About Dominique Hes

Dominique is a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Architecture at University of Melbourne. Dominique’s research interests are identifying and filling the knowledge gaps in sustainability practice. Broadly, Dominique questions the efficiency based approach to sustainability and asks the question whether we have indeed become more sustainable in the 30 or so years of talking about it? The answer is no, and why this is is partly that are trying to achieve sustainability from within a framework what created our unsustabale practices and the other is the definition of sustainability itself. In proposing the idea of contributive practice, this blog and its associated website will build (over the next 12 months starting July 2012) a conceptual framework based on examples of peoples contributive practice.   The main underlying idea behind contributive practice is: practice that approaches problems from an active, participatory, engaged and reflective mind set.

Contributive practice, in the context of sustainability, takes a whole/living systems worldview (hereafter referred to as the ecological worldview), and it is from this point of view that this blog describes through example how to practice contributively. Intially the work will focus on the built environment, bu tthe base concepts are transferable to any practice. As Professor du Plessis stated in her work:

“The ecological worldview describes a world that is a fundamentally interconnected and interdependent set of ever-changing processes and relationships structured in nested systems of increasing complexity. In this world humans and nature are not co-existing but separate systems. Instead they form one integrated holarchic global social-ecological system that spans across matter, life and human social and cultural phenomena and in which humans co-evolve with other entities in the system. The theory of action provided by this worldview holds that as humans are an integral part of nature, they are participating in and co-evolving through its processes and therefore subject to its laws. Effective action would then learn from and follow the laws of nature, and cooperate with and participate in its processes so that the outcomes of actions contribute to the well-being, nourishment and regeneration of the world.”… That is they contribute.

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