In an age in which human presence on Earth has become precarious, architects have begun to contemplate their discipline on two parallel timelines: that of human history on the one hand and that of geologica or evolutionary history on the other. Anxieties about the potential disappearance of the human species call into question accepted notions of cultural heritage. The author focuses on the emergence of nonhuman intelligences in architectural discourse by looking at two examples of new materials and their aesthetic qualities—the idea of “self-assembly” in concrete science and an invention involving “guided growth.” She speculates on how including nonhuman agents in a discussion of architecture changes the way we conceive of cultural and civilizational continuity.

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