While Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired suburbs sprawled across the landscape,
a scratchy-voiced radical named R. Buckminster Fuller said: "Optimize
the way we use the world's resources. Do more with less. Don't wait
for the politicians. See what needs to be done and do it."
John Todd didn't wait for acceptance. He turned Fuller's notions
into "living machines" - buildings and whole city blocks
that process waste into resources. Jamie Lemer used Fuller's ideas
to clean up his city of one million, using the economic throughput
of recycling to feed and shelter its homeless people. And Steward
Brand published a catalog of tools for similarly inclined "design
outlaws": The Whole Earth Catalog.
Ecological Design celebrates the spirit and achievements
of these and a dozen other emergent leaders in designing as if nature
matters. As we peer into the next millennium, the tools they've
developed give hope for a positive future. -Digger