Designing to avoid Extinction?

After hearing Dean Tom Fisher say that 50% of species with be extinct in 50 years, I suddenly felt extremely disturbed.  I couldn’t help but think to myself “is that inevitable?”  As designers can we design to avoid extinction by creating environments that are as suitable for the native animals as much as it is for the human population?

Humans are absorbing all of the resources earth has to offer, and leaving little for any other species.  One study states that humans annually absorb 42% of the Earth’s terrestrial net primary productivity, 30% of its marine net primary productivity, and 50% percent of its fresh water.  We are not only taking over these available resources, but we are also taking 40% percent of the land for human food production… needless to say 50% of the planet’s land mass has been transformed for human use.

I think there is a clear movement for integrating more nature into architectural design through vertical gardens, constructed wetlands, and the need for “green”.  We can use these aspects for more than just beautification, but also looking toward how we can attract different animals and other living species into our environment instead of destroying their habitats.  One of the projects that comes to mind is Dan Clark’s idea of integrating bird’s nests on the facades of buildings to bring birds to the area instead of chasing them away.  Any small design ideas that take consideration of other living species other than humans can possibly save at least 1% of the doomed species.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/overpopulation/extinction/index.html

http://www.loomstudio.com/12blocks/process.html

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