Not Simply Green: The State of Practice of Nature by Design

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresAbstractAcademic


Reconnecting with ‘nature’ is recognised as one of the most urgent challenges in contemporary societies. Today, driven by the fascination for ‘nature’ and the ambitions to tackle environmental issues, the integration or incorporation of ‘nature’ into the design is celebrated in architecture and cities, especially represented in the ‘greening’ tendency of sustainable architecture. More than the ideas/design proposals (e.g., Leberecht Migge’s Green Manifesto, Le Corbusier’s Immeubles-villas, and James Wines’s Highrise of Homes), we now have opportunities to do green practices. However, suspicion and criticism also followed. Many ‘green’ projects are considered as literal greening and argued as ‘greenwashing’, ‘placebo’ strategies, or marketing tools with no or limited effects.
‘Nature’ is an elusive and contested concept, which can be construed as essential materials for human survival, design inspirations to architects, and many others. In designing for the connection with ‘nature’, the crucial question is to understand what does ‘nature’ mean? This paper aims to explore how to conceptualise ‘nature’ in architecture and discuss the current state of the practice of Nature by Design. Through clustering and studying design cases, I outline the classification of ‘nature’ design approaches.
The findings show that ‘nature’ in design goes far beyond ‘green’ (colour and the mere incorporation of plants), covering tangible or intangible, physical or symbolic, morphological or material, and more types. In this paper, I examine the motivations of designs, for instance, personal intentionality and psychology, physiological responses and physical performance, collective culture and symbolism, and ecological systems. I also discuss ‘nature’ in design might bring risks and provoke controversies. By juxtaposing and comparing architects’ visions/manifestos with the debates on green practices, critical reflections on designing the connections with ‘nature’ for building quality, liveability, and sustainability are invited.
Originele taal-2Engels
StatusGepubliceerd - 17 sep. 2021
EvenementRAPS ‘Radicality’ Conference - Bristol
Duur: 17 sep. 202118 sep. 2021


CongresRAPS ‘Radicality’ Conference


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