Investigation 04 / Landscape / due Sept 16 at 2:00pm

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The landscape is not natural.

Although it sometimes contains natural ingredients, the metropolitan landscape is a  technical and cultural infrastructure.  It defines territories, coordinates timings, choreographs movement, sustains activity, regulates economic interests, and creates places and occasions for social and political relations.  Therefore, to think about landscape is to engage in a critical cultural practice.

The landscape is non-stop.

Unlike a picture, you cannot turn away from a landscape, a landscape is a completely immersive spatial, material, and circulatory experience. It contains territories, limits, thresholds and boundaries, but these are merely articulations within a continuum.  One never leaves the landscape; one simply moves from one region of it to another (even in death).  

The landscape is not flat.

Activities on the landscape are volumetric.  Every space has a height (even if implicit or implied) and every surface has thickness (even if you have to excavate to see it).  Therefore, distinctions between architecture and landscape are of very little use.  To enter a building is to enter a volumetric feature of the landscape.  The surface of a landscape is surprisingly similar to the facade of a building – it is integral to spaces, activities and structures.

Each day, a child commutes from one part of the landscape (home) to another part (school) moving through a series of scales and volumetric environments.  This is an exercise in cataloguing and visualizing them.  Its also a speculation in how a seemingly ordinary environment participates in the a process of learning..

Deliverables – for Friday, Sept 16 at 2:00pm

What is a landscape?
Tiled drawing format:  30” x 30”  “30 x 60”  “30 x 90” etc…
Scale 1”=16’  (480’ x 960’)

Expanding on the axonometric notation developed in the workshop, exhaustively map the spaces and elements of the landscape between home and school.  Draw as many spaces, places,  volumes, layers, thicknesses and components as possible: spaces that need to be adjacent, spaces that require separation, overlapping spaces, transitional spaces, spaces that contain other spaces, multiple and distributed spaces, spaces that operate across scales, etc…

Label them.

What can a landscape become?
Framework Model – 30” x 30” x 15” (minimum),  scale 1”=16’ (480’ x 480’ x 240’)

Translate and transform the axonometric map into a volumetric model.  How can a landscape support various forms of movement, forms of play, forms of social life, forms of learning, etc. ?  How can a landscape support solitary activities.  How can it support convivial or collective ones?  Use this model to think about the quality and dimension of as many thicknesses and volumes as possible.  Consider that every surface has thickness and there is often a layered subterranean assembly.

Materials: Elements cut, carved, suspended, or assembled in card, wood, wire, or plexiglass.  Surfaces (ground, soil, and other layered strata) should be modeled as three-dimensional assemblies.  Social and cultural infrastructures can be graphical, painted, collaged to suggest activity or quality.  Literal representations of vegetation, and the color green, are highly discouraged.

Required Reference:

Other Useful References:


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