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Building the Unbuilt

Our project for the Center of Earth Ethics aims to propose a new way of living to achieve collaborative survival in a more-than-human Anthropocene. We intend to invite humans and the federally endangered Indiana bats as our two main clients because of their reversed and mirrored living patterns. After on-site research, we wish to reconnect with the Native Americans and the Shakers’ culture in Albany. We are inspired by how the Shakers hang most of their furniture on a strip that extends across the wall of every room in a building. We adopted the “suspension” because it’s both a maintenance process and respects the ground. It also echoes how the bats hang themselves below a surface. We decided to use the idea of the CLT wall to host the “suspension” which provides vertical surfaces to hang elements; it works as the primary structure in our project. We also wonder how it might extend into the exterior, interacting with the landscape—this idea inspired the design of our tower. Regarding materials, we learned from the Native Americans about the concept of using all of the parts of an object. For example, using leftover bark as shingles for the buildings’ exterior is a way of respecting nature.