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ashley hampson


ecocentrism and architecture: a response to coastal degradation


muizenberg, cape town

ecocentrism, anthropocentrism, coastal degradation, visual ecology


Where the City meets the sea, a conflict exists between humanity and nature. Essential ecosystems and ecosystem services are degrading as a consequence of urban habitation and its contingent pollutions, and anthropogenic climate change is rendering coastal development imprudent. Fundamentally, as we continue to threaten nature's resilience, nature will, in turn, threaten ours.

The philosophy of deep ecology states that if we wish to address environmental degradation, humanity will need to shift from an anthropocentric view of the world whereby we possess a superiority over nature; to an ecocentric world-view whereby we recognise ourselves as part of nature, free of any contrived hierarchical orders. However, our contemporary urban lifestyles perpetuate these anthropocentric tendencies by disconnecting us from the ecological system essential to life. Food, energy, and water, are delivered as sanitised versions whereby their processes and impacts on the natural environment are concealed. We thus indiscriminately consume, ostensibly free of any ecological consequence.

This design project attempts to address the environmental problematic by framing architecture as a critical link between urbanisation, and environmental education. By celebrating and visualising infrastructures that emphatically link urban life to the ecological landscape, we can begin to fathom our inherent interconnection to the natural systems essential to life. We thus begin to realise that our urban lifestyles have ecological consequences, and that our resilience is ultimately synonymous with natures


narrated presentation


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dissertation document