ISSUE 05: DELINEATIONS

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D E L I N E AT I O N S ISSUE 05


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GROUND UP TEAM

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Michelle Hook Story Wiggins

The fifth issue of GROUND UP was made possible by the generous support of: The Beatrix Farrand Fund for Public Education in Landscape Architecture Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley

GRAPHICS LEAD Kathleen O’Leary EDITORIAL LEAD Sophie Muschel-Horton MARKETING LEAD Wesley Cogan PRODUCTION LEAD Gene Stroman WEB DESIGN LEADS Andrew Cumine + David Koo TEAM MEMBERS Pablo Alfaro Erica Althans-Schmidt Cristina Bejarano Annaliese Chapa Daniel Dominguez Joshua Gevertz Kushal Lachhwani Kate Lenahan Stephanie Lin Yang Liu Maggie Luo

Special thanks to: Michael Dear Karl Kullmann Susan Retta Jessica Ambriz GROUND UP is curated and produced by students of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley. For inquiries, contact groundupjournal@gmail.com Visit us online at www.groundupjournal.org Printed in Canada © Copyright 2016, The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any means without the prior permission of the publishers. Articles, photography, and image copyrights

FACULTY ADVISOR

are retained by their authors or original owners. The

Karl Kullmann Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, UC Berkeley

contributors and staff, and are not endorsed by the

opinions expressed in these articles are those of the Regents of the University of California.


FOREWORD Lines forge design. We demarcate space in order to shape our world, to define systems from the microscopic to the celestial, to understand scale. Yet drawing a line, a most basic human endeavor, can be exceptionally complicated. Static marks are often rendered transitory in an ever-shifting world, subject as they are to geological, political, social or biological sabotage. Whether blurred or accentuated, representational or manifest, intentional or happenstance, delineations in the landscape are consequential. In exploring the ideas, designs and stories posed by the contributors to this issue, we were as struck by the range of lines conceived as by their common threads. In the following pages, you will find borders—remembered, forgotten and imagined. Along these edges, questions arise when rigid boundaries collide with amorphous spaces. The winds of change create novel trajectories for all beings. And, in the end, when we are mindful enough to see, we can find answers in the relation of our own bodies to these contours. In bringing together these voices, we sought to investigate one of the most fundamental tools at our disposal, hoping to shed light on the ways we alter space from the ground up. Though ostensibly simple, drawing the line is anything but. We hope Issue 05 | DELINEATIONS will inspire you to redefine the line.


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DRAWING IN THE DUNES

UNPOURED FORMWORKS

Falon Mihalic

Fritz Horstman

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TERRITORIAL FIGURES

KEYSTONE MIGRATION CORRIDOR 2026

Neeraj Bhatia

GRNASFCK

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POWER TRIP

NEVADA WILDERNESS Tim Pinault

Jenny Odell

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BARNACLES AT PIER 9

IMAGINING A THIRD NATION Michael Dear

Michal Kapitulnik

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DE-GARBAGIFICATION

TINY TRAFFIC CONES Isabelle Smeall

N. Claire Napawan + Brett Snyder

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LIMITS OF CLOSURE Jesse Vogler

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MANHATTAN’S GEOLOGIC DELINEATIONS Tiago Torres Campos

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THIS STUFF

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MEANS + MIGRATIONS

LANDSCAPE AS TATTOO

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Elizabeth Yarina

Chip Sullivan

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ROUTE FITTKO

THE ASPHALT UNIVERSE

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Karl Kullmann

Interview with Paula Meijerink

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CALIFORNIA WATER LINES

REVEALING GEOMETRIES

Janet Torres

Eftychios Savvidis

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LEAP

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RE-SURVEYING WALDEN

Nate Kauffman

Meg Studer

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DELEUZEANTARCTICA

THE DIRT HOTEL

Thomas Murdoch

Kathleen O’Leary + Story Wiggins

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LIMINAL TERRAINS + LIVE OBJECTS

O(UR)BLIQUE STRATEGIES

Rod Barnett

Ground Up Team!

