When No One’s Watching

From the mysterious arrangement of rocks at Stonehenge to the marvel that is China’s Great Wall, and the more contemporary designs of architects like Zaha Hadid, mankind has a preponderance for creating order and form from whatever materials are at hand.These monuments are impressive, without a doubt. They showcase our capacity for innovation and our mastery of geometry and engineering. The results are, quite often, beautiful.

Heydar Aliyev Center, Azerbaijan, Architect Zaha Hadid

I’d argue, however, that there is sometimes greater beauty where our inventions fall into the hands of natural forces. Birth, growth, and decay, as it were, are inescapable constants. They comprise the “change” in that old, oft-used adage.

Subway Depot, Cincinnati

There is something heartening in the knowledge that even our most elaborate constructions are not exempt from the pulse of life. All it takes is a moment–a moment measured against geologic time, that is. We turn our back on what is done and begin tinkering anew in some other place. Nature begins where we left off. It retrofits our designs when no one’s watching. Here is a look at a few striking examples…



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