Ecological Prototypes | Data-driven Research on Ecological Prototypes for Architecture | Defne Sunguroglu Hensel
Urbanisation is changing the horticultural systems that are needed today to meet increasingly complex sustainability requirements. A wide range of structures and practices that evolved over centuries as vital part of traditional agricultural/horticultural systems show that human constructions and activities are not inherently harmful for the environment. In fact, they can be central for the protection, support and enhancement of local ecosystems and ecosystem services. These interventions are some of the earliest prototypes that integrate constructions and horticulture / agriculture . However, today‘s greenhouse structures adapted to address the needs for agricultural intensification and greener cities look and operate very differently from their earlier predecessors. At one extreme, these are now, structures enabling agricultural intensification at a significant environmental cost or building integrated and require high-input. At the other, they are green structures that are extensive with no or low ecosystem function. Particular historical agricultural/horticultural structures enable sustainable cultivation and use of natural resources, ranging from a single tree to extensive landscape and urban scale farming with high ecological value. The next generation designs and constructions lie in between these extremes and address the societal challenges of urbanization and environmental degradation. The aim of the research presented in this talk is to strengthen urban horticulture as an integrated architecture-landscape solution for ecosystem support in human dominated environments. This is elaborated within today's context of data-driven integrative and adaptive design.