The Museum of Modern Art Presents Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and The Rise of Environmentalism
The Museum of Modern Art announces Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism, an exhibition dedicated to both realized and unrealized projects that address ecological and environmental concerns by architects who practiced in the United States from the 1930s through the 1990s. Emerging Ecologies will feature over 150 works that reconstruct how the rise of the environmental movement in the US informed architectural practice and thought. Models, photographs, diagrams, and sketches will be placed in context with archival materials such as posters, flyers, and articles to showcase innovative, fantastical, dystopian, and daring architectural projects that sought to navigate the fraught relationship between the built and natural environment. Seven newly commissioned audio recordings that draw inspiration from these little-known projects will feature contemporary practitioners—Mae-ling Lokko, Jeanne Gang, Meredith Gaglio, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Amy Chester, Carolyn Dry, and Emilio Ambasz—sharing their thoughts on what contemporary architects can do to mitigate against climate change. By highlighting projects that both foreshadowed and anticipated the ecological effects of overpopulation, the depletion of natural resources, and rampant industrial pollution, the exhibition looks to the past to suggest solutions for the future.
Buildings produce nearly 40% of the world’s yearly carbon emissions. Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism explores how architects in the US responded to the environmental crisis of the 1960s and 1970s, when concern with rising pollution and runaway resource use spurred widespread activism on behalf of the natural world. Tracing the innovative, fantastical, and daring projects that architects proposed as environmentalism gathered steam, Emerging Ecologies tells an alternate history of architecture that focuses on designers who have made the natural world a centerpiece of their practice.
The first major museum exhibition to survey the relationship between architecture and the environmental movement in the United States, Emerging Ecologies brings together a wide range of work—from archival drawings to videos to architectural models—spanning six decades. The exhibition celebrates those architects who spearheaded this approach, including R. Buckminster Fuller, Beverly Willis, and Emilio Ambasz, and reveals previously unheralded environmental concerns in the work of practitioners like Ant Farm and Charles and Ray Eames. Emerging Ecologies also looks to the future, engaging contemporary thinkers to help understand how the works on view might help us navigate the accelerating climate crisis today.