Nichole Ann Samson
Site: St Enoch Square, Glasgow
Thesis: We are in the Anthropocene Era: a human-revolving society of mass consumption and lack of awareness of our the detrimental effect of our daily existence on the planet. This thesis methodologically investigates how to effectively move beyond the limits of modernity by adopting the fundamental purpose of architecture: to help us create ourself in line with an evolving vision of who we want to be. Our relationship with architecture is so intimate, that it creates the setting of our lives, it shapes us without comprehension. Thus, through architecture becomes humankind’s way of deliberately participating in evolution, designing the environment to support and facilitate this. Designing spaces that make us better humans for the planet.
From Anthropocene Era into the Ecozoic, the thesis is a dialogue of a global issue on the imbalanced relationship with nature, in a particular place and time. It explores Glasgow’s characteristic to create a holistic and familiar social experience, compensating for the lack of green spaces in the city, expressed vertically within the structure. It aims to enhance human presence upon the natural world through a spatial series of psychological process of reflection and connection. Through the exploration of contemplative spaces that reconnect people and planet, it creates a feeling of belonging thus responsibility for it- initiating positive change in the individual’s behaviour towards the Earth.
The thesis proposes a three-fold ethical framework: 1. ethically designed, 2. ethical function and 3. ethical objective. Carefully considered to have least impact on the environment, the Glasgow Plant Archive & Seed Bank, is a clear contrast to the speed driven, contemporary life of the high street. Manifesting as an architectural beacon that towers the city, celebrates the possible balance of both human and natural world providing opportunities for positive activities. For the city to contribute to MSBP, the largest plant conservation programme in the world, contributing towards target 2,13 and 15 of UN Sustainable Development goals.