Andrea De Haro
Charlotte Bascombe

Document Type

Thesis Prep


Fall 12-2022


anthropocene, aesthetics, natural environment, nature, ecosystem, monoculture, sublime, landscapes, destruction, environmental degradation, deforested site, nuclear accident, Chernobyl, catastrophic, biodiversity, ecological balance, exploitation, immersive experiences




Architectural Technology | Architecture | Environmental Design | Landscape Architecture


There is an unspoken value in the destructiveness caused by design that is exposed through the exploitation of natural resources. This thesis seeks to exemplify the aesthetic value inherent within these newly defined environments. Nature is a source for human consumption, and as such it has developed into a commodity. By now it should be made evident that humanity’s presence is everywhere. There is no ecosystem left unturned by human manipulation Iin this respect, nature is dead. Deforested sites of oil fracking leave mile long toxic ponds highlighting the destructive pursuits that capitalism creates. Chernobyl showcases how human errors in design can lead to catastrophic changes to an ecosystem, changing the way animals and humans inhabit these spaces for decades to come. Monocultures and factory farms exploit nature, and with technological advancements, have taken over, creating a loss of biodiversity that upsets the ecological balance. This exploitation is also evident within our treatment of the non-human, going so far as to design animals for human pleasure and economic gain.

Deriving from the ideas of the aesthetic sublime, it should be emphasized that the sublime is not an idea but rather an experience. This definition can pertain to the evolution of our thesis, in which it is not only necessary to allude to the sublime, but it is also important to experience it. To encounter this we could imagine an immersive experience that evokes and designs the specific senses one might feel if they were captivated by this environment. From the imagined odors, colors, and textures that are present we can evolve our perception of the real and artificial as a harmonious endeavor. This immersive experience could be used to further design and manipulate our generated landscapes and continue to disrupt rationality and form as the ultimate aesthetic. Acknowledging and embracing the irrational would allows the audience to incorporate their emotions as they experience the obscurity that designers incorporate in their design processes. It serves to awaken the senses of those who chose to neglect the reality of architecture and the way in which we discriminatorily design through human-centered approaches.

Further observing the way in which one could transform the environment through their movements, adding another layer of destruction. This explores the contradictions of design aesthetics that are set forth through the use of our initial visuals. Developing once again a feedback loop where further designing these landscapes would in turn design the rationale of the user. Ultimately we aim to create this immersive experience in order to emphasize the aesthetics of destruction. The experience as a whole represents the sublime, making the viewer question what the role of design and aesthetics has on environmental degradation.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.