“There has been a subtle but marked shift in the global conversation, a shift from negative to positive, from despair to hope…” (Hes and Du Plessis, 2014)
The above diagram, based on Bill Reed’s (2007b) trajectory of environmentally responsible design, offers an effective framework to reconciling multiple sustainability viewpoints, strategies, models and philosophical stances. Reed’s model acts as a framework for understanding the trajectory of the various, sometimes contradicting views that are currently encountered in the sustainability field.
Reed’s approach to sustainable practice is integrative; this means it is comprehensive, inclusive, non-marginalising and embracing of a number of different approaches. It acknowledges Ken Wilber’s (2000) notion of the ‘Integral thinking’ which incorporates opposing and complimentary paradigms, perspectives, styles, and methodologies into an interrelated network of approaches. At the crux of Reed’s strategy of environmentally responsible design is also the idea of “a system of integrative and transdisciplinary ideas continually evolving and changing” (Hes and Du Plessis 2014). This involves a holistic perspective to tackling the complexity of ecology within a mechanistic paradigm whilst moving towards new ways of living, responding and working with nature’s systems. In other words, the value of ecoscenography is in its arguments for a more holistic ecological approach over more technological perspectives while still including the incentives of eco-efficient strategies (DeKay 2011:33). Reed (2007b) refers to this engagement as an “evolutionary spiral” or a “gradual unfolding” of ecological ideas and practices.
The ultimate aim for ecoscenography is to move from “degenerating to regenerating” or from “anthropocentric to integral” whilst considering the multiple scales of our relationship to the world in which we inhabit. This integrative approach involves expanding beyond but also keeping partial concepts of eco-efficient measurement and procurement. It acknowledges that ecological design can have aspects of both ‘degenerating’ and ‘regenerating’ methods within a trajectory that actively advances towards regenerative development through ideas of community engagement, place-based approaches and eco-innovation. Reed’s approach demonstrates that more challenging ecological approaches can also be synergistic with eco-efficient strategies. In adopting this framework, an ecoscenographer does not need to engage with regenerative concepts immediately but may still begin incorporating simpler aspects of this approach into eco-efficiency perspectives. It acknowledges that ecoscenography is transitional, experimental and progressive. This philosophy remains at the crux of transforming ecoscenographic ideas into ecoscenographic practice.