(Event) “Envelopes”: Living, Sustainable Architecture At Pratt Manhattan Gallery

(Event) “Envelopes”: Living, Sustainable Architecture At Pratt Manhattan Gallery

"Envelopes" is an ongoing exhibition at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery that explores architecture at the intersection of sustainability and "living" systems.

Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 9 march 2010

Future Cities Lab: Installation View, XEROMAX Courtesy of Diana Pau

Last week, PSFK had the opportunity to stop by the opening of “Envelopes,” an ongoing exhibition at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery that explores architecture at the intersection of sustainability and “living” systems. Curated by Christopher Hight, an Associate Professor of Rice University’s School of Architecture, the show brings together experimental works from a diverse group of architects and architecture firms that approach the theme in exciting ways. As Hight explains, “The architects in ‘Envelopes’ are all exploring relationships between systems – human, animal, plant, and energy flow – as a site for architectural innovation in the 21st century.”

Below is some of the thinking around design and architecture that we felt unified much of the work on display:

  • Modularity – Structural elements that can be seamlessly incorporated onto existing frameworks or easily customized to meet specific needs based on considerations such as geography, environment and use case.
  • Permaculture – Buildings as standalone environments that require efficient and circular systems for the use and recycling of energy and resources.
  • Responsive – Dynamic components such as “breathing walls” that can constantly react and adapt to changing environmental conditions.
  • Bringing Nature Inside – The fusion of natural materials with technology to improve aspects of health and wellness such as air quality within interior environments.
  • Off the Grid Living – Food and energy production close to home is becoming both a real possibility and future necessity.
  • Building as Data Point – Connectivity and the ubiquity of sensors is transforming entire buildings into informational hubs for capturing and broadcasting a variety of data both environmental and social.


March 5 – May 5, 2010

Pratt Manhattan Gallery

144 West 14th Street 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10011

Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm



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