Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism – 150 works to create a pact between nature and architecture
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Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism – 150 works to create a pact between nature and architecture

September 17, 2023 – January 20, 2024 at MoMA in New York

Emilio Ambasz

Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism – 150 works to create a pact between nature and architecture
By Editorial Staff -

“Every building is an intrusion into the plant kingdom and is a challenge to nature: we must devise an architecture that stands as the embodiment of a reconciliatory pact between nature and construction, designing buildings so intrinsically connected to their surroundings that they are unable to disentangle themselves from each other.” This quote by architect Emilio Ambasz effectively sums up the spirit in which Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism was conceived. The exhibition is scheduled for September 17, 2023 – January 20, 2024 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Featuring 150 works by important international architects, writers, and pioneers of environmental sustainability, this is the first exhibition to examine the relationship between architecture and the environmental movement in the United States. It’s also the first exhibition organized by the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment, which was set up as a part of MoMA in 2020 following a donation from the Legacy Emilio Ambasz Foundation (LEAF).

 

The featured works

Emilio Ambasz (Argentine, born 1943). Prefectural International Hall, Fukuoka, Japan. 1990. Aerial view. 1990. Collection Emilio Ambasz. Photograph: Hiromi Watanabe Courtesy of MoMa

The 150 exhibited works include both completed and unrealized architectural projects that are significant for having anticipated, inspired, challenged, or contributed to environmental and ecological issues in the United States between the 1930s and ’90s. Models, photographs, diagrams, sketches, and other archival materials, including posters, flyers, videos, and articles, illustrate projects that have been ahead of their time in their focus on issues such as pollution, the depletion of natural resources, and the protection of biodiversity, adopting an innovative, bold, and sometimes dystopian approach. But this look at some sixty years of projects isn’t an end in itself. On the contrary, it’s a strategy to identify workable solutions for the future and for the balanced coexistence of the built and natural environments.

Works by Emilio Ambasz will be displayed alongside works by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, James Wines, Richard Buckminster Fuller, and Beverly Willis. The goal of the event, therefore, will be to share a series of reflections on the relationship between humans and nature, encouraging visitors to consider how the works on display can make people understand the role of architecture in mitigating climate change.

The exhibition, along with the founding of the Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment, will be an invaluable opportunity for the MoMA Department of Architecture and Design to “create debate and promote the necessary change in the field of design for a fairer and greener future,” said Martino Stierli, chief curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, “given that ecology and the ongoing climate crisis are the most urgent challenges of our time, not only for architecture, but for humanity as a whole.”

 

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Credits

Location: MoMa, New York, USA
Organization: MoMa and Emilio Ambasz Institute for the Joint Study of the Built and Natural Environment
Date: From September, 17th, to January, 20th

All images courtesy of MoMa
Portrait by Wade Zimmerman, courtesy of Emilio Ambasz

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