The Unpredictability of Living: Plant material, Plant Agency and the Viridic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Notions of change in architecture and a desire to make the static building responsive to or resemble dynamic systems have characterized experimental architecture since the middle-late twentieth century. Whether it be wobbly inflatable structures (like the Utopie group), events or performances (Fluxus or the Situationists), design generation processes (La Villette competition), or building technology (Hi-Tech), architecture has been trying to find ways to be physically animated and engaged with the natural and cultural world. Plants are a key part of this ambition, notably in roof, wall, hanging, or terrace gardens. But how do we talk about plants in design, and when we do, how do we understand what plants ‘are’? This question informs how we design to not just ‘use’ plants, nor ‘accommodate’ them, but ‘collaborate’ with them in real, material terms. This then becomes a question of plant agency in design and its implications for the practice of architects, landscape architects, and urban designers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-123
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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