Urban nature by Stuart McMillen


An aerial view of city skyscrapers, surrounded by the eucalyptus trees of Australian native bushland.

Urban nature is a scene from Stuart McMillen’s comic Thin Air (2012), which contrasts the human industrial system against the ecological construction techniques of nature. Stuart highlights the way that trees construct their amazing physical structures from ‘thin air’, using common atmospheric elements like carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Compared to wasteful human industrial processes, biological construction is done at room temperature using solar power. It uses locally abundant resources, without releasing toxic chemicals into the surrounding environment.

Through Thin Air‘s narrative, Stuart McMillen hopes that we can use nature’s construction methods as a template, and use ‘biomimicry’ to refine human industrial systems to this level of efficiency and grace.
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