A walk suggested by someone you love.
This walk was given to me by my partner, Neil.
Walk along the street and try to find any instance where you can fill your field of vision only with a natural thing (rock, plant, mountain, etc.) consider if the natural form exists in its place naturally or was put there by humans.
Walk back and consider the opposite: any instance where you can only see man-made structures (buildings, pavement etc.).
Consider the relation of these two subjects in proximity to your house. What does this imply about our relationship to nature, our relationship to home. What does it say about human manipulation of the environment? Are some natural elements used for specific purposes? What does this say about harmony? What does this say about adaptation? Do we adapt our environment to meet our needs or adapt to meet the needs of our environment?
I walked the back gravel alleys surrounding my casita. Here is a photographic record of my findings.
Consider the relation of these two subjects in proximity to your house. What does this imply about our relationship to nature, our relationship to home.
All of the nature present was the result of human landscaping (in many cases unkempt or “out of control”). This leads me to believe that we find comfort in nature, but only when we have control over it. Actual wildness scares us; we only welcome it in manageable doses, trimmed trees and house plants.
What does it say about human manipulation of the environment?
I love watching the documentaries of what will happen once humans are gone; it takes only days for the foliage to reclaim its space. Destruction is a natural process (think wildfires), but not to the extreme levels humans have pushed it to (think deforestation). There is a fine line between cultivation and abuse which is oftentimes crossed. Things we do to contain nature are often destructive to the planet as a whole. Mowing grass cause pollution and destroys bee habitats. I have not done any research on the use of water to water lawns in the desert (but I am sure it can not be good).
Are some natural elements used for specific purposes?
In the cases I observed the natural elements were mostly decretive with the exception of a shade tree every now and again.
What does this say about harmony?
Many people keep bees, feed birds, grow vegetables or butterfly gardens. These seem like harmonious was to manipulate nature.
What does this say about adaptation?
In the case of the neighborhood I am currently living in and walked around, I think it is a case of keeping up with the Jones’. Where your basic needs of shelter are met, the next step is the beautification of the space. Turning the house into a home. We claim ownership through personalization and upkeep. The majority of families in my neighborhood own their homes as opposed to renting them. This makes a huge difference. Landscaping is never as prominent in areas that are inhabited primarily by renters.
Do we adapt our environment to meet our needs or adapt to meet the needs of our environment?
I think the answer to this question depends entirely on not only class, but location. If I am focusing in on America, thinking of the homes in which I lived, I say we adapt to met the needs of our environment. Ohio weather includes large amounts of snow in the winter and tornadoes in the summer. We have gabled roofs for the precipitation and basements for the storms.