Agriculture and Architecture: Taking the Country’s Side

Taking stock of the severe environmental predicament that now faces our world, this exhibition intends to ignite a reflection (both retrospective and pro-spective) on the strong link between the twin disciplines of agriculture and architecture, and on their growing divorce since the industrial revolution. It aims to learn from agricultural scientists, activists and designers who have consistently explored the hypothesis of a future of energy descent and its consequences, for the redesign and maintenance of living territories. Agroecology and permaculture have evolved useful concepts and strategies for imagining a post-industrial technology based on a radical economy of energy and material resources.

Joel Sternfeld, McLean, Virginia, December 1978

What if we consider permaculture not only as a kind of architecture? What about redefining architecture’s rationality and economy of means today? The exhibition is structured in three main areas: a central space with seven sections, a large-scale illustration and a screening area for documentary films. Taking the Country’s Side is a reflexive and didactic attempt to reconnect architecture and agriculture and to emphasize lessons that contemporary architects and urbanists might draw from this school of thought and action.

The Valley Section

The Valley Section, Shelfmark Coll © The University of Edinburgh

Sébastien Marot (FR)
Sébastien Martor curator of the exhibition Agriculture and Permaculture: Taking the Country's Side
Sébastien Marot is a philosopher and writes extensively on the genealogy of contemporary theories in architecture, urban design and landscaping. With a Master degree in Philosophy and a PhD in History, he is a professor at École d'Architecture in Paris-Est, a guest lecturer at EPFL (Enac) and Harvard's Graduate School of Design (in a programme about the Countryside, led by Rem Koolhaas and AMO). He’s author and editor of several books, and also collaborator in re-editions with critic reviews. He edited Le Visiteur (from 1995 to 2002) and Marnes (since 2010) and is the author of several books such as Sub-Urbanism and the Art of Memory (AA Publications 2003), the critical re-edition The City in the City: Berlin , The Green Archipelago of Ungers and Koolhaas (Lars Müller 2013).
Mathieu Calame (FR)
Agricultural engineer and Director of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind. For this institution, he converted his rural estate from the Ferme de la Bergerie (Val d'Oise-France) to sustainable management. In this capacity, he was also President of the Technical Institute of Organic Agriculture (ITAB) for three years. His research gave rise to Understanding agroecology: origins, principles and policies, referred to in the exhibition, which questions the coverage of agroecology as a common term for a more environmentally friendly alternative model.
Gaëtan Amossé (FR)
Upon graduating from the ENSACF (École Nationale Supérieure d’architecture de Clermont-Ferrand) with a degree in architecture and from the EAVT (École d’Architecture de la Ville et du Territoire, Paris-Est), he has recently launched himself as illustrator, in collaboration with architects, researchers and as independent artist. He regards the hand-drawings as his main communication, sharing and creation tool. He's the author of the timeline that represents the history of agriculture and architecture.
Martin Etienne (FR)
After working for ten years as an architect, Martin Etienne decided to devote himself entirely to drawing and illustration. Since 2010, he’s working as freelance illustrator for many offices in architecture, urban planning and landscape design. He also works as a cartoonist for French magazines and newspapers.
Paul de Greslan, Paul Bouet, Raphaël Bach
Pier-Vittorio Aureli, Matthieu Calame, David Holmgren, Rob Hopkins, Wes Jackson, Rem Koolhaas, Dennis Meadows, Colin Moorcraft, Carolyn Steel, Delamarre, Romain Leonelli, Oscard Morand, Marco Rampini, Matthew Skjonsberg, Cyril Veillon and students from the master Architecture & Expérience, École d’Architecture de la Ville et des Territoires Paris Est: Nils Bailly, Reda Erraziqi, Rose Hewins, Pauline Kinsky.
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