In essence, forests are stored sunshine. But they are also repositories of cultures, myths, metaphors, and means of subsistence. As such, they shape the ways in which we consider time and space. Within the architectural imagination, the forest has a lingering presence: it is conceived as both the origin of architecture and the antidote to its malice. In cities, urbanists, landscape architects, and architects construct forest towers or plant urban forests to offset the harmful effects of civilization. Outside of urbanized areas, forests are described as holding the keys to the survival of the human species. In this presentation, Dan Handel traces the appearances and resonance of forests within the architectural professions and suggests that, by working with and tinkering its metaphors, we can change the way we experience and design our environment.
The talk “The Forest Cons: Sylvan Reflections within Architectural Imaginaries” took place on December 13, 2021 in the framework of the 4A_Lab online seminar series.