METU Middle East Technical University
Faculty of Architecture, Ankara - Turkey

Ecology in Architectural Context (0-3) 3

Catalog Catalog Catalog
An elective course for undergraduate level Architecture and Planning students with a semi-practical, semi-theoretical foundation. The course focuses on evaluating the natural resources within the contemporary architectural practices while exploring the human interactions with their natural and built environment. In depth, interdisciplinary explorations help to comprehend the ecological opportunities and constraints as well as the visual characteristics inherent in the given sites.

Objective Objective Objective
To explore and to help apprehend the dynamics and interrelations of the fragile ecosystems, natural processes and significant ecological principles which eventually enhance the establishment of environmentally benign, harmonic and relevant design solutions.

Method Method Method
In an intense introductory session, the basics of ecology and the natural procedure of ecosystems are introduced. In continuation, the problems and interferences that are generated from the human activities are stressed and defined. This session employs exploratory hands-on practices and is led by a series of lectures supported with handouts and slide presentations. Each student concludes the first session by designating a case site with significant ecological constraints and / or potentials.

In the principal portion of the course restorative ecological solutions -to heal-, functional architectural elements -to reason- and aesthetical compositions -to appreciate- are explored, examined and exercised. Relevant examples are presented in the class and outdoors from both successful and unsuccessful practices.

At the final session the students are encouraged to build installations on actual sites or to present dramatizations in studio conditions that will best represent their comprehension of their site's ecological problems with succeeding solutions.

Overall inspirational, innovative, poetic and rational solutions are to be explored and to be discussed at every class session of the course operations. Lecture/discussion meetings supported with visual material, site visits and a series of pin up presentation sessions embody the substance of the course.

Course Outline Course Outline Course Outline
Week 1 Introduction
Constitutional Essences of Life on Earth
Week 2 Site Visit
Week 3 History of Nature
Evolution Process of the Species
Species' Competition and Symbiosis.
Week 4 Site Visit
Week 5 Ecosystems and Their Dynamics Natural Recourses
Week 6 Site Visit
Week 7 Hazardous Human Activities on Ecosystems and their Consequences
Week 8 Site and Project Designation
Week 9 Precautions and Restorative Efforts,
Restorative Design and Discussion Sessions
Week 10 Problem Definition
Week 11 Ecological Solution Development
Week 12 Design Development
Week 13 Design Development
Week 14 Evaluation and Colloquium
Justification Justification Justification
Knowing leads to love, loving leads to preserve. Science helps to discover. The more we discover about the natural facts the more we understand our very own nature. Human being is the only species who deliberately alters his/her environment. The demand for new and more natural resources in every area of human practice increases with his/her fast crowding population and ever-improving technology. Habitat is the most remarkable of the demands in the state of conflict between human and wildlife. The contemporary awareness of focusing on more renewable resources also clearly stresses the importance of the land as one of the most fragile and limited resources. As architects and planners it is our responsibility to make the most of the limited resources of earth respectfully in the process of building and planning on the lands claimed from the other dependents of these resources.

Environmental consciousness is an essential tool for contemporary physical and social planning. Undoubtedly, architecture and related disciplines are crucially critical with their power of shaping our habitats with awareness to maintain, to restore and to heal the natural balance of ecosystems.

References References References
ARTHUR, R. D., " Man and His Environment", American Elsevier, New York, 1972

BOTKIN, D. B.; KELLER, E. A., "Environmental Studies", Charles E. Merill, Columbus, 1982

CLAPHAM, W. B. Jr., "Natural Ecosystems", Mc Millan, New York, 1973

CLEVELAND, H., "The Global Commons", Policy for the Planet, The Aspen Institute, Aspen, Colorado, 1989

COLINWAX. P., "Introduction to Ecology", John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1973

DUKE, F., "Destroy to Create", Interaction with the Natural Environment in the Building of America, Dryden Press, Hinsdale, 1972

EDINGTON, J. M., "Ecology and Environmental Planning", Chapman and Hall, London, 1981

GOLDSMITH, E.; ROBERT, E.; ALLABY, M.; DAVOLL, J., "Blueprint For Survival", Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1972

HESTER, R. E., editor "Understanding Our Environment" The Royal Society of Chemistry, London, 1986

JORDAN, R. W III., GILPIN, M. E., ABER, J. D. editors, "Restoration Ecology" A Synthetic Approach to Ecological Research, Cambridge, 1987

Mc HARG, I., "Design with Nature", Natural History Press, New York, 1969.

PERMAN, R.; YUE, M.; McGILVARY, J.; COMMON, M., "Natural Resource and Environmental Economics", Longman, London, 1999

REAL, L. A., BROWN, J.H., editors "Foundations of Ecology" Classic Papers with Commentaries, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1991

ROSNAY, Joel de, "The Symbiotic Man", A new Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future, Mc Graw Hill, 1999

SIMMONS, I. G., "Earth, Air and Water", Resources and Environment in the 20th Century, Edward Arnold, 1991

SIMMONS, I. G., "The Ecology of Natural Resources", Edward Arnold, London, 2nd ed., 1981

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