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DIANA GALLO Landscape arch. portfolio

[ABOUT ME] In my opinion, materials are the ingredients that give shape to the landscape and architecture design. My inspiration and ideas go back and forth from the microscopic structures of nature to the great structures produced by human beings. Materials are present in all of them. They are unexpected and alive, like the stones that are shaped by the wind and water forces over time. Design inspired in nature --such is the kind of design I pursue.

Full name: Diana Marcela Gallo [Phone: 401-588 0460] [Skype name: dianangelica2]

Access to my LinkedIn Access to my Website Access to my Portfolio Access to my Thesis project

In the following pages, you will see how materials help me to establish a link between architecture and landscape architecture. The smallest structures, patterns, and geometries that build every single element in nature give us at least one creative idea that could be developed in design. Nature will always surprise me, from the simplest things in the microscopic images to the large scale landscapes. *Full and additional information are available upon request.

Lichens seen through the microspcope resemble tiny landscapes. They inspire and are the base of my conceptual ideas translated into mock-ups (left and right columns)


Academic projects where perforating, cracking, bending, cutting, adding, subtracting, or warping have been some of the strategies I use to create spaces and sculpt the land. Kirigami (the art of folding paper) helped me to envision my ideas.

(On this page, exploring a carved topography as a result of the wind movement is the inspiration for sand dune structures that are also formed by the wind force)

CLAY-CELIUM: A material cooperation over time - Thesis

This is the exploration of clay, mycelium, and cement to deal with the infiltration phenomenon using the runoff water at different scales. Software used: Photoshop and Illustrator

Section diagram of existing “fast line” condition of runoff as a result of the use of impervious surfaces. Rainwater goes to the river.

Section diagram of propopsal: a wrinkled surface slows down the runoff to collect rainwater for different purposes.

Macro scale proposal: Taking the meanders system back to the river create a buffer zone between the river and the land, and it brings molecular oxygen to water. The meanders would be made of small “leaf shapes” to catch the excess of runoff.

Macro scale proposal...

Leaf-shape elements covering the meanders create tiny swimming pools for birds during low-tide.

My proposal coats the warped or curved riverbanks with leaf-shaped elements, which cover the surface of the meanders to catch the water from the runoff to start a cleaning process before it reaches the river.

When the leaf-shape elements start a process of decay, the half leaf shape that remains there is not collecting water anymore but catches the little particles from the water and create water falls when it rains. Material weathering starts after the third month Material used: Air-dry clay

Small scale proposal... Perforated pavers to collect the rainwater from the downspouts to slodown the runoff in order to prevent erosion.

Section diagram

Sidewalk Typology 4


Road Typology 3

Water goes from the little pockets to the gaps so mosses and little plants can grow up from holes

It goes to the typology2

Top view diagram


Pavers that allow mosses to grow

I am proposing pavers with concavities where the water can collect and the heavy particles are retained. Mosses can grow in those spaces to retain water. The result is a designed crack in the sidewalk.

Material Propositions - Workshop - Oaxaca (MEX)

This studio project based in Oaxaca-Mexico involved the exploration of local materials. The outcome was the result of the exploration of an existing and local material to give it a different aesthetic and/ or use, and the corn husks and cobs were my choice. My exploration tried to change the shape of a material that was completely dry and difficult to manipulate once it dehydrat-

ed. I used water to make it softer, and dyed the material with the local cochinilla (red color) to contrast it with the natural purple-red color of the leaves. The first product was a fabric made with the tips of the leaves, sewn with threads made from the same leaves. During a second exploration, I ripped the leaves to create a structural support for a layer of cobs set on top of the leaves. I wanted to

explore the strength of the corn leaves. The color was the language that helped me to unify the whole system: the base, the structure, the top, and the elements that join the pieces. This project used the corn leaves in different ways to demonstrate the amount of possibilities this material offers.

Digital Fabrication Project

Cast sample using resin and plants.

This is an example where i use rhino as part of the design process and development of the shape, modeling the element and the mold to pour the material. The molds and one of the explorations were accomplished using this 3d printing option using pla, (polylactic acid, one of the most popular materials used in desktop 3d printing) After the molds were printed, different resins and rubber were cast exploring different aesthetics.

Opposite page, Cast sample using resin with charcoal and acrylic

Rhino model

Printed sample using PLA


Landscape projects where different groups of communities have been involved and encouraged to join and participate through workshops, design charrettes, games, and social meetings.

