Alternate Natures: Architecture and the Botanical World

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 to Thursday, May 31, 2018
Physiology House, Lyman Conservatory

This year's advanced architectural design studios (Advanced Topics in Architecture, ARS386 and ARS388) taught by Elisa Kim explore alternative relationships between buildings, culture, and the environment.

In collaboration with the Botanic Garden and through a series of interrelated projects, each student began by choosing a plant of her choice, then designing and fabricating a miniature selfsustaining eco-unit intended to support the plant’s life. Students were challenged to nurture their plants and eco-units at their desks for the duration of the fall semester, developing a formal and ecological understanding of the relationship between space, climate, and atmosphere.

As environmental performance becomes a vehicle for architectural intervention, these small-scale constructions gradually led to architectural proposals for an addition to the Botanic Garden at Smith College.