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In design research ecology may be understood in its widest sense as making systems sustainable that include a variety of domains and issues. These include the  environmental, life cycle, technological, political, social and technological and economic.

The earth is rapidly moving towards a state of total ‘gardening’: we live in a world where there is no longer such a thing as untouched nature. This demands a radical redefinition of ecological action. As a result, design research needs to move from notions and practices of preservation towards design for complexity. In this view, ecologies need to be seen as developmental, multiple constructions and entities. They intersect with one another and they are at the same time often emergent. Here research may adopt incremental and radical innovation approaches.