Do we need to redefine “nature”?

Yes, we do. We’re at a turning-point where we need a new definition, not only of “nature,” but also of concepts like “humanity” and “intelligence.” The question of nature keeps re-emerging in many different areas. However, the issue is not so much the definition per se, but the ongoing engagement with aspects of nature. In a world of (un-)limited opportunities, it is essential to constantly re-evaluate and redefine our relationship with everything.


What do we need to change in order to work with nature?

To work with nature, we need to learn how to set or accept limits for ourselves. Take the development and design of the restaurant “etz” with Felix Schneider, for example. Here, the constraints set by self-imposed rules – sustainable, regional, seasonable – were the anchor. Limitation compels any team, from design studio to kitchen, to interact more intensely with nature and better understand its rhythms and resources. It’s a process of rethinking. Limitation opens up new perspectives.


It’s a process of rethinking. Limitation opens up new perspectives.


And what characterizes the challenge of working with nature on development?

The challenge is to truly embrace the limitation instead of trying to sidestep it somehow. Limitation fundamentally changes our perspective and opens the door for new ideas. In a world where lack of limits so often results in uniformity and conformity, conscious limitation can be a source of innovation. This approach is particularly vital in the age of AI because it helps us to preserve uniqueness and escape interchangeability.