Ken Yeang virtually invented the concept of eco-architecture and believes that all designers should be literate in ecology. This book tells how he made this agenda his life’s work, beginning with his early interest in art and design in a British boarding school. He recalls how his training at the Architectural Association in London was a turning point, and how, “From my first day there, I knew that architecture was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”
He was the first student at the AA to complete his 5th year portfolio exams at the first term of his 4th year and pass. A chance meeting with John Frazer, who with Alex Pike was a lecturer at Cambridge University, informed him that they were establishing a ‘Technical Research Division’ at the Department of Architecture to research, design and build the ‘autonomous house’, funded by a grant from the UK Government’s Science Research Council, and Ken obtained a position as a research student to work with this team there, It was then, while researching the idea of an ecoarchitecture, that he realized that he needed to totally rethink the current approach to architectural design and planning; essentially re-educating architects on how to approach design to allow it to include consideration of the natural environment.
James Steele is the author of more than 50 books and monographs, including Ecological Architecture: Critical History which examines ecological architecture over the past century, and The Architecture of Rasem Badran; Narratives on People and Place, a monograph on the award-winning Jordanian architect. He also wrote the Encyclopedia of Homes through World History which was published in June 2008. In it, his premise is that the house, throughout history, is the three-dimensional record of the cultures that built it and environmental factors that shaped it. He is also the editor of the recently published Future Perfect: A History of the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California by the USC Guild Press. His latest book is Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Tracing the Next Generation, published by Routledge & Kegan Paul.