Thursday, April 9, 2009

Man & Nature: Humility before earth's wonders through direct engagement

Question: All building materials come from the earth. If we take a stance of being humble before earth's wonders, is it better to push the possibilities of the earth's resources (translucent concrete) or stick with the simplest materials (adobe brick)?


  1. This is a difficult question to answer. What does "earth's wonders" mean to you? Is it the complexity and order in nature that has evolved from natural processes? Is it the wonder of chemistry that allows for new materials to be developed? There are many more questions that could be asked.

    I think better understanding what "being humble before earth's wonders" means to you will be helpful in answering your question.

  2. In response to your question, I would choose materials based on a tactile quality. The entourage in your image implies a strategy of tactile interaction. Does the green roof support your argument better than a clear plastic corrugated roof? The plastic roof would have a high degree of audible interaction during a thunderstorm.

  3. For clarification, I see "earth's wonders" as a amazement about all the possibilities and complexity there is in the world.

    A quote I wanted to include earlier about humility, but didn't:

    "If all that a man can understand were all there is, if there were no mystery, then in the mind would be trapped, and damned within its limits; one should rejoice in understanding, but rejoice also in failing to understand, for in that failure the mind is set free." (again from Wendell Berry, A Secular Pilgrimage)


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