A program of The Nature of Cities, FRIEC is a platform for nurturing humanity’s sacred cultural relationships with urban nature.
What We Do
FRIEC produces place-based multi-sensory storytelling including essays, poetry, books, and films, and collaborative events including exhibitions, residencies, and transdiciplinary public forums. All of our work aims to inspire direct ecological actions in local landscapes.
How we Work
FRIEC at The Nature of Cities is a global, community-engaged platform for nurturing humanity’s sacred cultural relationships with urban nature. Working with both contemporary and traditional cultures, we combine place-based storytelling with direct actions and events in local landscapes, to further our collective understanding of the myriad cultural bonds that weave together our human families with each other and with nature in cities.
We facilitate acts of collaboration between artists and non-artists to explore transdisciplinary ideas and place based narratives to help bring cities and nature closer. Challenging the framework of established knowledge, we allow new ideas for sustaining cities to be generated across disciplines, species, and ways of knowing. Our work helps individuals and communities realize new structures for collaborative movements for livable, resilient, healthy, poetic cities and regions that work in partnership with the nature of which they are a part.
We participate in the change of people’s relationship to nature and to place in cities through ecological art, storytelling, and collaborative actions across disciplines, allowing citizens to become active characters in the story of nature of their city.
- Enable transformative ‘culture-changing’ artists and creative practitioners of all kinds to collaborate with a diverse professional community of urban changemakers, and with the wider public.
- Propel the movement for transdiciplinary, resilient, sustainable, healthy, livable, and just cities that function in partnership with nature.
Patrick M. Lydon | pmlydon.com
b. 1981, San Jose, United States / lives in Osaka and Seoul
A visual and experiential storyteller, Patrick’s community-engaged arts practice inspires empathic relationships between humans and the environment, drawing on years nomadic study with farmers, monks, and environmentalists in East Asia. He co-directed the documentary film Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness. He is director of City as Nature art & media lab, and arts editor for The Nature of Cities. He earned his MFA in Art, Space & Nature at The University of Edinburgh, School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, including postgraduate study at Aichi University of Art in Japan. He also holds a BA from California State University San Jose.
Carmen Bouyer | carmenbouyer.com
b. 1988, Paris, France
An ecological artist, designer and educator, Carmen works on creating bridges between individuals, groups of people and urban nature. Her work focuses on connecting with landscapes archetypes as well as local food sources (wild and cultivated) in cities through collaborative and artistic practices. She earned a Masters in Design from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris, including a year of Environmental Studies at The New School in New York.
The FRIEC Manifesto
FRIEC is the Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures
FRIEC is transformative
FRIEC is respectful
FRIEC is freaky
FRIEC is healing
FRIEC is ritualistic
FRIEC is scientific
FRIEC is multi sensorial
FRIEC is multidisciplinary
FRIEC is collaborative
FRIEC is experimental
FRIEC is playful
FRIEC is urban and nature in constant flux and discourse
FRIEC connects with the nature of cities
FRIEC produces direct actions & narratives through artistic/creative methodologies
FRIEC values situated knowledge and place-based approaches
FRIEC creates sensorial experiences for participants to engage with
FRIEC engages with more emotional/non discursive channels
FRIEC opens plural ways of perception and understanding
FRIEC facilitates a multi species approach
FRIEC assures reciprocity with the more-than-human world
FRIEC allows for transdisciplinarity and collaboration between artists and non-artists
FRIEC creates works that are non toxic, non polluting for the environment
FRIEC cultivates functional relationships between people, cities, and nature
FRIEC is the leaves of a thousand year-old tree
FRIEC offers an outlet for scientists and artists and practitioners to do beautiful things together
FRIEC is the time and place where standing in the city center is also standing in the field
FRIEC is an engagement in collaborative, creative placemaking for all beings
FRIEC is an attempt to model a meaningful learning setting
FRIEK is a decentralized learning platform
FRIEC is an invitation to activate affective, poetic, symbolic and physical channels of knowledge
FRIEC turns on your awareness muscle
FRIEC is dance, vision, imagination, invention, writing, reading, painting, arguing, disagreeing, playing, feeling
FRIEC is a community
FRIEC is an ephemeral archive of collaborative methodologies for non-human rebellion
FRIEC is a worlding experiment
FRIEC is a constellation of artistic practices in-dialogue-with.