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Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education

Since 1990, the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) has led and coordinated the architecture profession's involvement in environmental and energy issues and promoted the architect's role in this arena. Funded by a planning grant from the Tides Foundation’s Kendeda Sustainability Fund, the AIA COTE's report, Ecology and Design: Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education, provides a look at the degree to which ecological literacy and sustainability are playing a role in American architecture education.

The report includes

  • a survey of recent efforts to bring environmental awareness into education across the board and issues of sustainability into architecture education
  • definitions of sustainability, ecological literacy, and sustainable design
  • examples of U.S. academic architecture departments where ecological literacy has had an impact
  • surveys of U.S. architecture school Web sites and course offerings
  • profiles of grant winners following a call for coursework
  • a proposal for the establishment of a national Center for Ecological Design which would focus on architecture education at all levels, and a detailed look at the activities of such a center.

Climate change, resource use, and building trends frame an imperative for change for the architecture profession and academia and for sustaining human life and quality of life on earth. Ecology and Design is a call to action.

Ecology and Design Contents

Front Matter

Chapter 1: Introduction

Executive Summary l Project Overview l Education for a Sustainable Future

Chapter 2: Sustainability and Ecological Literacy

Defining Our Terms l A Conversation with David Orr

Chapter 3: Sustainability and Architecture Education

The Nature of Architecture Education l Curricular Innovation for Environmental Sustainability  l  A Survey of Architecture Schools' Web Sites l Trends Toward Ecological Literacy in Other Disciplines

Chapter 4: Teaching and Learning

Coursework Introduction  l  The Call for Papers  l  Grant and Special Recognition Recipients

Chapter 5: Proposal for Action

The AIA COTE Center for Ecological Design


Reference Sources and Other Relevant Works  l  Champions of Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education  l  Sample Reading List  l  Coursework Reading List Matrix  l  Submitted Coursework  l  Top 10 Measures of Sustainable Design  l  Top 10 Green Project Award Recipients  l  SBSE Retreat  l  Web Survey Report  l  Teaching Design That Goes Goes from Cradle to Cradle


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