<If we are to prevent megatechnics from further controlling and deforming every aspect of human culture, we shall be able to do so only with the aid of a radically different model derived directly, not from machines, but from living organisms and organic complexes (ecosystems). What can be known about life only through the process of living — and so is part of even the humbles organisms — must be added to all the other aspects that can be observed, abstracted, measured.>  Lewis Mumford, The Pentagon of Power, 1970

The 2030 Challenge : changing the way we design
Most contemporary buildings, like machines, can be viewed as isolated systems.This means they need energy to operate but do not necessarily need to interact with their environment to continue functioning. Like all isolated systems, these buildings will operate according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics. They import energy in the form of electricity, propane and/or natural gas, convert that energy to run heating, cooling, ventilation equipment and lighting fixtures, and then dissipate that energy as waste heat. These buildings require an uninterrupted supply of imported energy to operate. Otherwise, after all the energy is consumed, they become uninhabitable; too hot, too cold, no light, etc. They insulate themselves against the environment for as long as possible in an effort to preserve their internal conditions.

Living organisms on the other hand, function quite differently. They are open systems, which means they must maintain a continuous flow and exchange of energy and matter with their environment in order to stay alive. Through the process known as metabolism, they take in substances to obtain both energy and nutrients needed for vital functions, such as pumping of the heart, muscular contraction or for organic molecule production. [...]

A living organism also creates its own boundary which defines it as a distinct open system. This boundary, or membrane, is a filter of the environmental elements needed to sustain the organism. The boundary also encloses a specific set of internal relationships, an order that distinguishes one organism's existence from any other. Order is then a particular configuration or pattern of relationships that defines a specific open system and gives that system its form. To understand and visualize form we can map the patterns of relationships that make up the system. Form is then both the envelope and contents that make up a system. It is the visual nature of that system. [...]

abstract from E. Mazria, Marci Riskin, Architectural Design: Nature's Way, 1999

Writings and interviews:

W. McDonough, M. Braungart, The NEXT Industrial Revolution, 1998

abstract from James R. Karr, What from ecology is relevant to design and planning? Pages 133-172 in B. R. Johnson and K. Hill, editors. Ecology and Design: Frameworks for Learning. Island Press, Washington, DC. 2002

abstract from Daniel Goleman, Ecological Intelligence, 2009

Interview by Scientific American to Daniel Goleman