(On this page, a design charrette with the employers of a Mill factory in Fall River. Mockups help people to understand the space. Employers went back to their childhood for a while)

Urban Farming Project - Providence

SIDEWALK GARDEN on Hayward St. The sidewalk garden was designed and implemented to beautify urban scenery on Hayward Street in Providence while simultaneously promoting the importance of urban farming as a contemporary practice. From the sketching process through the final construction, the community was engaged. The annotations on the left are the result of one of the workshops carried out with the group of teenagers who would be in charge of the maintenance of those garden beds after construction.

As published in the Providence Journal (Sunday, May 5, 2019) , local communities participated actively in this project; Southside Community Land Trust, the Southside Community Land Trust Youth Group, and Trinity Square Together, as well as other stakeholders in the greenery management of the neighborhood.

On this page, sketches and ideas for modular seats that could be arranged in different ways. Plan view of species planted: edibles and trees.

Studio of color during Spring and Fall seasons in section. Some parts of the plant beds could be used as temporal seats.

Studio models: detail for a planter bed and the same elements located on the site.

POP-UP Studio project - Fall River

Materials create the bases for buildings where they establish a common language through the use of color and textures. We could create big patchwork“carpets” to link locales in our cities in order to rescue forgotten or misused places. This patchwork connects existing towers and chimneys made of red bricks, that make this city very unique. These are proposed for being part of a “flashlight network” to highlight the path at night. During my studio project in Fall River, I used colors and textures from materials to create a “patchwork” to connect an existing public park with an ecological reservoir. This patchwork creates a path for pedestrians and bicycles, and encourages people to go outside to enjoy nature and their city. Some landmarks like the biggest Portuguese market and a traditional Mill factory are along the same path. The participation of the local community is part of the design process, and the aesthetic of this proposal is inspired by the Portuguese culture since the largest part of immigrants come from that part of Europe.

Do you want to read more about this project? CLICK HERE!!!

PROPOSED PLAN - FALL RIVER (left) Plan view for the urban strategy to connect an ecological reserve with one of the biggest green parks in the neighborhood. The idea of a colored patchwork floor came from the portuguese tile murals. The floor becomes a huge portuguese mural.

Existing towers and chimneys in this city inspired me to re-interpret an existing monument to guide pedestrians during the day and night. It also inspired some explorations of a city entrance as a threshold between the ecological reserve, a pathway, and to link those with the Portuguese neighborhood.

When material creates the path to link public spaces, greenery, and different uses/activities in the city.


Academic projects where perforating, cracking, bending, cutting, adding, subtracting, or warping have been some of the strategies I use to create spaces and sculpt the land. Kirigami (the art of folding paper) helped me to envision my ideas.

(On this page, exploring a carved topography as a result of the wind movement is the inspiration for sand dune structures that are also formed by the wind force)

Envisioning the East Side of Providence - Studio project

I have had the opportunity to explore topography shapes, and surfaces using different techniques like ceramics, digital fabrication, drawing, printmaking, and modeling to understand the topography. Adding and bending have been some of the strategies I use to create spaces for the five senses, where vegetation, sunlight, wind, and water are incorporated in the design to improve the

final outcome. My purpose with every proposal is to create a new experience with the surroundings. The perception of what you see, smell, hear, and feel can be changed and improved with subtle movements of the topography. Testing different materials helps me to

Studio mock-ups to explores different possibilities with the topography to create private and public scenarios with different choices to access to them.

enhance the quality of natural spaces as well as to give a different aesthetic when it is required. The microscopic images of plants show interesting geometries and structures that resemble topographies. Those inspire me to create landscape scenarios with different opportunities to enjoy nature.





(resting slope)


red winged blackbird

spartina patens




THE ENCHANTED FOREST (forest : trees and shrubs)

VIEW POINT TERRACE (forest : trees and shrubs)

Sections: Topography shaping involves movement and reinforcement of the ground to create pathways, protected areas, ponds, curved and warped surfaces where people can gather, to meditate and to enjoy nature.






na pectinata




(land grasses)


(under construction)







red winged blackbird

Diagrams of water movement to test sedimentation in places where the water can be accumulated.

The original site and the external forces like wind, water, or sand movements help me to understand existing conditions. The marsh shows the wind strength and its direction. Natural pools are the result of water force and erosion processes. Those are natural outcomes. Carving, extruding, cutting, subtracting, perforating, bending, folding, slicing are some of the strategies to transform the matter and to give man made outcomes. Each place has a different story to tell and show. We should be able to communicate that.

Envisioning the Barrington coast - Studio project

Sand dunes could be considered the first threshold that makes the transition between the sea/beach and marshes. It is an important element because it helps to protect the inland from the seawater, protects the vegetation from the strong winds, and soil from erosion. However, the process of sand dunes formation is slow and the outcome requires maintenance and care since this progress can be destroyed in a short period of time.

