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For Your Comfort A search into modern nature Arjen Poort


Human design has made nature more natural than natural: it is now hypernatural. It is a simulation of a nature that never existed. It’s better than the real thing; always just a little bit prettier, slicker and safer than the old kind. Let’s be honest: it’s actually culture in disguise. The more we learn to control trees, animals, atoms and the climate, the more they lose their natural character and enter into the realms of culture.


In our culture, nature is continually presented as a lost world. It is associated with originality, yet appears only once it has disappeared. Our experience of nature is a retro effect and chiefly a recreational one. Sunday afternoon scenery; Disneyland for grown-ups.


Epilogue

It must have been an evening in October. With all due haste I hurried through a maze of fences and cranes which made reaching the platforms of Rotterdam Central Station ​​into a challenge. While I smoked a quick cigarette I noticed I was treated to a clear blue sky above an idyllic white beach. The bright sun would have been mercilessly if not for that one coincidental palm tree that provided some shade. A tropical beach, lost in a dark and cold construction pit made me wonder. A loss on the one hand is a hole in the market on the other, eagerly picked up by entrepreneurs. Nature has thus become one of the best-selling products. Although the pristine nature does not fit our modern man-made environment and would disrupt our design rather than beautify, we seem to have an innate desire for it. We want her as close as possible. In our houses, in the bedroom, at the office, even in the toilet. Our wishes are answered with a cultivated version of what we see as nature, seized and stripped of its essential character. All so we can enjoy her undisturbed. But to what extent does this interpretation fulfill the substantial need, does it bring us closer to what we desire or is it a placebo. Will future generations still know what nature actually implies or will they place the association that comes from our cultivated nature above true nature. The fact that ‘nature’ lies so well in the market, I think, says more about the absence than about the quality of our substitutions.

If history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth. ― Edward O. Wilson


Great thanks to my parents Fred and Patricia Poort, my muse Romy Treebusch and dear roommates Lidewij Kalfsterman and Lorena van Bunningen for their support. Tutor and teachers Bob van der Vlist, Hans van der Meer, Raimond Wouda, Ton van Kints, Ingrid Grootes and Corinne Noordenbos for their insights, guidance and transfer of knowledge. Vincent van Baar for the motivating guidance on the design. And ofcourse all classmates that helped during the proces.

Š 2013 Arjen Poort, Den Haag Quotations: Koert van Mensvoort, Edward O. Wilson Printing: De Nederlandse Document Reproductie, Den Haag Binding: Boekbinderij van Dijk, Den Haag


Profile for Arjen Poort

For your comfort  

It must have been an evening in October. With all due haste I hurried through a maze of fences and cranes which made reaching the platforms...

For your comfort  

It must have been an evening in October. With all due haste I hurried through a maze of fences and cranes which made reaching the platforms...

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