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
FRIEC instigator
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
FRIEC instigator
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.