Cover image for Biologic : environmental protection by design
Biologic : environmental protection by design
Wann, David.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boulder : Johnson Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
xviii, 284 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TD170 .W36 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Wann uses the term biologic, coined after Edward Abbey's admonition to "think not only logically but biologically," to name a new design ethic. Biologic advocates a more economical, sustainable design in building, manufacturing, and packaging so that society can prevent environmental problems rather than having to repair them later through more and bulkier technology. Engineering, Wann claims, should study nature's systems (rather than trying to conquer them) and incorporate information into design to produce an efficient, simple, self-sustaining technology. Ecologically sound design is a topic well deserving of book-length treatment, and Wann takes the reader systematically through chapters on "Knowing," "Choosing," "Designing," and "Implementing." Though Wann's style is unfocused and too often includes unclarified metaphors and unnecessary puns, he provides fascinating information and thought-provoking illustrations. The tone is hopeful and encouraging, just short of misrepresenting the scope of the design crisis. This is a book to be read cover to cover, which may inspire innovation and further writing on the topic. Recommended for environmental and engineering collections. Notes, subject list of organizations; index. --Angus Trimnell

Choice Review

Although not a solution to all the world's ills, and neither the original nor the seminal treatise on the topic, Biologic is a constructive contribution to the literature on how to "fix up" our polluted environment. Taking his cue from the natural world in which energy flows and nutrients (resources) cycle in more or less balanced equilibrium, Wann provides a compendium of ideas and strategies for bringing our consumer, "throwaway" society into a more balanced relationship with its environment. These suggestions range from the widely recognized recycling of paper and minerals, and the curtailment of production and use of chlorofluorocarbons in aerosol sprays and refrigeration, to a plethora of ideas extending from new airport design and highly reflective glass, to soybean ink (with which the book is printed). The compilation, however, is not pedantic or dull in presentation; metaphors and humor lighten the load but effectively and emphatically make the point. Authoritatively written by a policy analyst for the US Environmental Protection Agency, the treatment is extensive and approaches the exhaustive. The endnote references enable the reader to go beyond this book and the appendix of sources and resources provides an opportunity to get to the business of doing something individually or collectively. Numerous illustrations and photographs enliven the text, and a quite adequate index facilitates locating matters of interest. All levels. -E. J. Kormondy, University of Hawaii at Hilo