CONCEPT | Blind Nurse to Nurse Pod
Historically, fires were key to forest life cycles where post-fire regeneration created the next generation of trees. Today, however, fires are burning hotter and spreading faster than previously recorded, breaking the rhythm of the traditional regrowth cycle. In 2020 alone, Colorado saw three of the largest wildfires recorded in state history. The intensity of these fires left native soils sterile and increases soil erosion, damaging the landscape and watershed. Despite human efforts to replant lost forests in the face of a warming and drying climate, newly planted saplings often experience a high early mortality rate due to soil loss, sterilization, and low water availability. ‘Nurse Pod’ aims to assist in forest regeneration by providing a support system for vulnerable tree saplings.
In 2020, we formed a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional team to develop prototypes informed by ecology, architecture, art, and engineering called the Blind Nurse. After two years of development and experimentation, the concept changed from an omnidirectional figure to a set of interlocking tripods now known as the Nurse Pod. This collaboration generated a design process that critically considers the notion of life support, decay, and the relationships between a designed object, its surroundings, and its purpose. By putting a design’s life cycle at the forefront of its development, we can better understand how our projects are wed to the environments in which they are built.