the world of ecology is made up of many small worlds. these small worlds - these "ecosystems" - can be found in a tract of forest, a stretch of sand dunes or a lake. but the best way to begin the study of the subject of ecosystems, according to a leading ecologist, is in a small pond.
here, the bond between living organisms and non-living matter is immediately apparent. producers (plants) feed on non-living substances in the water. consumers (fish and insects) feed on producers. consumers then die and are decomposed into non-living substances. thus, the process comes full circle.
the small worlds of ecology are perfect worlds. they make spontaneous progress toward perfection, or what ecologists call a climax. they proceed in orderly "successions" before settling into a stable ecosystem like that of a pond.
the main problem in ecology is man. within the cycles described by ecology, man introduces needs so great that they generate continuous shortages...
if nature's problem appears to be man, then man's problem is his consciousness.
dig yourself a ditch, six
feet deep, and bury everything that you've ever
said, everything that you've never
meant, and everything that has
burned you and left you with nothing
moon, s. (2013) the anatomy of being.
all plants live their lives in concert with nature.
they respond to the varying seasons and they accept and adjust to their surroundings without striving to change them.
nevertheless, plants, like ourselves, are competitive. they vie for sun and space, and it is the fittest that survive in a free society.
jones, c. (1982) basic gardening.
a few girls acting like they were disgusted with the cool lads but you could tell they weren't, really,
and a couple of nervous-looking spastics standing to the side,
like bits of auld watery broccoli beside a plate of steak and chips
ryan, d. (2013) the thing about december.
is the sea of the other countries beautiful?
only the sea of other countries is beautiful.
the sea we look at makes us
always nostalgic about the one we would never see
what do we mean when we speak of architectural quality? it is a question i have little difficulty in answering. quality in architecture does not - not to me anyway - mean inclusion in architectural guides or histories of architecture or getting my work into this or that publication. quality architecture to me is when a building manages to move me.
there are plenty of buildings like that i remember, not done by me, but which have touched me, moved me, given me a sense of relief or helped me in some way. it increases the pleasure of my work when i imagine a certain building being remembered by someone in 25 years' time. perhaps because that was where he kissed his first girlfriend or whatever. to put that in perspective: that quality is far more important to me than the idea that the building will still be mentioned in architectural reference works in 35 years. that's a different level altogether, and one that does not help me to design buildings. that is the first transcendent level in my work: the attempt to conceive of architecture as a human environment. perhaps - and i suppose i'd better admit this - perhaps it has something to do with love. i love architecture.
zumthor, p. (2006) atmospheres
there was a sunlit absence.
the helmeted pump in the yard
heated its iron,
in the slung bucket
and the sun stood
like a griddle cooling
against the wall
of each long afternoon.
So, her hands scuffled
over the bakeboard,
the reddening stove
sent its plaque of heat
against her where she stood
in a floury apron
by the window.
now she dusts the board
with a goose's wing,
now sits, broad-lapped,
with whitened nails
and measling shins:
here is a space
again, the scone rising
to the tick of two clocks.
and here is love
like a tinsmith's scoop
sunk past its gleam
in the meal-bin.
heaney, s. (1975) mossbawn, sunlight
The Seven Social Sins are:
Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle.
A sermon given by Frederick Lewis Donaldson in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 20, 1925.
I came from a real tough neighbourhood.
Once a guy pulled a knife on me. I knew he wasn't a professional, the knife had butter on it.