In the world of design, architecture, and engineering, there is nothing more vital than the purpose and awareness with which one builds. We must not only focus on the physical wooden, steel, or earthen structure, but its interconnected relationship with the earth as a whole. We must ask ourselves each time we build, “If the rest of the world employed these methods, what would be the consequence?” With this as a foreground, Big Island Farm’s Ecological Design program will focus on the position of a young farm’s vision to become a self-sustaining environment of food, business, culture, wellness, innovation, and collaboration; this is an incubator for like-minded yet unique individuals to take part in the creation of something that extends far beyond personal limitations. The rich context of thriving life, wild weather, watershed topography, local materials, food forests, and ocean views provides exciting opportunities to explore interaction with a diverse, complex tropical world of sustenance and growth.
The program will examine ways in which we assimilate place, using techniques of drawing, surveying, writing, testing, and observing. What is the story of that 40-foot waterfall? What created it? How and why would we intervene in that already functioning ecosystem/micro-environment? Small-scale building projects will be completed over the course of the internship, with an opportunity for interns to direct their own locally minded ecological design project and address a specific aspect of farm life. This could be anything from a stargazing structure, a tree house, a passion fruit trellis, a hammock oasis, or a camping platform. What would you build and why? One of the most unique qualities of this program is the involvement with flora – fruit trees, vegetable seeds, bamboo clumps, rare and exotic ornamentals, and healing herbs – creating a purposeful union between the earth’s innate architecture and our interpretive intrusions.
Program including but not limited to:
BambooPhilia: (Natural Love of Bamboo: The most sustainable timber building resource in the World!)
- Propagation (root divisions, culm trenches)
- Physical model-building
- Rock walls
- Water mitigation
“Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life.”
― Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia
(Pictured above): Structure designed by: Leimana Pelton/Dean Johnson