Curated by Urban Strategist Scott Burnham, NatureStructure provides a framework for a new generation infrastructure designed for nature; work created to restore ecosystems, and employ nature and natural processes in addressing the problems human development has created for itself.

The NatureStructure exhibition premiered at the Boston Society of Architects, featuring a vast array of international projects that weave built projects with nature and natural functions to enable cities and regions to function as living systems.

Among the projects featured in the exhibition (and book) are:

NatureStructure Exhibition visitors interacting with BESE-elements, foundations for near-shore ecosystems.
Exhibition visitors interacting with BESE-elements, foundations for near-shore ecosystems.

BESE-elements is a biodegradable structure that literally provides a foundation for habitat restoration for seagrass, mangroves, and other aquatic species. The units are designed for modular assembly and installation, enabling various combinations of structure depths and dimensions depending on need.

Living Sea Walls by Reef Design Lab to restore the ecosystem of Sydney Harbor.
Living Sea Walls by Reef Design Lab to restore the ecosystem of Sydney Harbor.

Reef Design Lab’s “Fish Apartment” Living Seawalls provide the harbor’s native species a place to hide from predators, lay eggs, and re-establish their populations. The panels also allow numerous smaller species and crustaceans to live on the harbor’s walls, providing food and replenishing its ecosystem.

Modular Artificial Reef Structure (MARS) infrastructure designed for nature by Reef Design Lab for coral reef restoration.
Modular Artificial Reef Structure (MARS) also by Reef Design Lab for coral reef restoration.

Modular Artificial Reef Structure (MARS) is a system designed by Reef Design Lab industrial designer Alex Goad. MARS is a complex ceramic lattice that allows for coral frags to be transplanted to its surface and grow to establish a reef ecosystem.

The modular system works like a large underwater Lego set, able to be constructed by divers in a myriad of ways depending on the needs of the site to help mitigate the damage human activity has done to reef ecosystems.

Pop-Up, infrastructure designed for nature by Denmark’s Third Nature that rises in the city scape as its base absorbs rainwater overflow.
Pop-Up, a revolutionary parking garage concept by Denmark’s Third Nature that rises in the city scape as its base absorbs rainwater overflow.

POP-UP is a structure that stacks a storm water reservoir, parking facility, and urban space into one unit. In the event of heavy rain and cloudbursts, rainwater is led through the sewer’s overflow system into a reservoir below the garage. The parking structure then rises up, aided by a system that guarantees the structure remains accessible for cars and pedestrians alike.

“Floating Ecosystems” by Biomatrix Water designed for nature to restore natural functions and biodiversity to urban waterways.
“Floating Ecosystems” by Biomatrix Water to restore natural functions and biodiversity to urban waterways.

The Floating Ecosystem structures grow plants on interlocking modular flotillas that act like floating water treatment plants and ecosystem support units, cleaning the water below and providing natural habitats and foraging sites for birds, bees, and smaller species.

Research on NatureStructure and infrastructure designed for nature is ongoing and the exhibition is constantly being updated. To enquire about hosting the exhibition, contact NatureStructure creator Scott Burnham here.