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Philosophy, Technology, and the Environment$
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David M. Kaplan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035668

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035668.001.0001

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Industrial Ecology and Environmental Design

Industrial Ecology and Environmental Design

(p.143) 8 Industrial Ecology and Environmental Design
Philosophy, Technology, and the Environment

Braden Allenby

The MIT Press

Braden Allenby examines industrial ecology, a field of study devoted to the relationships among industrial, economic, and natural systems premised on the idea that industrial systems should attempt to emulate the efficiencies of nature. Allenby, however, identifies several weaknesses with industrial ecology. For example, it has it has not reflected evolving conceptions of either ecology, environmentalism, or the globalization of the economy. Also, its focus has been too limited, paying too much attention to manufacturing and materials and not enough on services, and information and communication technologies. Worse, the focus on high tech and developed economies has prevented industrial ecology from having much of an effect in developing nations. But even more pressing is that industrial ecology has not modified its conception of the environment in light of increasing human transformations on the natural world. If we are living in anthropocene, the biological model of the environment is not only dated but woefully inadequate to account for wide range of human values that should be incorporated into design. Allenby concludes that industrial design can overcome its limitations, evolve alongside of the environmental movement, and offer viable alternatives to theorists and practitioners concerned with sustainability.

Keywords:   Industrial ecology, Environmental impacts, Industrial production, Environmental design, Sustainable design, Sustainability, Environment, Ecology, Anthropocene

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