The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras’ contribution to green architecture

James Wines in his inspiring book, “Green Architecture”, edited by Philip Jodidio, points out that the building of shelter very astonishingly consumes 17% of the world’s fresh water supply, 25% of its wood harvest and 40% of its fossil fuels and manufactured materials. With water tables declining globally, soil erosion fostering the expansion of deserts, the increasing destruction of tropical rain forests, population growth expected to reach 12 billion by 2050, and with the reality of global warming and climate change, Wines is quite correct in urging that architecture has necessarily to become one of the primary targets of ecological reform, especially as architecture is one of the most dependable reflections of a civilization’s philosophical foundations.


Under the auspices of Gustavo Lopez Ospina, former UNESCO director of Latin America and the Caribbean and Per Ranestad and David Bergen of Norwegian Peoples Aid, SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras has been working in applying an earth-centred philosophy, based on connectedness, to architecture. This philosophy is inspired by the nature-oriented beliefs of Zen Buddhism and Taoism, by David Thoreau’s contribution linking nature and society and Frank Lloyd Wright, whose work showed us how constructions can become extensions of their environments by “ means of forms reflecting the contours of surrounding topography and the use of construction materials drawn from regional resources.”

The inter-relationship in-between an earth centred or environment philosophy to architecture is best summarized in the words of Frank Lloyd Wright:  “The building as architecture is born out of the heart of man, permanent consort to the ground, comrade to the trees, true reflection of man in the realm of his own spirit. His building is therefore consecrated space wherein he seeks refuge, recreation and repose for the body but especially for the mind.”

While this discussion will be pursued in future articles, SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras unveils our ongoing work in the Andean Commune of San Francisco de la Tola Grande.  We also see this proposal as an architectural alternative and plausible solution for communities plagued by conditions of extreme poverty.


Pieter Jan Brouwer







SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer. 


Editorial: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras

Editorial Committee

David Dunham

Arno Ambrosius

Gustavo López Ospina

Mariana Almeida

Pieter Jan Brouwer

Assistant: Emilia Romero

The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice is associated with the International Environmental Mission, a grass roots citizens movement created by Chilean Senator Juan Pablo Letelier.







~ by FSVSF Admin on 27 August, 2012.

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