Talk:Environmental design

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New project proposal related to this article[edit]

There is a new project proposal that some of you here may be interested in: Wikibuilder - a knowledge base covering the design and construction of the built environment, in its entirety, in all languages. See meta:Proposals for new projects#Wikibuilder and meta:Wikibuilder for more information, and feel free to add your comments to meta:Talk:WikibuilderChristiaan - 09:44, 18 Jan 2005

Incorrect definition and article![edit]

I am concerned that the this article actually defines the term "environmental design" quite incorrectly. I am an architect, and in my academic and professional career, have always seen "environmental design" used in the sense of "design of the built environment". Not in terms of "environmentalist design" or "design with respect to the natural environment" -- that is what the terms Sustainable design or Green design are usually applied to. A more normative understanding of environmental design can be found [here]:

Environmental Design
Environmental Design is the field of developing physical, spatial environments
(interiors and/or exteriors) to solve a particular need or create a specific
experience. The field of Environmental Design could include Architecture,
Urban Planning, Landscape Design, Interior Design, Exhibit Design and,
sometimes, Event Design.

This is the sense in which the Crime prevention through environmental design article, for example, uses "environmental design", and it is the correct, normative usage.

That being said, misunderstanding "environmental design" to mean "green" or "sustainable" design is a very common misunderstanding, due to the multiple meanings of the word "environmental". There should be a link to both those articles from here (and actually, they should probably be merged, come to think of it...), and this article should be re-written to conform to the normative usage of the term. Skybum 18:16, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm inclined to agree with Skybum's reasoning here. Environmental design means 2 things to me. 1:Design of the built environment 2:Design of the internal environment of a building, eg. it's heating, humidity, solar shading etc. Sustainable design and Green design are much better and less ambiguous terms than Environmental design. That said, I don't find the article at present particularly misleading because sustainable design has become a factor in the design of the built environment and the article reflects this adequately. Suggest the following actions to disambiguate the term:
  1. Merge the current Sustainable design and Green design articles.
  2. Redirect Green design and make Sustainable design the main article.
  3. recategorise sustainablility articles in Category:Environmental design into Category:Sustainability.
  4. Maintain a paragraph in the Environmental design article that deals with the emergent usage of the term and provide linkage to Sustainable design
  5. Examine the differences between Sustainable development and Sustainable design and see if a merge is appropriate
  6. Create a redirect for Eco-design--Mcginnly 10:38, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Thank you, and I agree with all of your suggestions. As an aside, I hope that nobody interprets this as antipathy, on my part, to the emerging definition of "environmental design". I am, in fact, extremely passionate about environmentalism and sustainability, and think that "environmental design" as it is currently described in this article is a wonderful thing. It's also what I make my living at. However, terms like "sustainable design," "eco-design," and "green design" are all adequate to describe this. By usurping the definition of an already existing term, further redundancy is created; also, there really isn't any sussinct replacement for the previous usage of the term, which serves to distinguis "design of the environment" arts from other design arts -- comparable terms would be "graphic design," "industrial design," (or "product design") and so forth.
I'll be offline for a few days, starting in a few minutes, but if you'd like to get a start on this I'd be happy to check in on Monday and do whatever else needs to be done. Skybum 15:13, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


I'm really glad to see this post because I completely agree, that Environmental Design is presented in the wrong light in Wikipedia. I remember taking classes in Environmental Design in the 1970's - back then, we were studying Robert Sumner (personal space), Oscar Newman (Defensible space), about alternative theories of office interior landscaping including the German "Burolandschaft", the open plan system and its impact on privacy and stuff like that... it was all specific to the impact of the built environment on human behavior. This definition right now leaves me flat, it's missing a lot of what is really wonderful about the field.

CPTED is a newer area of Environmental Design, but it is definitely Ed. On the other hand, sustainability does NOT belong here.

For what it's worth, I was at various years the chairperson, the program chair, the newsletter editor and the webmaster for the Environmental Design Technical Group of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.


Rani Lueder, CPE

Related but different[edit]

Environmental design uses the environment to accomplish goals. This may include putting buildings on peaks or other special sites for defensive military purposes or for social or political differentiation or general aesthetic benefit. Central to environmental design is knowledge and leverage of the environment.

Sustainable design attempts to minimize impacts on the environment and use the environment to minimize the cost of construction or use or both. Central to sustainable design is beancounting balance and strict minimization.

Green design attempts to minimize disruption of the environment and maximize use of the environment, but goals may go beyond sustainability often including, for example, the generation of as much additional energy as possible for use off site. Green design uses the environment and minimizes disruption, but might deliberately project a corporate identity or other image instead of displaying visible design harmony with the environment.

This may not be the best description, but it is important because environmental or green designs may not be sustainable, sustainable or green designs may not be considered truly environmental designs despite integration with the environment on paper, and environmental and sustainable design options may be very much unlike emerging green building conventions. -- M0llusk 17:50, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Still having trouble with this, so here is an attempted analogy to running: Environmental design is like running farther and faster by paying attention to stride and pace. Sustainable design is like running so as to be sure to make the distance at the best possible speed. Green design is like running distance for speed in the context of a series of races. All are the same in that they involve running as fast as possible, but all relate to different aspects and contexts of that challenge. -- M0llusk 17:57, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Environmental technology template

I'd like to replace the Environmental technology template with one that matches the standard navbox style, i.e. horizontal instead of vertical, collapsing and typically placed at the bottom of article pages. I've done a mock up of what this would look like at {{User:Jwanders/ET}}. Figured this was a big enough change that I should post before going ahead with it. Please discuss here--jwandersTalk 22:03, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


Proposed merge with Environmental design and planning[edit]

Merge stub article into more developed one on more or less the same topic DA Sonnenfeld (talk) 10:19, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

I support the proposal.—Wavelength (talk) 14:49, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
I support the proposal.—XxThePixelxX (talk) 8:50, 17 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm cross-posting this: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Environment#Multiple_articles_on_sustainable_design. Fences&Windows 18:22, 26 May 2017 (UTC)