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Idea by

Jason Rhys Parry

117 N 5th St, Lafayette, Indiana, United States of America
Jason Rhys Parry is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Honors College at Purdue University where he teaches courses in sustainability and speculative design. His writing has appeared in the journals SubStance and Theory & Event.

An Anticipatory Theory of Ruin Ecology


Building Future Ruins For Endangered Species to Thrive

An Anticipatory Theory of Ruin Ecology


Building Future Ruins For Endangered Species to Thrive
In an age where ruined buildings are becoming unlikely refuges for endangered species, architects should begin designing buildings with an eye towards their future existence as hotspots for biodiversity.
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Human ruins are forming an unlikely refuge for endangered species. Rare mollusks thrive amidst the keeps of Czech castles. Birds and reptiles thought be extinct live on in the ruins of the Lost City of the Monkey God. Endangered bats rest in the crumbling remains of military bunkers.

In response to migration and climate change, "An Anticipatory Theory of Ruin Ecology" proposes that architects begin to study their buildings’ afterlives as potential future homes for nonhuman species.

Corners can create enticing microclimates. Balconies could be designed to harbor rare plants or nests. By studying the coincidences that have made ruins such attractive homes for nonhuman forms of life, it might be possible to intentionally produce these features.

Instead of the "theory of ruin value" championed by the Nazi architect Albert Speer, who sought to create ruins that would glorify their builders, this approach insists on buildings that acknowledge the transience of human civilizations.


Flying squirrels and night owls thrive in the Okunoin Cemetery, Japan.

Ruined walls create niches for bright flowers.

An Anticipatory Theory of Ruin Ecology


Building Future Ruins For Endangered Species to Thrive

An Anticipatory Theory of Ruin Ecology


Building Future Ruins For Endangered Species to Thrive
In an age where ruined buildings are becoming unlikely refuges for endangered species, architects should begin designing buildings with an eye towards their future existence as hotspots for biodiversity.
File under
Type of project
  • Next alliances

Human ruins are forming an unlikely refuge for endangered species. Rare mollusks thrive amidst the keeps of Czech castles. Birds and reptiles thought be extinct live on in the ruins of the Lost City of the Monkey God. Endangered bats rest in the crumbling remains of military bunkers.

In response to migration and climate change, "An Anticipatory Theory of Ruin Ecology" proposes that architects begin to study their buildings’ afterlives as potential future homes for nonhuman species.

Corners can create enticing microclimates. Balconies could be designed to harbor rare plants or nests. By studying the coincidences that have made ruins such attractive homes for nonhuman forms of life, it might be possible to intentionally produce these features.

Instead of the "theory of ruin value" championed by the Nazi architect Albert Speer, who sought to create ruins that would glorify their builders, this approach insists on buildings that acknowledge the transience of human civilizations.


Flying squirrels and night owls thrive in the Okunoin Cemetery, Japan.

Ruined walls create niches for bright flowers.


Idea by

Jason Rhys Parry
117 N 5th St
Lafayette, Indiana
United States of America
Jason Rhys Parry is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Honors College at Purdue University where he teaches courses in sustainability and speculative design. His writing has appeared in the journals SubStance and Theory & Event.