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Jenda Michl

Los Angeles, CA, United States

Designer (architecture)

Member since December 15, 2008

  • Buildings as Species?

    Environment, Environmental Design

    Can we attempt to view buildings (and I use this term loosely), as species within an ecosystem? As all species in nature evolved to fit a highly specific niche within a large closed loop web, could we aim to design buildings that are also species within a closed loop; where each building is not attempting to be self sufficient, but rather that it fits into a supply and demand chain which is unique to its context?

    As time goes by, some such architectural 'species' (building types) will flourish and evolve into exciting, intricate, 'ideal' individual solutions. Others will prove less successful and die off. As the design community embraces this model, the man-made fabric of our world will develop a richness and diversity to rival that of nature, and with this change the boundary between the natural and built could blur into nothingness, allowing human societal needs to be fully and sustainably integrated into a refurbished world ecosystem.

    Jenda Michl, 12/17/08

  • Naturalism in Architecture

    Arts & Culture, Environmental Design

    Ask not what your design can do for the environment.

    Ask what the environment can do for your design.

    Blasphemy? Not at all. Why is the 'green' discourse almost entirely about what materials we can stick onto our designs that will be better for the environment? The aim so often is literally to not change the design, but to use better materials. The designs and forms we are fighting tooth and nail for are nothing but vestiges of the industrial revolution, developed within a mindset of humanity overcoming the savageries of nature.

    There are new and exciting books and studies on designing to not rely on air conditioning and the importation of tons of materials from the other side of the globe. Unfortunately they are nothing but old news, simply scratching the surface of the construction knowledge humankind had developed over thousands of years. Through 99% of our history, everything was built from local materials, and designed to respond to airflow, sun, rain, wind, latitude, the fabric of their community, and a litany of other such factors. That knowledge is largely lost.

    As our view of nature is changing to one of true stewardship (sustainability), we now have a golden opportunity: we can make any form we can imagine. Our ancestors never had this. As much as their designs were optimized for their environment, they were very severely hamstrung by engineering and materials. We can design and build anything, so let's take these 'new' books and studies, add a dose ...

Don't be less bad, be good! Design and sustainability must synergize.

Contact Jenda Michl

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design