Art Installation by Fabian Knecht 2014. Photo: Anna Ulak

Art Installation by Fabian Knecht 2014. Photo: Anna Ulak

This project will study when the notion of an environment operating as a system became ubiquitous- thus the formation and rise of the “ecosystem” and its effect on architecture during the later half of the 20th century. According to ecological literature an ecosystem is “a system, or a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.” The rise of the ecosystem concept coincided with concerns of the environment in the 1960´s when climate change began to become evident. 

It is suspected that the notion of an environment functioning like a system rose up with prominence during the Post-war period. During this time empirical methods of research and new technologies such as cybernetics and computation were viewed favorably (Anglo Saxon context). The research intends to demonstrate a new form of perception within ecological inquiry and how this impacted architectural thought and design. This will be done by describing the change in graphic communication, instrumentation and methodology that inform the concept of ecosystem. The study aims to add new understanding into the epistemologies between technology, human/non-human perception, the development of environmental theories and its influence on architecture.


Institute of Architecture / Michael Hensel (Supervisor)

PhD started in 2017