Don’t Be Afraid of the Artificial!

“It will not be enough to defend nature; we will need to recreate it.” – Janet McGaw

Every day it becomes more and more clear just how destructive our relationship to the natural world is. In the same breath, we can also comfortably say, that we don’t really know how to fix it.

Much of the damage that has been done, cannot be reversed, and as Janet McGaw said above, defending what’s left won’t be enough.

Framing the climate discourse as binary, viewing technology as artificial or inherently ‘unnatural’ is ironic. George Papamattheakis, whilst discussing he Technosphere notes that “synthetic materials are literally building strata on the earth’s surface”.

Natural vs. artificial has long been a discussion within architecture, usually it’s centred around cost… The natural stone is so expensive, is there something cheaper?

Now, with a bit of innovation and creativity, this conversation could shift away from cost and toward the development more sustainable artificial materials that minimise the depletion of our natural resources.

This doesn’t necessarily mean using plastic versions of our favourite natural materials.

It’s about being aware of material research and technology. It’s about opening our minds to a world where the artificial can be just as special as the natural. Not only because of the ingenuity and knowledge that goes into its development, but most importantly, it’s existence means that natural is not in such high demand.

Is the new natural, in fact artificial?

Another interesting visual: