Mental landscapes – the forgotten element in sustainable design

This note was reviewed and approved for currency in October 2018.

Built environments are an incarnation of our mental landscapes.  In Western culture we have an unhealthy and unsustainable approach to our inner paradoxes (e.g. our need to move and to reside).  We purge our contradictions. In the built environment, this dramatically reduces efficiency, creativity and sustainability.  Design professionals concerned about sustainability must learn how to plan in three domains simultaneously: mental, social and built. Some practical directions are suggested.

note summary
  1. Introduction
  2. The symbiotic relationship between mental landscape and design
  3. A complex world of contradictions
  4. Why the way we deal with contradictory needs is unsustainable
  5. Practice implications for design professionals
  6. Is physical design social engineering?
  7. Designing in three domains simultaneously