Design with Nature: Learning from Ecological Systems to Educate the Urban Dweller
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Nature has an effective approach to cycling materials and energy flows to promote life. This thesis aims to expose urbanite users to nature’s way of cycling materials. The seawall is the largest public space in Vancouver at the edge of land and sea. A neighbourhood community centre along the edge called the Conservatory for Community Matters is created to nurture environmental stewardship by mimicking natural cycles in its function. By conveying architectural systems and form in a cyclical and organic approach, an architectural intervention can address the daily environmental impact of urbanites while rooting people in place and nature in the city. The community centre’s program connects the individually focused daily rituals of eating, making, and exercising to benefit the larger community where urbanites can reintegrate their organic ‘wastes’ into usable by-products. This promotes a paradigm shift transforming the apathetic consumer into an active member of the urban ecosystem.