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simply put, ecology is a relational concept that concerns the exploration of interactions between the individual, their communities and the environments that sustain them, and this is not confined to the human domain. Although the normative understanding of ecology in everyday use can infer the world of organisms and systems found in the ‘natural’ world, its etymological roots lie in relatively recent interpretations of the Greek oikos and the study of the house and habitation. If it follows that ecological thinking applied to interiors is predicated upon relational thinking, then research into interior ecological practice should offer up alternative concepts for design that move beyond ‘green’ environmentalism and associated sustainable design approaches to embrace a range of disciplinary and theoretical domains. The IDEA JOURNAL 2010 Interior Ecologies provocation arises from an interest in exposing how a critical ecological approach to interiors can enable expanded locales for research and experiment in private and public realms. Commonly held concepts regarding the vulnerability of the ongoing sustainability and stability of designed habitats in the face of global political, societal and economic change frequently promote technological regimes and societal education as factors aiding recovery over developing more conservative and lateral responses influenced by novel design strategies. Projects such as Paul Virilio’s and Diller, Scofidio + Renfro’s Native Land Stop Eject, at Foundation Cartier, Paris in 2008, graphically bring into focus the predicted global mobility of communities and cultures due to climatic and other environmental dynamics, and such issues are increasingly being explored by emerging urban design and architectural research and practice. The provocation Interior Ecologies: exposing the evolutionary interior seeks to elicit parallel interior-focused research and discourse influenced by speculations into environmental and social change to uncover emerging explorations into contemporary interior spatial, material and performative practices.
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