“Of Stone and Stem” explores the long standing relationship between our architectural living spaces and the natural world. Since the dawn of civilization, plant life within our constructed spaces has enhanced our human experience.
In 600 B.C., The Hanging Gardens of Babylon represented a romantic, mythical ideal of nature within the design alongside the Babylonian palace. Recently, our changing global habitat has led us to rethink the footprint that architectural development may leave on our natural environment. Residents, scientists, botanists, and architects have become inspired to create sustainable forms of architecture, working towards the long-term healing of our planet.
We must erect buildings that minimize the environmental impact. Eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient technology and a deliberate awareness of our surroundings that aim to conserve the biodiversity of the area, considerations previously unthought-of are vital to the survival of our planet.
I was inspired to create this body of work after witnessing the splendor of The Park Royal Hotel Pickering in Singapore and The Yin & Yang House in Germany. The innovative concepts and their masterful execution of the locations is captivating. Those striking observations from a lover of design in all its forms – art, nature, gardening, and plant life, is the driving force for the incorporation of natural elements into my work.
As a mixed media artist, I have implored the use of a variety of materials such as architectural blueprints, mineral derived pigments, recycled packing paper, natural dyes, synthetic ultraviolet shade screens, handmade papers, seeds sourced from my home garden, peat free soil, and natural fibers. This combination of materials represents an abstracted vision of a world that could become commonplace in our near future. New ways to live with our planet are pertinent to ensure the safety and health of future generations. I think of the world that my daughter will inherit, and I am motivated to do all that is possible to leave it better than I found it.
“We will achieve a connection to nature with the integration of plants. Buildings with ecological materials we want to touch. Integrated gardens we can smell and eat, structures that we can hear because birds nest in them. Sensible buildings that make us feel alive. That is my dream of the future.”
-Architect, Chris Precht