaysia), the National Library (Singapore) Great Ormond Street Hospital Extension (UK). He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and has served on the Royal Institute of Architects Council. He is the distinguished Plym Professor at the University of Illinois, and Adjunct Professors at Tongji University (Shanghai) and University of Malaya. He is Chairman of the UK architect and planning firm, Llewelyn Davies Yeang and principal of its sister company, Hamzah & Yeang (Malaysia). He received his doctorate in architecture from Cambridge University (Wolfson College). His dissertation is entitled, ʻA theoretical framework for the Incorporation of ecological considerations in the design and planning of the built environment.

This talk is part of the Martin Centre Research Seminar Series - 40th Annual Series of Lunchtime Lectures series.

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