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Symbiotic Agencies: Attuning Architecture to Nature

Part 2 Project 2023
Oliver Spurr
Roxana Caplan
Newcastle University | UK
Our project studies how psychological and ontological issues of the climate crisis are reflected in the way our physical worlds are created. Seeking to (re)define architectural agency, we’ve addressed society’s disconnection from nature and its anthropogenic effects on our shared world. We’ve developed a design method to aid the creation of symbiotic architecture as an interface between humans and their local ecologies. These spaces seek to change mindsets through an attunement to nature; something that is achieved in a rebalancing and symbiosis between our animate and conceptual intelligence. Inviting people attune to nature, the projects suggests places for people to enact their own agency.

Philosophical concepts were investigated, with critical analysis of past and present ecological practices that connect human and natural ecologies. We defined our approach and developed four design principles to test throughout the project: mutual flourishing; tending to nature with varying degrees of control; rebalancing between natural and artificial; and integrating indigenous wisdom with modern approaches. We moved from theoretical to contextual research, simultaneously formulating tectonic inquiries and techniques. Our method and principles were applied and tested through designing a tectonic research and climate-activism scheme at the centre of repairing the river ecosystem of the Ouseburn valley.

Oliver Spurr
Roxana Caplan

Neil Burford
Christos Kakalis
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