News/Research

Design and the (De)Construction of Nature

07 Jun, 2024

Design and the (De)Construction of Nature

Jillian (Lee) Crandall publishes the book chapter "Design and the (De)Construction of Nature" in "Imaginary Wilds: ARCHITECTURAL INTERVENTIONS FOR THE THOMAS COLE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE."

The myth of a wild, untouched landscape is persistent in American history. Imaginary wilds helped define an American identity in the early nineteenth century when Thomas Cole produced a series of masterwork paintings of American landscapes. And today the myth of imaginary wilds continues to have a major influence on attitudes toward landscape, nature, and the use of resources extracted from the earth. This book presents a series of student-designed architectural projects for a new gallery building sited within the landscape of Cedar Grove, Thomas Cole’s historic home and studio in Catskill, New York. Cole’s artistic legacy can be interpreted in different ways because he was concerned with landscapes and nature as both material and ideal conditions. Complexities arising from considering landscapes and nature as both real and ideal create a productive frame for exploring how architects might design buildings in relation to landscapes and nature. Throughout the book, these relationships are seen to play out in five different directions under the guidance of five different design studio instructors. The architectural projects presented here are contextualized in relation to landscape, nature, and Thomas Cole’s artistic legacy in a series of essays by a distinguished group of designers and thinkers.

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