Ecological Synergies: A Model for a Better World

Final paper for Design for 21st Century.


In 1968 the first Whole Earth Catalog was published. In 2014 we need to begin publishing the Whole Universe Catalog. During a time of tremendous social and political change in the world the Whole Earth Catalog provided a “variety of tools accessible to newly dispersed counterculture communities, back-to-the-land households, and innovators in the fields of technology, design, and architecture, and to create a community meeting-place in print.” The catalog became symbolic of a social movement predicated on ecological ideals similar to those that I have outlined in this paper. Unfortunately, humanity today faces far greater problems than socio-political concerns. Today we face global, ecological catastrophe and the potential extinction of the human race. We need to eradicate our way of life and change how we think of acting in the world and how we deal with objects by shifting our perception to “matters of concern.” We need a revolution. We need a philosophical “reboot” that will fundamentally alter our emotional connection to each other, to the planet, and to the cosmos. Perhaps such a cultural symbol—a Whole Universe Catalog—will help shepherd us into a new age. Our only hope of survival is through ecological synergy and the realization of how utterly interconnected we all are.