The ethical imperative for environmental health and restoration
ABSTRACT: This paper presents data from Cloud Magnet, a research and design project conducted in the summer 2017 within the cloud forest of the Monteverde Biological Reserve in Costa Rica. Cloud Magnet explores the co-dependencies between material, form, energy, and environment. Cloud forests have been rapidly disappearing due to climate change and deforestation. Rising global temperatures and deforestation cause a cloud-lifting effect, raising the cloud cover above the tree canopy and forest ecosystem that depend on constant moisture and humidity to support its life. The impetus for this project is to explore how design can contribute to the stabilization of the atmosphere and the restoration of the forest. In recognition of the mutual and inseparable presence of built and natural contexts, Cloud Magnet suggests that architects bear an ethical responsibility for the health of the environment. As such, priorities of environmental performance might be extended beyond energy efficiency to include aspirations of environmental remediation and ecological healing to reverse the harmful effects of human habitation on the world.
KEYWORDS: ethics, environmental restoration, material performance, phase change material, carbon fiber reinforced polymers