Tending This Fragile Earth, Our Island Home: The Pope’s Encyclical in Dialogue with Ecomimesis, a Design Model for Conservation Stewardship

Lillian C. Woo

In the last fifty years, empirical evidence has shown that climate change and environmental degradation are largely the results of increased world population, economic development, and changes in cultural and social norms. Thus far we have been unable to slow or reverse the practices that continue to produce more air and water pollution, soil and ocean degradation, and ecosystem decline. This paper analyzes the negative anthropogenic impact on the ecosystem and proposes a new design solution: ecomimesis, which uses the natural ecosystem as its template to conserve, restore, and improve existing ecosystems. Through its nonintrusive strategies and designs, and its goal of preserving natural ecosystems and the earth, ecomimesis can become an integral part of stabilizing and rehabilitating our natural world at the same time that it addresses the needs of growing economies and populations around the world.