The Garden in the Machine


Photography, Print and Illustration

In search for Neo-Pastoral Ideals and decelerated architectural language in response to Leo Marx’s criticism on the advanced technological progression

The country - enigmatic, tranquil, retreat. The urban dweller’s obsession with the forest cabin, or ‘glamping’, can be observed everywhere in the media. Passed on from the last century is this outdated and deluted association to the sense of rural nostalgia. But how much does the country feed into our pastoral ideals?

Rem Koolhaas referred the country as a ‘toxic mix of genetic experiment, science, industrial nostalgia, seasonal immigration, territorial buying sprees, massive subsidies, incidental inhabitation, tax incentives, investment, political turmoil’, and hence ‘more volatile than the most accelerated city.’

If the 20th century’s avant-garde movements such as constructivism developed an aesthetic language on helping civilisation cope with the quicker pace and dynamics of urban life, what should be today’s language that REALLY responds to the overwhelming speed of information and technology?

Investigating functioning barns in the countryside of Ireland, these structures of curved and geometric elements, are prefabricated but organically arranged, forming a hybrid of rural vernacular and constructivist like architecture. A great variation of forms are achieved by different arrangements of only two simple typologies, and the result is both primitive and futuristic.

In response to Leo Marx’s criticism in The Machine in the Garden on the progression imposed by advanced technology interrupting the perpetual pastoral imagery, thus the title of this project. Can we recreate the pastoral sentiments again from inside today’s machine way of life?