Ecocentric Design in an Anthropocentric World


In a very anthropocentric society, where humans are often found at the centre, ecocentric aspects are taking over the design world. The overarching focus on sustainability and the widespread agreement of many to cut down on waste has caused a desire for designers to expand into ecocentric designs that provide both function and are environmentally friendly. Check out these ways to incorporate ecocentric design into your next project while living in an anthropocentric world:

Solar Panels as the Norm

Ecocentric Design in an Anthropocentric World

Green Dot Charter High School by Brooks and Scarpa.

As our society becomes focused on minimizing our overall footprint, renewable energy sources have become more prominently available. Even the top U.S. metro areas are promoting a more ecocentric heavy lifestyle when it comes to electric and utility choices for residents. Austin, Texas, for example, is a fast growing metro, also ranked in 2015 as the 13th area in the U.S. for total installed solar capacity, amongst larger cities. Solar panels on rooftops of homes and buildings that were once considered odd decades ago are now are a normal part of ecocentric design models in both residential and commercial buildings.

Building a home now without some sort of way to harness the natural resource of the sun's energy is considered unusual. Solar panels are widely accepted as a normal way to harness energy as other products become solar powered. The popularity of the technology has minimized the price point of solar power systems, even if lowered slightly, in order to make this option more available to the masses.

Curved Rooftops

Ecocentric Design in an Anthropocentric World

Baltic Palace by Mateusz Tanski and Piotr Michalewicz.

There are a number of positive aspects about designing a building with a curved rooftop. Not only does a curved rooftop allow solar panels to be angled to maximize their exposure to the sun but it also helps promote air flow throughout the house. Curved roof lines also help to allow water, including snow and ice in colder climates, to easily run off the building to be collected in rain water barrels for other sustainable uses.

Keep It Tight

Ecocentric Design in an Anthropocentric World

Ecocapsule by Nice Architects.

Ecocentric design calls for the use of building materials that are super-efficient. Keeping the outside air outside, as well as filtering the indoor air space, is a key part of designing a building that is sustainable. Triple paned windows are now used to lessen air loss whereas double paned remained the standard for decades. New styles of building materials have also emerged including the use of Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) that also greatly minimize air loss and help retain the building's temperature. The quality at which ecocentric buildings are designed allows for a massive reduction in air transfer resulting in increased air tight capacities.

Directional Details

Ecocentric Design in an Anthropocentric World

Berlicum Villa by Maas Architecten.

A century ago homes were designed to be easily accessible from the road no matter which direction they were facing. Little preference focused on what direction the main areas of the home were facing as long as the overall design was good. Ecocentric design specifically targets directional pulls in an effort to design a house around sun exposure. This has allowed homes to be naturally warmed by placing many windows on the southern facing exteriors while still allowing for apt air flow towards the north side of the home. It is not uncommon to see ecocentric homes slightly skewed to maximize the natural features of direction.

Ecocentric designers are using renewable ideas in order to create smartly designed homes that offer incredible sustainability. Solar panel uses are on the rise as they can provide much, if not all, of a home's energy needs. Curved rooftops and better air flow materials allow homes to become that much more self-sufficient. Placing a home in direct correlation to the pathway of the sun has also allowed homes to use the power of natural resources in order to minimize their overall footprint in an anthropocentric world.

Written by Rachael Baihn

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