Architects and interior designers employ green design in their practice in an effort to reduce consumption of energy, water and material resources and diminish harmful impacts on inhabitants and the environment. This view is of great importance but one sided because it focuses only on the technical aspects of buildings. There is another view of sustainable design – the humane one – where the main aim of architects and interior designers is to work closely with users, understand their needs and design responsive environments. This design approach also focuses on the wholeness, spirit, and beauty of the land and tries to preserve and enhance these qualities as they are vital not only to humans but also to all species. Noted architect Christopher Alexander has been a proponent of such a humane building process and his theories and building methods on pattern languages and generative design aim to create livable and responsive environments. In order to achieve a more inclusive and holistic sustainable design both design tracks, the green one and the humane one, should be integrated into a unified whole. In this paper I present a teaching model where both these design tracks are integrated in an effort to develop and educate students on a more integrative, sustainable design. This unified design model, which I call “The Humane Green”, I developed and tested in a graduate interior design program. In this paper I describe the theoretical framework of “The Humane Green”, explain the teaching model I developed, present a community project designed by students using principles of this model, and conclude with findings and future implications. The initial work done on this design model looks promising and merits further research.
|Keywords:||Humane Green, Sustainability, Humane Design, Green Design, Interior Design, Architecture, Curriculum Development|
Associate Professor, Interior Design, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, College of Health and Human Development, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, California, USA
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