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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



As the world reckons with an uncertain future at the hands of global climate change and biodiversity loss, the question of how to proceed seems ever more urgent. Approaches to sustainability in design tend to focus on technological solutions to what is often presented as a technical problem. This approach overlooks the ways in which the forces that have led us to this point are born out of our cultural story of what it means to be human, what the natural world is, and what our relationship is to it. This is the story that has permitted if not encouraged the kind of development that has led to global warming and extensive loss of biodiversity. If we are going to reverse these trends we must tell a new story – one that, among other things, removes humans from the center of the conversation, acknowledges the interconnectedness of things, and values multi- and extra-sensory ways of knowing. This thesis asks the question, “What might architecture look like if we held these beliefs and if we told ourselves a new story?” The thesis explores ways in which architecture can continue to advance the practice of sustainable design by embodying, encouraging, and reflecting this New Story. The theory is put to the test via a curated experiential journey, culminating at a tower in the middle of a forest. The design at once exemplifies New Story ideals and offers a place to dream about new ways of being and building.


First Advisor

Robert Williams

Second Advisor

Carey Clouse