Pratt Institute School of Design

Appreciation of...
Regina, Hsin Li
How far from nature have humans strayed? In the city built upon a culture of progress and digitality, it’s easy to regard the natural world as no more than a faraway backdrop to our swelling urban societies. The city culture distances us from nature, and in turn with disassociation, nature becomes misunderstood and misconceptualized. An exploration of our relationship with the natural world in the city becomes an inquiry on our disconnect to nature. In the investigation of this disparity, nature is redefined to reconstruct current perceptions. Through design, the deglamorizing of nature from idealized misconceptions begins to reconcile the disparity between the urban-dweller and nature intrinsically, and, in this way, cultivate environmental stewardship in the city.

To change perceptions of the urban to nature begins with an examination of the city, of this human-nature relationship, and the presence of nature in our lives. In the way we contemplate nature, appreciation may be the missing piece to our reconnection with it.
“Appreciation of…” is a book that presents its deconstruction and of appreciation as a concept relevant to everyday life. This book is a collection of demonstrations, explorations, definitions, and visual experiences of acts of appreciation of nature in the city. It addresses the significance of nature in urbanity and reestablishes humans as part of the larger ecosystem and physical world.

Appreciation reveals the trivial relationships with nature in the city that are often overlooked. Referencing this scale of relationship, the book is also a reflection of an urban-dweller’s grapple with what the city has to offer and what it means to be environmentally-friendly in the face of a global crisis.

Beyond the philosophical and intellectual knowledge of nature, “Appreciation of…” gets down and dirty, personal, and intimate as it seeks to reconnect humans and nature in the city.