Sim's Philosophy

Design often fails because it involves many fields of specialized knowledge that are not adequately communicated and integrated into the design process in a seamless and timely way. The heart of Collaboration is face to face open communication between clients and design teams that integrate knowledge across disciplines. The process begins not with numbers and metrics but through creating shared agreement of aspiration and intention, opportunities and constraints. EcoDesign is a meta-disciplinary approach in which diverse interests and expertise fuse into shared vision which generates collaborative solutions.

Eco-Logic Design

Eco-Logic Design grows out of the merger of two worlds shown in the two circles: The Eco-Sphere includes all the living systems of nature that support human life on Earth. The Techno-Sphere includes all the ways humans design systems that support current civilization. The extent or overlap and congruence of these two spheres predicts the relative success or failure of Ecological Design.


The survival of modern societies depends on making a design shift from the rigid instability to flowing resilience at every scale of human settlement. From village to megacities, we must design to provide our basic needs for balanced healthy natural/human ecosystems that provide clean water and air, energy, food, and the safe recycling of all wastes.

Seven Simple Principles of Living Buildings*

  1. Harvest all their own water and energy needs
  2. Adapt to specific local site and climate
  3. Zero waste and pollution
  4. Promote health and well being of all
  5. Integrate systems to maximize efficiency and comfort.
  6. Improve the helath and diversity of local ecosystems.
  7. Be beautiful and inspire us to higher levels of awareness and action.

* Thanks to Jason McLennan

Qualities & Quantities

This simple diagram presents  a client or designer with the intrinsic qualities and material quantities that are integrated into a specific design solution. At the center is a measure of a final product in human, environmental and economic performance.

Ecological Learning Curve

For years as a Professor and consultant to schools at levels from pre-school through high school, I imagined in my mind a picture of how all the elements of learning at different ages could be represented in a diagram that integrated learning levels with place, pattern, and process and also spatial scales of natural and humanly created systems. The Ecological Learning Curve is that diagram.

The learning age levels is represented vertically from bottom to top. The type of learning is represented by the circles  of Place, Pattern, Process. Place at the bottom recognizes that young children learn best no through abstraction but by direct  experience of Place. As their minds and brains grow, they begin to learn patterns, and later, the processes that shape our world.

The scale of systems – natural and invented – is represented horizontally from the largest on the left to the smallest on the right. The center line represents a “home base” of scales closest to us in size, with the left bar moving to large scales, the right side to smaller scales.

The Consciousness Structure Diagram

The Consciousness Structure Diagram is my attempt to synthesize information from diverse sources into a map of the  various stages of human history on the planet  and relate them to the essential and changing nature of Place, Pattern, and Process.

Through each stage of civilization. I identify five stages of human development form the first humans to today’s civilization dominated by a separation from nature and self through technology, homogenization of cultures and oligarchy, with hope for a transformation into a new Integral Consciousness that restructures our race towards extinction.

Towards an Ecological Epoch

A simpler diagram of Towards an Ecological Epoch asks four basic  questions:

  • How do we use Nature?
  • How am I Nature?
  • How am I Culture?
  • How do institutions & technology reflect values?

These four questions circle the four realities that influence
The move towards or lack of movement towards an Ecologic Epoch:

  • SELF: what it means to be human
  • ECO-LOGIC: how the living world works
  • TECHNOLOGIC: how technology shapes us and our world
  • IDEO-LOGIC: our beliefs, values, and world view