Landscope | Interpreting Environmental Consciousness
Humphrey, Jonah Thomson
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This thesis proposes a way in which architecture and the built environment might work to integrate human consciousness and natural process. A theoretical design entitled Landscope is presented as a responsive, sustainable landscape that offers understanding of nature through active observation, interpretation and transformation of the environment. The design proposal is situated at the edge of Hamilton Harbour, Ontario, Canada, adjacent to the existing facilities of the National Water Research Institute. Two extended studies accompany the design proposal. The first, Water, presents a poetic exploration of cosmic, responsive, and connective qualities of water relating to nature and technology. The second study, Connected Fields, focuses on the visionary American engineer Buckminster Fuller and his ‘Geoscope’ project, a geodesic dome designed to act as a monitoring and control centre for global material and resource flows. This section also includes a discussion of general conceptions of the world, focusing on key twentieth-century conceptions of the Biosphere, Gaia, and the Noösphere. Historical theories of environmental perception are discussed including Gestalt psychology and technical systems of observation. Drawing upon this cultural material, the thesis attempts to open boundaries that separate nature and technology, encouraging a complex, mutually dependent relationship between these traditionally separate realms. The general pursuit is a cybernetic and virtual model for environmental and ontological hybridity, involving an evolution of consciousness at both individual and global scales.