Ocean currents. Coral reefs. Algae. Fog. Landslides. Salt domes. Perpetual creation and destruction. As part of the Advanced Research graduate studio at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union, Diana Agrest has assembled a collection of drawings, models, and essays that delve into natural and material processes with the aim of building a bridge between humanity, time, and nature, which has its own scales and intentions. Art, science, philosophy converge. Ideas are challenged and reorganized.
Based on documentation originating in the environmental sciences, history of science, philosophy and art, Architecture of Nature explores the materiality and the effects of the forces at play in the history of the earth through the architect's modes of seeing and techniques of representation. This book presents the research work developed for the past eight years in the Advanced Research graduate studio "Architecture of Nature/ Nature of Architecture," created and directed by Diana Agrest at the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union. Architecture of Nature departs from the traditional approach to nature as a referent for architecture and reframes it as its object of study. The complex processes of generation and transformations of extreme natural phenomena such as glaciers, volcanoes, permafrost, and clouds are explored through unique drawings and models, confronting a scale of space and time that expands and transcends the established boundaries of the architectural discipline.