An Integral Sustainable Design Approach to Human Inhabitation of Architectural Spaces: Theory and Project Design


This paper presents an integrally‐informed, Wilber‐influenced approach to expanding the study of occupant behaviour beyond building science. Poorly understood occupants are a main reason why predicted and actual building energy performance deviate significantly. Existing research focuses on a useful but limited objective science and engineering approach. This research project develops an integral methodology for transdisciplinary inquiry of occupants’ experience and action in architectural space, with regard to their experience of nature and natural forces. Each of four major perspectives has two research questions; each question, a method from architectural design, building science, cultural theory, place phenomenology or social psychology. Our hypothesis is that spatial‐temporal patterns can serve as an integrating frame among diverse perspectives. We conclude with proposing conceptual frames for future research into architectural inhabitation from sixteen prospects generated from four levels of complexity in each of four primary perspectives.