NatureStructure: Design that Works with Nature

The history of the built environment could be broadly defined as a battle against nature: barricading cities and coasts with sea walls, expanding over wetlands and green terrain, dividing migration routes with motorways. Tremendous effort has gone into the long war against the natural world.

Yet as sea levels rise and the severity of floods, droughts, and a changing climate increase — while species and habitats decrease — efforts to conquer nature have proven to be futile at best and destructive acts of ego at worst.

NatureStructure represents an end to the battle against nature.

Instead of combating the natural world, NatureStructure embraces nature and natural processes as integral parts of the built environment and advocates designing and developing in collaboration with natural systems. Norwegians have a phrase for it: “To play on the same team as nature.” The Dutch call it “Building with nature.”


MARS: Modular Artificial Reef Structure by Reef Design Lab
MARS: Modular Artificial Reef Structure by Reef Design Lab

NatureStructure provides a framework for a new generation of nature-centric design and development; work created to support and employ nature in addressing the problems human development has created for itself.


NatureStructure design that works with nature by Scott Burnham
NatureStructure Opening: Boston Society of Architects’ BSA Space Gallery

“Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.” – Leonardo da Vinci

NatureStructure is on view at the Boston Society of Architects’ BSA Space Gallery until 23 September 2018.

Top Image: BSA Exhibition Postcard, featuring image of POP-UP by Third Nature. Copenhagen, Denmark.