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Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism

How architects and designers helped define America’s ecological movement in the 1960s—featuring Ant Farm, Buckminster Fuller, John C. Lilly and many more.

During the 1960s, as Western notions of endless progress and growth gave way to concerns over industrial pollution, resource depletion and ecological limits, attitudes toward the environment became social, political and ideological. Published to accompany the first expansive survey of the history of environmental thinking in architecture, Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism looks at the role architects have played in defining our understanding of "nature" and the "environment," specifically during the rise of environmental discourse. The richly illustrated publication presents over 45 architectural contributions—from Eleanor Raymond and Mária Telkes’ groundbreaking work on solar houses to Buckminster Fuller’s world resource management system and the environmental symbolism of Emilio Ambasz—to explore the role designers played in both promoting ecological concerns and in outlining the very terms of this nascent field. Through an introductory essay by curator Carson Chan and brief texts on each of the featured projects, Emerging Ecologies documents the proximity between ecology, design and statecraft, allowing readers to take stock of historic milestones as architecture confronts today’s climate emergencies. Hardcover, 224 pages.

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