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Reading #13

Discussion questions/keywords/summary from/of:

"Nature and the Idea of a Man Made World" by Norman Crowe
pages 3-28

Discussion Questions:

1.) It is stated in the text that it is human compulsion to create architecture rather than simply functional shelter. Do you think this is really a human compulsion? Or is it simply just a human capability?
2.) They say that no one is perfect, but do you believe architectural perfection can be achieved?


Keywords:
1.) caprice - I saw it used in the text, but wasn't familiar with its meaning. Caprice is (according to www.dictionary.com) a sudden, unpredictable action, change, or series of actions or changes.
2.) harmony - Harmony is a state of being achieved when there is an observable state of balance between the built world and nature.


Summary:
This text was a very interesting examination of the relationship of man and the man-made world to nature. Crowe begins by declaring that the root of all human knowledge lies deep within nature. Both nature and the man-made world are intrinsically interconnected. Thus, our understanding of nature has a great influence on the way we approach the environment and our man-made creations. To quote Crowe, "the man-made world is an alternative nature, so to speak, created by artifice and born as a human reflection of the wonder we find in the natural world - the heavens, the seasons, landscapes and seascapes, plants and animals." He also presents another intriguing idea. He writes that our knowledge of nature and our connection with it might be so imbedded in us that we subconsciously act with regard to it (I thought this was pretty cool!).

There is also a lot of description regarding what the "ideal balance" is between nature and the man-made world. As it turns out, there is no universal measure of what this perfect level is because it is culturally conditioned and personal for each and every one of us. We all have our own vision of the correct "balance" and our own image as to what our world should be like. Regardless of this, it is impossible to ignore the fact that all of these indivual views are at risk because of current ecological threats that are being imposed on our earth through industry growth and resource exploitation.