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Nature and the Idea of a Man-Made World: An Investigation Into the Evolutionary Roots of Form and Order in the Built Environment

by

Over the course of this century, nature has increasingly been relegated to the province of environmentalists while cities and towns have been turned over to developers and planners. Norman Crowe seeks to overcome this division into the respective realms of specialists by recognizing the independence of both the natural and the man-made through an understanding of the often hidden roots of the world we contrive for ourselves. Crowe argues that we have lost a vital balance by neglecting our traditional motives for building in the first place. He argues for a symbiotic theory of man's making and nature's activity that views the built environment as a form of nature, one that nourishes the generative power as well as other enduring qualities of nature. In this sweeping view of architecture and urbanism across cultural boundaries, Crowe evaluates the connections between the natural and man-made in our towns and cities, farms and gardens, architecture and works of civil engineering. He draws on the lessons to be learned from the buildings and cities of the past in restoring critical traditional values that have been lost to modernism, which tends to see the built world almost exclusively through the abstractions of post-Enlightenment science. Hide synopsis

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