Human / Nature is a long-term collaborative research programme, exploring the notion of the psychological divide between humanity and the natural world.
The programme is inspired by the life and work of Alexander von Humboldt, and will culminate in a series of large-scale events in 2019, the 250th anniversary of his birth.
The first ideas that developed around ecology, ecosystems and the over-reaching impact of humanity on the natural world can arguably be attributed to Humboldt. Humboldt, with a keen artistic and scientific eye, travelled across the Americas, Europe and Asia to carry out historic scientific experiments. He recorded the natural environment with drawings and writings that, once back in Europe, captivated all like nothing ever seen before. His work has also inspired writers such as, Henry David Thoreau and Goethe, as well as scientists like Charles Darwin and Ernst Haeckel.
Humboldt’s travels, life experiences and verve have provided a starting point for our overarching research, ensuring that we take his pioneering perspective, and place it in the 21st Century, with a renewed focus on the ecosystems and ecology of our lives – including our urban infrastructures, and the internet.
We're recently started an RnD process for a series of spatial design interventions informed by the following public provocation:
Stephen J. Gould once claimed, "We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature—for we will not fight to save what we do not love."
Everything obeys the laws of nature, and is created of substances that are natural, including everything we make, and yet we do not comprehend of ourselves as “natural”.
Has this dissociation contributed to the biggest environmental and ecological issues of our time? Issues spanning species extinction, pollution, and climate change to personal issues such as, depression, obesity, and stress.