I analyzed tidal movements, wind forces, and vegetation’s behavior in order to understand the formation and transformation of sand dunes. I also studied man-made elements like fences that help with the accumulation of sand when they are installed according to the dominant winds. My proposal is a raised pedestrian platform, which goes up and down to allow the formation of sand dunes below this structure. This walkable structure has an organic shape same as sand dunes

General views. The shelters are the final spots of this elevated path. Although most of the path is uncovered and open to enjoy the surroundings, the C-shape structure protects visitors from wind and re-direct the view to the forest or to the ocean in some cases.

do. Visitors can also experience natural phenomena and can understand how fragile sand dunes are. The structure is the assembly of 3 different profile shapes: the first one is uncovered or open, then, visitors can enjoy the view in all directions. The second has a half shell shape to frame different parts of the surrounded landscape, and the last ones are shelters located at the end of the path. These shelters are located in the middle of the marsh so visitors can contemplate the surroundings.

The sections show the different experiences above the structure but also how the sand dune is expected to grow.


Sand dunes



From top to bottom. Diagrams to study the movement of sand, tides, and vegetation in a marsh area of Providence. Understanding how sand dunes are originated and how their shapes change.



Plan view of the proposal for an organic elevated platform. This light structure uses a perforated platform to allow vegetation to pass through it when it grows. The entire structure is proposed using local wood.


Professional projects that also include a technical approach, experimentation, and fun. These projects also show my earlier explorations about landscape design where I tried to blur the boundaries between architecture and landscape design.

(On this page, this kirigami model inspired the idea of a folded roof to cover a terrace, to collect water but also to allow sunlight passes through it).

Centro de los Sentidos (des

The rainwater is collected in three points using rain chains to highlight the sound of the rainwater. The surrounded vegetation is proposed to cover the fence in some months.

sign and construction of a terrace for a Medical Center)

My last experience before my Masters at RISD, was the rennovation of a terrace. I used wood and plants to create a little jungle in the city. I created a space for the five senses: edible plants to try, some aromatics to smell, the collection of rainwater to catch its sound and the feeling of wood for patients who have different conditions related to the 5 senses

GEMA Hotel - Cartagena (COL)

How to create a relationship between two different periods of time? In this project developed in Colombia, materials are the bridge between a house that was built in the ‘50s and the new architecture which tries to re-think the same elements using a modern language. Software used: Revit Technical coordination: Navisworks

This page and opposite: Render and general axonometric view of the project.

This page, general facades. I had the opportunity to make some proposals for the exterior spaces, patios and facades, incorporating greenery and arts into the project.






Nivel 4 12.12










Nivel 3 8.67
















Nivel 2 5.22

My experience as an architect working with Intercontinental and Marriot Hotels included a proposal for the boundary walls of the hotel, where I used decorative blocks. My participation involved construction drawings and design coordination between architecture and the different disciplines like electric, HVAC, plumbing.

Since Cartagena is one of the major hubs of Arab Middle Eastern population in Colombia, the architecture has a lot of Arabic elements. The interior patios and courtyards were designed bringing back using Arabic elements like water, vegetation, and decorative bricks to create different levels of privacy. This page, plan view of the first floor. (the project was developed entirely using Revit)

Project: Gema-Marriott Hotel Cartagena, Colombia

I led this mixed-use project that included a hotel (287 rooms) with serviced apartments, a spa, a ballroom with a maximum capacity of 700 people, a casino, a shopping center, and three-level parking garage. Project: Nao-Intercontinental Hotel Cartagena, Colombia. Render by Gestion S&G

The exploration of materials happens at different scales. The smaller scales and tiny spaces are more challenging. That’s why I decided to explore with materials to unify and separate landscape and architecture.

Housing renovation with patios as linkage elements.

Dear reader, Thanks for considering this portfolio full of ideas that I have been developed around one topic, materials. I have a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture (MLA2) from RISD. My background is in architecture, where I have more than 10 years of experience. My passion is design and my inspiration comes from nature, plants, and kirigami.

Additional info? Please, feel free to visit these: Website: LinkedIn: Thesis project:

Profile for dianagayo

Diana Gallo Portfolio  

Hi there, Welcome to my academic portfolio. I am a Colombian architect pursuing my Master's degree in Landscape Architecture at RISD 2020....

Diana Gallo Portfolio  

Hi there, Welcome to my academic portfolio. I am a Colombian architect pursuing my Master's degree in Landscape Architecture at RISD 2020....

Profile for dianagayo

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