As some of you already know, I have returned from my adventures in India and have just begun my newest one, a masters program in ecological design from The Conway School in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
The last two years have been incredibly humbling, confusing, insightful, overwhelming, empowering, exhilarating, depressing and everywhere in-between. I am so fortunate to have lived with one of the greatest storytellers I have ever know (Auntie of Kolkata) and with some of the most warm-hearted individuals (Auntie and Uncle of Rakkar). I work with and envied incredible farmers who have found true joy, true health and true spiritualism in their organic fields.
It has been my greatest period of struggle, but also my greatest period of growth as a person. I am grateful for every second of it, but am now ready for a new chapter.
What is Conway and What is Ecological Design?
Ecological design focuses on minimizing environmentally destructive impacts to land while integrating natural, sociological, economical and other systems to create a more ecologically sound landscape. Basically, designers draw from and experience a multitude of information sources to make well-informed landscape decisions which self-organize to benefit the whole system.
The Conway School offers a ten month master degree in Ecological Design, and is the only school in the country to do so. See more at http://www.csld.edu/
Why did I choose the Conway School? Practicality. This program gets my feet wet right away with three real clients to design for. It works like a real office too, with no grades or exams, just presentations directly relating to your client projects and practical teachings directed toward any faucet of sustainable design I want. Everything is taught to be related and (with only 13 students) we have enormous amounts of time to pick the brains of our professors and their connections.
After completing the program I plan to go into ecological design at the residential, city and watershed level, providing sustainable alternatives for homeowners, city planners and state/fed governments.
The experience has already built a great deal of confidence in myself and, to help me grow further in rhetoric and practicality, I hope to use this website to channelize what I am learning and draw feedback from others. Look for the start tomorrow with a plant ID post!