The involvement of nature : a study of the response and interaction between architecture and its surroundings in rural dwelling spaces

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Gan, Yuhong
Eggink, Harry A.
Issue Date
Thesis (M. Arch.)
Department of Architecture
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The involvement of nature happens at the edge of architecture, influencing the space of man from the outside and the inside. This design is intended to open man's space to his surroundings, and for establishing a new relationship between man and nature.Peter Noever writes in Architecture in Transition: "In order to become an autonomous subject, man distances himself from nature. This process of distance helps men to learn increasingly to control himself and nature. However, this origin of subjectivity becomes hybrid and turns against man himself: he falls prey to his natural need to dominate, and the dominator of nature becomes the prey of nature."The idea of dominating nature is strongly reflected in the American rural dwellings. Like an "icon of individualism," "operating objectively in their relationship to the landscape,"2 the houses appear isolated from the surroundings. Man might control himself by building this isolated relationship with his surroundings, but it does not have to be like this. Because man not only needs to control himself but also needs to live healthily. The energy of the natural world is an essential part of a healthy human life. Especially in the living environment, natural elements-(defined as "a creative and controlling force in the universe")--are indispensable. For a healthy life, in balance with nature, man should be receptive to his surroundings.The Involvement of Nature is a study of dwelling space, using the language of architecture to improve and cultivate a harmonious relationship between man and nature. This project will focus on the connection between the dwelling space and its natural surroundings. It will create a contextual connection by the interactions between human perceptions of space inside the dwelling and the natural or cultural landscapes which is the outdoor environmental phenomena and features; the sun, the wind and the changing landscape.