-ulture, -onics- and -iology

Seven terms explained

All these words ending in -ulture, -onics and -iology, but what do they mean and most of all: how do they differ from each other? Here's trying to get a quick grasp on them.

Before we begin, we should keep in mind the words of Socrates "a definition cannot wholly and accurately describe something and that there is no one absolute definition for anything." Thank you.


Bioculture describes the field of ideas and activities that springs from interaction between culture and biology. For instance, advances in technology (resulting from cultural possibilities and decisions) impact ecology, and the changes in ecology in turn affects culture.


Eco-culture refers to an integration of the relationship of science concerned with organisms and their environment with a society of people. This integration of terms stems the need to address an ecology of design to maintain a healthy planet. The characteristics of this eco-culture wherever feasible choose to use renewable energy sources. Ecology and economics have a life-cycle of embodied energy and the costs include the environmental impacts of technology. Eco-culture respects the traditional knowledge of existence and supports local materials and biodiversity.

Aquaculture / aquafarming

The terms aquaculture and aquafarming entail farming aquatic organisms. So anything that lives in the water. This can include fish (mainly Tilapia because of its adaptability) as well as plants (seewead is very common). Aquafarmers cultivate plants, fish and other organisms under controlled conditions. Aquafarming, like 'regular' farming, is comprised of different fields: business, the art, science and practice of aquafarming, the culture surrounding aquafarmers and aquafarms.


Hydroculture is the growing of plants without soil, but with water (and a nutrient solution). Sometimes the plants can be nestled in clay pepples, like at the Fabriek.


Is a subset of hydroculture. In hydroponics the water is distributed to the plants by a pumping mechanism.


Both the practice of aquaponics and the word itself are a combination of aquaculture (cultivating things in water, like plants and fish -- see description above) and hydroponics (see description above). This means 1. Fish are kept under controlled conditions. 2. Plants are grown on top of clay pepples. 3. At regular intervals the water that the fish live in is pumped into the layer of clay pepples. Here it mixes with the bacteria, plant roots and worms that together have formed a complex ecosystem. 4. The bacteria, roots and worms function as a filter, and after a little while the water, now clean, is lowered back down into the fish tank. Simply put, the plants clean the water, and the nutrients in the water feed the fish.

Building biology

Building Biology is the study of the indoor environment and its effect on humans. Started in the late 1960s in Germany at the Institut für Baubiologie + Ökologie Neubeuern IBN (still exists). Building biologists measure radiation, air quality, chemicals, molds, toxins, noise and vibration in order to understand the effect of the living environment on people's health and general well-being. They believe in healing homes and take a holistic approach.