By definition, the word “holistic” means: “relating to or concerned with wholes or complete systems rather than with the analysis of, treatment of, or dissection into parts.”
In the words of Peter Donovan, founder of the Soil Carbon Coalition, “If you can’t fix a problem, make it bigger.” This speaks to enlarging the scope of the problem to reveal the wholes within wholes and how one can look at the interlinked parts to a problem.
Holistic design is an approach to design which considers the system being designed as an interconnected whole which is also part of something larger. Holistic concepts can be applied to architecture as well as the design of mechanical devices, the layout of spaces, and so forth. This approach to design often incorporates concerns about the environment, with holistic designers considering how their design will impact the environment and attempting to reduce environmental impact in their designs. It is not just about meeting the basic needs and function but also how sustainable the design can be.
The potential educational opportunities for the demonstration house in Guatamala is similar to the Solar Decathlon House at Cal Poly. We recognize that understanding and learning from the issues with Guateca Program can be used to enhance the program developments being made for the Solar Decathlon House. For example, what if the Solar Decathlon house was used as a kick-start training program where students teach homeowners and near graduates how to retrofit their homes in SLO County?