Exploring Organic Architecture—Natural Materials

Organic. It’s a familiar word that shows up in contexts as diverse as medicine, law, agriculture …and architecture. We understand what organic food is, because the “organic” label is governed by strict codes and procedures. But what does organic architecture actually mean? I’ve considered this question for decades and learned there is no simple answer. Organic architecture is a broad term describing a variety of interpretations and influences in design theory.  One definition considers materials. Building with natural, indigenous materials and minimizing the use of synthetic products that require excessive energy to manufacture and transport is one organic approach to architecture. Organic architecture in this vein embraces durable materials as close to their natural state as is practical. Wood, brick…

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