It is important to note that the word “you” means “you”. Museum of Modern Art New York’s first ever upscale hotel has opened. exhibition Focused on the relationship of environmentalism and architecture during the 20th century.

The exhibition is called Emerging Ecologies: Architecture and the Rise of Environmentalism, details work – built and conceptual – produced during the 20th century and features a number of drawings, photographs, models and interactive elements.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), a newly established institution, is organizing the event. Ambasz InstituteIt was created in order to expose the general public to a variety of different ways of thinking.

Carson Chan, Ambasz Institute Director and exhibition curator, told Dezeen: “The goal is to provide a forum where architecture and the environment are discussed, researched and communicated in a way that is accessible to a wide audience.”

Carson Chan, the recently-founded Ambasz Institute director at MoMA. Photo by Peter Ross

The show is primarily historical, focusing on the work performed in the 1960s and 1970s, when environmentalist ideas were exposed to the public on a mass scale.

The work of early twentieth-century architects like Frank Lloyd WrighT, with his organic architectural, and Richard NeutraIncluded in the list was’s “climatesensitive architecture”.

Women architects in front of built house
The exhibition included documentation of both constructed and conceptual work. Photo is of Eleanor Raymond and Mária Telkes at the Dover Sun House. MoMA 1948

Chan told Dezeen the historical focus was intended to introduce contemporary audiences to current movements’ roots.

He said that “a lot of ideas changed since that moment half a hundred years ago.” The show looks at how we’ve changed since then, but also at what lessons we can take from it to better understand people, where they came from, what their goals were, why and how they wanted things done.

“Assessing this moment is a huge part of the performance.”

Emilio Ambasz tree-lined building
The focus of the exhibition was on environmentalist architecture from the 20th century. Hiromi Watanabe took this photo of Emilio Ambasz Prefectural International Hall (Fukuoka, Japan) by MoMA.

These include several highly conceptual architectural works such as American architect Buckminster FullerThe proposed dome of Manhattan Glen SmallBiomorphic Biospheres are influenced by sci-fi and Malcolm WellsThe underground architecture of’s. The paintings of contemporary architects Eugene Tsuii There are also biomorphic forms.

These works were inspired by radical infrastructures to accommodate changing environments and growing population.

Futuristic Architecture drawing
The exhibition provided a glimpse of the future. The image is Glen Small’s Biomorphic Biosphere. Image courtesy of MoMA

The exhibition included a variety of built work, including Michael ReynoldsEarthships built from recycled waste are a new concept. New Alchemy Institute‘s selfsufficient ark building, as well the tree-covered work of Argentine designer Emilio AmbaszAfter whom the MoMA institute mentioned above was named.

Cartography radicale was also used to demonstrate the complexity of landscapes. American academics were among those who contributed. Ian McHarg’Ecological maps of the Delaware Upper Estuary that showed data-driven layers such as soil and sun conditions.

Chan emphasized that environmental movements were not the first to understand environments.

“Doing research or producing knowledge about the environment – or as I call it, producing ecological knowledge about the environment – did not start in the ’60s and ’70s,” he said. “Indigenous people have been caring for the land in their communities for generations.”

The Delaware River Basin was the ancestral home of the Lenape tribe who had this knowledge. We could have learned it from them, if they hadn’t been displaced,” he added.

Making structures requires money, and people must be close to power. So this is why historically there haven’t been many structures created by women and people of color.

Dome for enviromental architecture
It reflects the evolution of architecture in the face environmental degradation. Thermoheliodon is by Guy Gillette and Aladar Olgyay, Victor Olgyay. Image courtesy of MoMA

These groups were mainly included for their activism. The Yavapai’s protest against the proposed dam on their ancestral land showed that the stopping of super projects which alter the landscape is itself a form of architecture.

Chan said that subtracting is another way to create architecture.

The curators included audio devices in addition to images and models, which included commentary by contemporary architects and designers like Jeanne Gang You can also find out more about the following: Mai-Ling Lokko,  aimed at contextualising the historical work.

The Ambasz Institute, which was founded to promote the environmentalism of architectural design, will not only hold exhibitions but also community outreach programs and conferences.

Another exhibition that explores architectural history includes an exhibition showcasing the history and work of VkhutemasA Soviet avant-garde architecture school at the Cooper Union of New York City.

The main image is of Cambridge Seven Associates’ Tsuruhama Rain Forest Pavilion, courtesy of MoMA.

Emerging Ecologies at MoMA will run from 17 September to 20 January, 2024. Visit the to find out more about architecture, design and other events. Dezeen Events Guide.

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