POST-WAR SYSTEMS ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY-
APPROPRIATE APPROACHES IN ARCHITECTURE SINCE 1960’S
Ph.D., Department of Architecture
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. F. Cânâ Bilsel
April 2006, 309 pages
Environmentally-appropriate architectural works are considered by certain critics as relatively oriented without any theoretical basis other than a technicist perspective. Furthermore, this technicist approach, which puts emphasis on the application of scientific rationality, is supposed as being challenged through an arcadian agenda, which claims the return to pre-industrial values through the revival of the vernacular. In the thesis, it is argued that contrary to the assumptions that the green architecture is highly relativistic depending on the ideological standpoints, it is founded upon a holistic philosophy established on the studies pursued by post-war ecological scientists who followed systems approach. It is claimed that the aforementioned duality between the technicist and the arcadian approaches finds its expression in the contemporary green architecture depending on the philosophical framework provided by the systems approach.
Systems sciences deal with the ways in which elements of a certain whole come together to make up an organization. Its main principle is that a particular element can only be suited with regard to the totality of which it belongs. Ecologists who endow a systems perspective study on the assembly rules through which living and nonliving members of biological systems are organized into groups.
In this thesis, it is put forward that the philosophical outlook and methodology that came along with the systems thinking offers a basis for green architecture. It is provided a historical-analytical survey of the emergence of the systems approach in the architectural discipline since the 60s. It is argued that the 60s appropriation of the systems approach in architecture is still influenced in the contemporary green architecture; that today’s architects utilize the theories and methods put forward throughout this process of appropriation in their works, alongside the scientific terminology developed by the systems ecologists.
Keywords: Environmentally-Appropriate Architecture, Green Architecture, Systems Ecology, Rationalist, Technicist, Arcadian, Primitivist.