Xavier Morla, Bronze Medal Nominee (2017)

Reflection on “Intervention”

As human beings, we often perceive ourselves as separate from the natural world. Because of this, everything we create is perceived as an act of intervening in the natural world. There is no possible way for us to establish a settlement or society without making use of the resources we find in our natural environment. Therefore, the only position that is not inherently anti-human is one of intervention in the natural world. The question then becomes, in what way should we intervene?

As with everything in the physical world, we find that there are natural laws that guide and shape the way plants and animals interact with one another. These natural laws, of both physics and biology, determine what is possible to accomplish. If we are to accomplish anything as humans, we must have a working and a growing knowledge of these natural laws.

Any human settlement has survival and flourishing as its primary goals, and in order to accomplish these goals, there is a need for environmental stability and biodiversity. Without environmental stability, there is no way to sustain the survival of a human settlement. Without biodiversity, the potential to flourish and cultivate a rich and diverse society is extremely limited. So our goal as people intervening in the natural world should be to establish a stable environment and promote biodiversity. This way, both the ecosystems native to the area and the people intervening are working in unison. If we as architects, designers, engineers, and creators of all sorts do not work in unison with the plant and animal life we find on our planet, then we will eventually create more deserts, wastelands, and barren fields. This is not in our self-interest as human beings, we need plant and animal life to sustain our own lives, and it would be unethical for us as humans to continue creating anything that goes against our ability to survive and thrive. In architecture as much as anything else, we must design our buildings with the laws of nature in mind, so that they last as long as possible, and we must build our buildings with life of all kinds in mind, so that we promote the growth of the ecosystems we depend on. Intervening in the natural world for the proliferation of life and the betterment of human societies is ultimately the only way for humans to live in unison with the natural world in a sustainable way.


Exhibits of Coursework (click to expand)


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