In the third installment of Architectural Review’s campaign, Peter Buchanan introduces Integral Theory, which establishes a new framework for the design of twenty-first century buildings and cities.

Playground ✎

Research, ethical design, sustainability


Layout Design, visual language, book design


80+ page booklet




What is Integral Theory?

The Integral Theory is a comprehensive theory designed by the American philosopher Ken Wilber and which is based on the elementary insights of several major philosophical traditions in the world. The basic framework for the Integral Theory is the Four Quadrant model, or AQAL (an acronym for All Quadrants, All Levels) (see image below). The model describes that we can look at our reality through an individual, a collective, a subjective and/or through an objective lens. These four quadrants all reflect reality in their own unique and valuable way. What is very powerful about the model is that all quadrants must be considered and studied in order to have a complete view on reality.

The Integral Theory teaches us that organizational development is always connected to personal and interhuman development and that growth and change of both an individual and an organization is in constant interplay with the environment.


Architect, James Wines.

I chose to marry the essay, "The Big Rethink: Integral theory" by architect Peter Buchanan, with quotes and inspiration from architect,  James Wines of, SITE (Sculpture In The Environment). James Wines is an architect associated with environmental design. When starting a project,  Wines considers all aspects of the design: the materials, the social economic status of the surrounding area, the social impact the structure will have, etc. The design must benefit all of these components in order to be a succesful design.

James Wines follows integral theory, by honoring multiple levels of considerations for his designs.


Choosing materials that are sustainable and ethical.

Socioeconomic Status

Considering the socioeconomic status of the community the architecture will live in and the impact it will have.

Social Impact

Considering the social impact that architecture will have on the people and their communities.


"Everything I was doing before the 60's was thrown out the window. I realized that the more inclusive the art, the more interesting it gets."

– James Wines (SITE)


The designs and dimensions for my book design, are inspired by James Wines' book, "The Highrise of Homes".

The physical inspiration for this book was SITE’s book, Highrise of Homes, 1982. Designed in the early 1980s with the goal of actually being built, the highrise featured an open structural frame filled with single-family houses, a collision the city and suburbia. Wines described the Highrise of Homes project as a "vertical community" to "accommodate people's conflicting desires to enjoy the cultural advantages of an urban center, without sacrificing the private home identity and garden space associated with suburbia." The plan calls for a steel-and-concrete, eight-to-ten-story, U-shaped building frame erected in a densely populated urban area. The developer would sell lots within this frame, each lot the site for a house and garden in a style chosen by the purchaser. The result would be a distinct villagelike community on each floor, with interior streets. A central mechanical core would serve these homes and gardens, while shops, offices, and other facilities on the ground and middle floors would provide for the residents' needs.

Whereas urban skyscrapers are normally made up of identical, stacked, boxlike units, the Highrise of Homes would allow flexibility and individual choice. The wide variety of house styles, gardens, hedges, and fences described in this intricate rendering provides a sense of the personal identity and human connection that are generally erased by the austere and repetitive elements of architectural formalism. Placing the sociological and psychological needs of the inhabitant over the aesthetic sensibilities of the architect, Wines produces a merge of suburb and city, a collage of architectures collectively created by its inhabitants and by the art of chance. Developers considered Battery Park City, New York, as a possible location for the project, but it was never built. (MoMa)

© Kristina Selinski