Ecological Thought

Modernity has spent the last two and a half centuries with the ghost of nature. Nature was and is the ideal image; an image we have always been unable to reach and touch and belong to. Modern thinkers of ecocriticism have declared that our survival depends on a thinking beyond nature and even the eradication of nature if we are ever to achieve ecology. This thesis aims to confront how one registers notions of architecture and landscape under the historically false reliance on the ideas of nature. The project looks towards valid strategies of ecological thought, utilizing the aerial/google earth image and the cartographic technique, to avoid being confined in the language of smallness and restriction.

Four sites were selected that display the impact of human presence on earth through environmental catastrophe, urbanization, and technology, in the dramatic reshaping of earth’s landscapes. Chosen through the categories of extraction, waste, energy, and logistics, each site displays varying tensions and opportunities between ecologies, culture, and visual abstraction.

Principles of scale and mapping allow this project to generate conditions that take advantage of the site’s new reality in the creation of an eco-visual-narrative. The final project documentation, created through a series of media, video, image, and writing, stitches the anthropogenic and geologic constructions, responding to human, natural, and machine aesthetics and thinking. The created formal architectural-infrastructural object is based on form as an action rather than as an object, responding to the new ecological image of the site. Relationships of footprint vignettes vs. aerial images, and narratives from the existing world vs. the abstracted site produces non-place experience and ambiance. Flickering between landscape and eco-infrastructure, the eco-visual album will be the base for the creation of the new synthetic ecology.