With his book Green Architecture (2000), the architect and theorist James Wines calls the attention of his peers to the ecological disasters related to the building industry. Going beyond a mere environmentalist criticism, he formulates the need to produce a universal message, a “green” aesthetic that presents itself as a true communicative iconography.
Many projects featured in the FRAC Centre collection deal with the subjects of ecology, landscapes, and biomimetism, and highlight the narrow link between the idea of nature and artistic and architectural research. Indeed, natural shapes, from the eggshell to the seashell, from tree to flower, have often been a source of inspiration for many artists and architects. If the proximity between creation and nature adds to the poetic power of the architectural works and projects, creators have often pushed the analogy beyond the shapes themselves to model their creative processes on those of nature. Natural shapes are greatly motivated by the laws that govern their appearance and evolution. By trying to extend these principles to human creation, architects tend to encourage a renewal and profusion of architectural forms that harmonise with their environment. Among these principles, the appearance and disappearance of shapes, and the growth and rhythm of plants are what caught the attention of many an architect. Adapted to architecture, these mechanisms give a glimpse of a new definition of our habitat, which is no longer seen as enduring and unchanging, but as something that follows the idea of evolution and cycles. These architects tend to conceive an architecture that changes shapes, evolves, appears or disappears as time passes and the needs of humankind vary.