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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The implications of integral theory on sustainable design
by Roberts, Saglinda Hallett, M.S., Philadelphia University, 2013, 182; 1569527
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis explores Wilber's Integral Theory and DeKay's adaptation of the theory to sustainable design to discover a design process with the potential to advance the design professions toward a more holistic, restorative approach to sustainable design. The contribution and influence of architects, interior designers, and engineers on the personal and social welfare goes beyond aesthetics, visual interest, or function. The environments being designed today shape how people will live and function in the future. Integral Sustainable Design is concerned with holistically addressing the quality, equity, beauty and efficiency of the built environment. It argues that if sustainable design is to be a transformational force touching personal experience, cultural perspective, energy efficiency, and the ecosystem, it will need to become restorative.

This thesis provides an overview of the validity, feasibility and methodology of applying Integral Theory to Sustainable Design, to create a theoretical, ideological basis informing the sustainable design process. This thesis will increase awareness of integral theory by summarizing its principles and demonstrating the applicability to sustainable design and the validity to the profession as a whole. A design exercise will illustrate the difference between having a single, inherently biased view verses a comprehensive, holistic view of sustainable design. Four individual houses will be designed, each exploring one quadrant of DeKay's Integral Sustainable grid exclusively. A fifth house will synthesize all of the integral design principles. A comparison is then made to discern any difference in outcomes. All designs are based on the same client design directives, and use the same site. The comparative analysis seems to show that the integral approach can lead to an enhanced experience of nature, history, beauty with efficiency that exceeds Net Zero consumption

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fleming, Robert, Fryer, Robert
Commitee: Endriss, Sarah, Fleming, Robert, Frosten, Susan I., Karlen, Mark, Kihong, Robert Ku
School: Philadelphia University
Department: College of Architecture and the Built Environment
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: MAI 54/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Environmental philosophy, Sustainability, Architecture
Keywords: Aesthetics, Architecture, Design methodology, Holistic design, Integral theory, Sustainable design
Publication Number: 1569527
ISBN: 978-1-321-35190-3
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