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Tom Bender is one of the original founders of the "green architecture" and "sustainability" movements. His path-breaking and award-winning research, writing, and architectural design over 40 years has spanned the gamut from technical tools such as solar design to the spiritual roots of our cultural problems. As a consultant to governmental, private, and public organizations, he has been in the forefront of developing and implementing the technical, institutional, values and spiritual dimensions of sustainable communities. His Ouroboros Project in Minnesota in the early '70s was one of the very first demonstrations of resource-self-reliant houses. A former co-editor of the national magazine, RAIN: Journal of Appropriate Technology, he is the author of over two hundred published articles, half a dozen books, and the winner of national and international awards for his work in economics, design, and sustainable communities.
Bender's work has shown that creative retargeting of our existing institutional systems, energy, technology, and economics can attain our deepest goals far more effectively. With routine energy and economic savings of 90% or more, application of these principles frees vast misapplied resources to meet other needs. The governments of Austria, the Netherlands, and Norway have publicly committed to the "Factor 10" economics principles he originated. The same approach has been endorsed by the European Union as the new paradigm for sustainable development. Austria, Sweden, and the OECD environmental ministers have urged the adoption of Factor Ten goals, as have the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and United Nations Environmental Program.
In the early 1970s he introduced the Chinese practice of feng shui to the American public through a series of articles in New Age, Yoga Journal and Utne Reader – revealing a geophysical basis to an art once considered a mere collection of ancient superstitions. An international expert in this field, his depth of experience in the historical, theoretical, and practical application of working with subtle energies in our surroundings has created a whole new dimension vital to the acknowledgment of chi energy in our culture which is occurring today. His DVD on the Physics of Qi Energy gives a new comprehendability to a vital dimension of our universe.
In his architectural work, Bender is known as the architect who is restoring soul to our surroundings and sustainability to our communities. His demonstration of how our surroundings can heal the diseases of the spirit that plague our culture and restore our connection with the rest of nature has received acclaim through the publication of his Silence, Song and Shadows and Building with the Breath of Life.
Over and over, as a practicing architect, economist, feng-shui practitioner, and strategic planner, Tom Bender has been on the cutting edge of work giving the greatest glimmers of hope for a struggling world. His current work pushes yet further on the boundaries of the possible, and opens new opportunities for a better world.