Today after work I am going with my friend (co worker, neighbor, former classmate, SOON TO BE DAD) Troy to check out the thesis presentation gallery at our school. Those kids are GRADUATING tomorrow. You know what that means? I graduated a year ago. Where did that year go, I ask? Anyways, here is another view of what I spent that year working on. The thesis (Living Systems; Complex Natural Systems as a Model for Architectural and Social Development) was all about systems and holism, the interdependency of the planet and all that. It was a study in using the principles that govern complex natural systems of nature* as a guiding model for architecture, by applying the principles to both architectural systems and the social living systems that the built environment supports. Mostly it was a great reason to make a lot of diagrams. (Okay, I also think it is a highly important pursuit.) More here, here, and here.

Hey look. There are some fine quotes in this presentation, in case you are interested:

"Not everything which can be counted counts, but there are many things that cannot be counted, which count." Frank Egler

"The great conceit of the industrial world is the belief that we are exempt from the laws that govern the rest of creation." David Orr

"The traditional Indian stood in the center of a circle and brought everything together in that circle. Today we stand at the end of a line and work our way along that line, discarding or avoiding everything on either side of us." Vine Deloria

I had been kind of dreading the year long project that was research as much as design, but when it came down to it, I loved the research. (and the diagrams.)

*nestedness, networks, feedback, emergence, mutualism, diversity, you know. Complexity and all that.


  1. great thesis! i would like to see more of that in architecture. incorporating considerations of nature is a lost art. i love that my parents' house stays cool in summer without AC because of window placement, its location in relation to shade trees etc, but too many houses are constructed without that in mind. thinking about how architecture/land use planning affect communities is also going to be come increasingly important in this century.

  2. Anonymous11:37 AM

    i can't believe you graduated a YEAR ago! (this means i have been following your blog for exactly a year). you're a big girl now!

    such a great, well thought out thesis.

  3. The Vine Deloria quote is quite wonderful!

    And what a great topic for a thesis. I'm vaguely reminded of a book I read in my (sadly) single architecture class in college called "Thermal Delights in Architecture" by Lisa Heschong. Do you have any other books on the topic worth recommending?

    On an unrelated note, since I am a first time commenter, I want to thank you for posting such lovely photos of the desert. I've been living in the city for what is beginning to feel like too long, and it's so very nice to share your glimpses of the beauty of the "great outdoors" to tempt me back out into the wilderness!