Defining Geodesign

Given our more holistic understanding regarding the definition of design, coupled with our expanded view of what we mean when we talk about geographic space, we can define geodesign as:

“Geodesign is the thought process comprising the creation of an entity in geographic space”.

Or, more simply stated, geodesign is design in geographic space (the planet’s life zone). Cor­respondingly, the purpose of geodesign is to facilitate life in that geographic space (the planet’s life zone).

The essential aspect of this definition is the idea that design – the process of designing (creating or modifying) some portion or aspect of the environment, be it natural or man-made – occurs within the context of geographic space (where the location of the entity being created is referenced to a geographic coordinate system) as opposed to conceptual space (creating something in the imagination with no locational reference), paper space (creating something with pencil and paper, again with no locational reference), or even CAD space (where the enti­ties in that space are referenced to a virtual coordinate system as opposed to a geographic coordinate system).

At first glance, this seems to be a trivial point. However, the fact that the entity being created or modified is referenced to the geographic space in which it resides means that it is also, either directly or indirectly, referenced to all other information referenced to that space. This means that the designer can take advantage of, or be informed by, that information and how it relates to or condi­tions the quality or efficiency of the entity being designed, either as it is being designed or after the design has matured to some point where the designer wishes to perform a more comprehensive assessment.

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