Human, Nature, Technology – Julia

For project Political Realities, I would like to explore the relationships among human, technology and nature in the future. I want to explore 1. human’s perception of the natural environment changing. How do people perceive nature and the ongoing changes, such as global warming? What is our reactions to the changes?  2. the intersection of nature and technology in the future– a speculation of technology use in sustainability discipline. What is the nature going to be like in the future? What is the role of technology?

In the End of Nature, Bill Mckibben argues that “our comforting sense of the permanence of our natural world, our confidence that it will change gradually and imperceptibly if at all, is, then, the result of a subtly warped perspective … I believe that without recognizing it we have already stepped over the threshold of such a change: that we are at the end of nature.By the end of nature I do not mean the end of the world. The rain will still fall and the sun shine, though differently than before. When I say ‘nature,’ I mean a certain set of human ideas about the world and our place in it.”Similarly, in the article Our lonely home in nature by Alan Lightman, who is an American physicist, he points out the relationship between us and nature is “one-sided.” We have merely knowledge of how powerful nature is, as well as how much the environment is changing. As he says, “We may find nature beautiful or terrible, but those feelings are human constructions…Our comfort with nature is an illusion.”

Human constructed the definition of “nature.” And we are continually amplify the word based on human social activities. For example, when we say the annual average temperature is increased by 1.5 degrees, is it less abstract than saying the weather is getting warmer? A serious topic in sustainability is raising the awareness of what is happening around us. I think for my project, it is really important to research and user test people’s perception of “natural” environment to achieve the goal of the project. I am envisioning a dystopian future world where the nature is dramatically decreasing, and its influence on human activity- how we “see” the nature, and how we are going to using near-future technology to make up the loss.


Lightman, Alan. “Opinion | Our Lonely Home in Nature.” The New York Times. May 02, 2014. Accessed October 07, 2017.

McKibben, Bill. The end of nature. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks., 2006.

D. J. Chappell, ed. The Philosophy of the Environment Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 1997.