The M/N=1 PROJECT | Man-Nature Equilibrium
For too long we have viewed Nature as an expendable resource. The degradation
of natural capital threatens irreversible damage to the ecosystems around us,
including a permanent loss of biodiversity. Natural capital is the biosphere’s
capacity to maintain the ecosystem services, which include “all the familiar
resources used by humankind: water, minerals, oil, trees, fish, soil, air” and
“living systems, which include grasslands, savannas, wetlands, estuaries,
oceans…rainforests” 1. Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms
from all sources including “terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems
and the ecological complexes of which they are a part."2
In framing Nature as a resource, we forget that we—the human race—are integral
to the many biophysical systems on Earth. In destroying their balance,
we risk our survival.
The brief for FuturArc Prize 2012 calls for a rethink of the Man-Nature equilibrium.
In some contexts, where Nature in some form or measure exists, this might be
a question of what type of developments are needed or permitted, how they
co-exist and reinforce cycles in Nature. In other contexts, where Nature has
given way to forces of urbanisation or industrialisation, this might be a question
of how Nature is reintroduced to establish itself as a force in our lives.
Design a building for any use, no less than 5,000 m2 in total built-up area.
Make a case for how this building—its construction and operation—represents
an understanding of man-made and natural systems, and their harmonious
Site selection is at the entrant’s discretion and should be explained clearly
in the submission. Only sites in Asia and Australia will be accepted.
1 Hawken, Paul, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins. Natural capitalism: creating
the next industrial revolution. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 2000
2 Convention on Biological Diversity, “Text of the convention on biological diversity,
” Convention on Biological Diversity, http://www.cbd.int/doc/legal/cbd-en.pdf
(accessed July 30th, 2010)