About City as Nature

City as Nature is an ecological art and media studio founded by Patrick M. Lydon (USA) and Suhee Kang (Korea). Working both locally, and with an international cast of people and organizations across multiple disciplines, we produce art projects and stories that re-connect people and the places they live with nature.

Images from the Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness tour, produced by City as Nature

What we Do

We inspire individual actions for global social change in two interrelated production areas:

  • Media Lab / producing articles, essays, and films that illuminate the transitions of people, nature, and place
  • Art Lab / culture-shifting experiences through art exhibitions, installations, workshops, and community building projects that are artist-led and centered around local ecology, nature, and culture, yet informed by global knowledge and networks
Images of exhibitions, performances, and workshops at the 2019 City as Nature Festival in Osaka, Japan.

Our Goals

Every project we engage in — whether it’s a feature-length film, or an ecological art installation — aligns with the following core City as Nature goals:

  • Re-connect urban dwellers and the cities in which they live, with nature
  • Inspire individual and community-based actions as powerful seeds for broad social change
  • Grow resilient cultural roots for long-term social and ecological well-being across all levels of society
Space cultivation map and images from the Dae-dong neighborhood in Daejeon, South Korea. Graphic and photos: Patrick Lydon and Suhee Kang
Space cultivation map and images from the Dae-dong neighborhood in Daejeon, South Korea. Graphic and photos: Patrick Lydon and Suhee Kang

Our History

In Summer 2011 a small collective of writers and artists came together inside an abandoned fruit-canning factory in the middle of Silicon Valley. Originally known as SocieCity, this group soon included others in East Asia and Europe, who were exploring solutions for the social and ecological issues they saw around them.

From these first meetings, SocieCity moved on to interview local political leaders and activists, meet with farmers, urban planners, academics, and work to disseminate solutions using art, design, and community actions. In the years following, he group’s founders Lydon and Kang produced the acclaimed documentary film Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness, wrote articles, essays, and books read by over 1 million people, and produced hundreds of exhibitions and workshops worldwide. In 2018 we opened our first physical space called The Branch in Osaka, Japan, hosting workshops, artists-in-residence, and building an urban pocket farm where locals and visitors from abroad can explore the nature of sustainability together.

In 2019 we re-launched SocieCity as City as Nature, a name that suggests cities and their inhabitants as partners within the ecosystems where they exist. The name itself offers a frame from which we might begin to realize true social and ecological justice, both within cities, and throughout a global network of interconnected and interdependent ecosystems.

City as Nature herb foraging and green street projects and workshops.

The Name

City :
/ˈsɪti/ from Latin ‘civis’ (to settle, home, love)
Nature :
/ˈnāCHər/ from Latin ‘natura’ (birth, character, course of things)
/ 自然 / 자연 / from Chinese / Korean (self-thus, naturally, as-it-is)

The name City as Nature is a call to re-connect ourselves and communities with the natural course of the ecological community of this Earth and Universe.

Contact Us

To talk with us about speaking engagements, exhibitions, environmental art installations, workshops, or other ideas, send a note to:

Patrick M. Lydon (Arts & Exhibitions)
patrick [at] cityasnature.org

Suhee Kang (Editorial)
suhee [at] cityasnature.org