What is FRIEC?

Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures

A program of The Nature of Cities (a 501(c)3 public charity), the Forum for Radical Imagination on Environmental Cultures is a global platform for urban ecological art that nurtures humanity’s cultural relationships with nature. We produce place-based multi-sensory storytelling including essays, poetry, books, and films, and collaborative actions and exhibitions including exhibitions, residencies, and transdiciplinary public forums. All of our work aims to inspire direct ecological actions in local landscapes.

What We Do

Place-Based Storytelling

FRIEC stories engage various mediums to unveil creative actions for ecological wellness happening in cities and cultures across the world.

Writers from diverse disciplines and backgrounds build place-based narratives that promote the power of the individual creative spirit, and further our collective understanding of the myriad cultural bonds that weave together our human families with each other and with nature in cities.Read More

Actions & Exhibitions

FRIEC partners with organizations to produce artist-led interdisciplinary actions, exhibitions, residencies, and interventions in local urban landscapes.

Our actions and exhibitions engage citizens, and catalyze actions to regenerate, remediate and re-vitalize the life forms, resources, and ecology of urban spaces, their hinterlands, and the wider ecological systems in which they exist.



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 Action

Propel a movement for transdiciplinary, resilient, sustainable, healthy, livable, and just cities that function in partnership with nature.

How we Work

Working together as a global, community-engaged platform, we nurture humanity’s sacred cultural relationships with urban nature. Informed by 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. 

Initiating Cross-Discipline Collaboration

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.

Building Artful & Poetic Cities

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.

Cultivating Relationships with Nature

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.

Growing New Knowledge

Challenging the framework of established knowledge, we allow new ideas for sustaining cities to be generated across disciplines, species, and ways of knowing.

FRIEC History

FRIEC began in 2019 as “FRIEK,” an arts platform instigated by TNOC arts editors Patrick M. Lydon and Carmen Bouyer, and accomplice Stéphane Verlet-Bottéro, as part of The Nature of Cities Summit in Paris, France. With backing from TNOC and the Musagetes Foundation, and involving a broad spectrum of artists, FRIEK launched a series of radical exhibits, spaces, talks, workshops, and happenings that challenged the framework of established knowledge within an academic conference. We continue this work today, with the support and advocacy of TNOC director David Maddox, and associate director M’Lisa Colbert.

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.

Contact FRIEC

To contact us, please write to arts [at] thenatureofcities.com

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