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DR AWING IN THE DUNES:

FALON MIHALIC

PROCESS, PL ACE + LINE

TRACE the line, form, forces, ephemeral, land art, body, sensory knowledge

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PROCESS I am walking through the dunes of a barrier island in the Florida panhandle. The sand is blinding white in the morning sun and I am already sweating from the half-mile walk on soft sand. I know this place well, having camped and hiked here since I was a child. This morning I am carrying a bag of aluminum stakes and I have handdyed sisal twine slung over my shoulder. Sisal is a natural twine made from the Agave plant, Agave sisalana. It is a dry, wiry and tough fiber. I dyed 1,575 linear feet of it to a rich purple in my studio in preparation for this morning’s work. Extended, the sisal string I’m carrying is equal to 562 of my body’s walking paces. The aluminum stakes are malleable, thin and very lightweight. They easily push into the ground as anchor points for the extended twine. These two materials and the dimension of my own form will enable me to trace the condition of a dry pond basin in the dunes.


PLACE This island is a sliver of arcing ‘sugar sand’ at the mouth of Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound. Hiking here is a challenge because you must climb up and over ancient dunes 50 feet or more in height. With each step the sand gives way and my feet sink into it, making each stride strenuous. I can imagine the white sand and expansive horizon as part of a lunar landscape and suppose that this walk is the closest earthly experience to a moonwalk.

This landscape is poetic in its elemental bareness, where the form of each dune is created as a direct consequence of fluctuating forces.

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The dunes are old, some over hundreds of years, held in place by the roots of pioneer dune vegetation (primarily Uniola paniculata, Sea Oats) and scraggly dwarf forms of maritime forest trees that are only established on the oldest and tallest dunes. This landscape is poetic in its elemental bareness, where the form of each dune is created as a direct consequence of fluctuating forces: wind, salt-spray, pooling water and plants that trap particles of sand in their roots. Together, these forces incrementally add and subtract sand into dunes and basins, mounds and depressions. This Aeolian landscape, where sand is in constant conversation with the wind, can be felt in bursts as superficial grains suddenly whip up in gusts and slap your skin in sharp, prickly points. Aeolus, the Greek god of wind, is mythologized as a powerful figure in the clouds who puffs up and blows powerfully down from the sky. The wind in these dunes seems to come not from above, but south from the Gulf of Mexico in a sideways sweep across the sand. In the winter, the predominant wind shifts and comes from the north, bringing cool moisture that defines the rainy winter season of the Florida panhandle.


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Within the dunes are bowl-shaped basins in the sugar-sand where rainwater accumulates. Here, the freshwater gathers together for just a moment as a lens that floats above the saltwater. Water expands and contracts in a rhythm with the freshwater flows. Each time a pond fills and evaporates, it leaves behind

immediately visible, perceived, considered, experienced and, eventually, known and remembered. The outline of my circling walk is embedded in the work as I wrap my steps around the gray depression and trail the sisal along my path, stopping to secure the lines with aluminum stakes at points where

I am drawing this line to help me understand how my body is related to the wind-formed landscape and to mark a process so that it can be immediately visible.

LINE The act of drawing a line by walking, as done so exquisitely by artist Richard Long, creates a direct relationship between the body and the landscape.1 I understand the landscape by making measurements relative to my physical dimensions. At 5’-4�, my body head-to-toe extends across one third of my chosen basin. I am drawing this line as an experiment to help me understand how my body physically relates to the wind-formed landscape. I am also drawing this line to mark a process in the landscape so that it can be

it makes sense to do so. This embeds the movement of my body into the world, marking and delineating a fluctuating condition that happens over the course of a season as water dries up and leaves behind tiny particles. The process of water swelling to fill this basin occurs in climatological time with ecological consequences. Life emerges when water activates latent seeds, eggs and other biological flotsam, thin as a layer of dust, that we cannot see without a microscope. Ephemeral, aquatic ecology exists outside of our immediate perception because the expansion in spring’s pregnant swells and contraction of summer evaporation occur over many months. We can only directly witness this sequence of events with the aid of time-lapse photography. By marking the outline of the basin, though, it can be described in bodily time with immediately perceptible terms. The landscape is known through corporeal experience. I continue my steps, following the black outlines, trying not to disturb the gray dust held precariously in the bowl of sand. After 562 paces, I am out of twine and the work is finished.

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This installation was temporary. The artist removed all of the material from the site to prevent entanglement by wildlife.

ENDNOTE 1 Long, Richard. Richard Long: Walking the Line. London: Thames and Hudson, 2002.

