Architectura Insectum Sapien: Crafting a Framework Towards a Mutually Beneficial Architecture
for Humans, Insects, and the Planet
In modern times, insects are viewed as pests. Due to this antagonistic relationship, we have established a built environment that pushes insects aside. This has helped to create a steady decline in the insect population, leading to resource shortages, changes in the environment, and the extinction of species.
Insects make up ⅔ of all known species, and are vital to the health of humans and the planet. Architects are able to make a change because we are the designers of the built environment. By continuing to study insect and human architecture, we can then begin to design a new type of architecture that encourages positive interactions between humans and insects. Pursuing a mutualistic relationship will aid in this awareness and protection of all species, which will result in the improvement of the health of humans, insects, and the planet.
A framework will be established that creates mutually beneficial spaces that can be integrated to any preexisting structure.This redesign will then be evaluated by a classification system that will place the architecture on a spectrum from parasitic to mutualistic, comparing it to the original design. This framework will ultimately improve our relationship with insects and stop this population decline. Sacramento, California provides an ideal location to investigate this concern. It is an inland city with a growing population of humans; but also located in the state with the highest number of endangered insect species, while also providing the country with most of its fruits, vegetables, and nuts. The health of humans, insects and the planet will improve when an architectural framework is established that will create a mutualistic relationship between humans and insects.
Courteney Gazdik is a graduate student who continued education at Lawrence Technological University after recently graduating with a Bachelor’s of Architecture. After being interested in how architecture can affect human and animal relationships, Courteney pursued a nine-month long thesis investigation on how architecture is able to create mutualistic relationships between humans and insects to better the health of humans, insects, and the planet. Along the journey, Courteney has worked closely with Scott Shall, Ralph Nelson, and Sara Codarin to carefully craft this argument. Alongside studying at Lawrence Tech, Courteney is practicing architecture at Partners in Architecture located in Mount Clemens, in hopes to get licensed one day.