A Model of Interconnectivity

  • Caption
Related people
Rachel Schmitmeyer (designer)
Ashley Schafer (studio professor)
Curtis Roth (studio professor)
Spring 2022
In the age of the Anthropocene, there is a need for a new world model; one that accepts the inextricable, complex web that exists between the “natural” and the “artificial.” What if instead of architecture maintaining the binary understanding of building and nature as distinct opposites, our world models celebrated their interdependence? The Miami Seed Institution is a museum to promote the stewardship of the environment while embracing a new world model. Today, interior spaces are controlled by ASHRAE Standards which define a small range of climates, deeming the vast range of nature’s uncertainties as unacceptable, separating us from the “discomforts” of the environment. Instead of thinking in binaries, with clear interiors and exteriors, the museum utilizes multiple levels of control. In some spaces, such as the seed bank, high control is necessary; here humans are completely separated from the environment. In other instances, where less control is required, humans look at, coexist, and interact with the environment. By designing a building with multiple levels of environmental control, the architecture reflects this new world model of interconnection. The museum – a typically pristine building typology – fosters the complex, interdependent network of relationships that exist between humans, the natural, and the artificial.