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organic material in subtle jagged lines that mark the extents of inundation. These barely perceptible traces fringe a light gray dusting of organic material that covers the bottom of the basin. The freshwater pool is temporary, like the vernal pools of temperate climates, lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on the size and shape of the basin and the surrounding dune topography. They are a unique wetland type that is difficult to map because of their ephemeral existence. The ponds are dry in autumn and I am here to mark where they once existed and will exist again as wet depressions in the island. I walk onwards, searching for a basin that feels good to occupy. It is a process of discovery led entirely by intuition. When I arrive at an oval basin flanked by low surrounding dunes that I feel is the right one, I set about walking its perimeter; unwinding the sisal as I go.


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DESIGN the line, territories, political empowerment, psychogeography

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BELOW, LEFT TO RIGHT CONSTELLATORY COVE DIAGRAMS Topographic Complexity; Fragmentation of surface paths due to terrain; Polynuclear density on flat pockets of land; Constellation framework of cable car infrastructure

TERRITORIAL FIGURES

NEERAJ BHATIA

The increasingly interconnected globe and the relationship between systems—both natural and artificial—across scales, has expanded the spatial design discipline’s focus from site to the engagement with a broader territory.1 Not only does this shift implicate ecological, economic, social and political systems, among others, it also allows for the possibility of design to affect these very systems emblematic of territorial organization. Territory refers to a delineated portion of geographic space that is claimed or occupied by a person, group of persons or institution.2 The way territory is marked depends on distinct methods of parsing geographic space, which reflect particular social and spatial organizations.3 Territoriality is intimately linked to the notion of territory, and can be described by how individuals or groups claim space. That is to say, territoriality reveals how power manifests itself in geographic space and how limits are defined; as posited by David Storey: “Territoriality can be seen as the spatial expression of power, and the processes of control and contestation over portions of geographic space are central concerns of political geography. Any consideration of territories necessarily raises questions to do with boundaries.”4 The delineation of the boundary is central to defining territory, and is a product of several factors


endless carpet of urbanization, boundaries are reduced in significance, making it more difficult to pinpoint how power manifests itself geographically.5 As Pier Vittorio Aureli has pointed out, the delineation of limits— whether to distinguish public from private space, or political from economic space—was replaced by a totalizing form of urbanization in which the entirety of urbanity was conceived of as a domestic space; as he stated, “The essence of urbanization is therefore the destruction of any limit, boundary, or form that is not the infinite, compulsive repetition of its own reproduction, and the consequent totalizing mechanism of control that guarantees this process of infinity.”6

including cultural and social organizational relationships. It is this boundary that forms a physical limit, grouping a series of individuals and their physical environment, and creating the possibility for the production of a collective identity.

Further, the apparent lack of boundaries in the processes of endless urbanization make it exceedingly difficult to understand one’s spatial relationship to the larger processes of globalization within which they are inadvertently implicated. Aureli, building upon Hannah Arendt’s notion of politics7—as the relationship that lies in the space between humans—argues that it is precisely this space, defined by the relationship between

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Along this edge lies a limit against the totality of urbanization, a finite moment within the infinite, a moment of place within the ubiquitous urban condition.

ABOVE RECON-FIGURE: The towers mark each island and collectively create a series of territorial rooms.

form, and specifically by the edges of form (borders and limits), that creates separation and therefore allows for the possibility of political action.8 The limit suggests an ‘inside’ and ‘outside’—and it is this relationship to the edge that helps clarify and demarcate identity. Along this edge lies a limit against the totality of urbanization, a finite moment within the infinite, a moment of place within the ubiquitous urban condition. An empirical argument for boundaries, limits and edges, and their relationship to space, place and identity can be found in Kevin GU : ISSUE 05

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More recently, globalization and its associated regional economic alliances (for instance, the EU, ASEAN, NAFTA, etc.) have suggested that boundaries are increasingly more permeable, temporal and non-spatial. The ever-expansionist mechanisms of capitalism have created new relationships that are comprehensively integrated while also blurring and making more complex the standard definition of territory. Within the


Lynch’s study on visual and organizational legibility and its psychogeographic influence on our understanding of space.9 Lynch’s research links urban legibility closely with orientation through visual cues in a city, several of which come from the definition of lines or boundaries in space—paths, edges and districts (only recognizable from their edges). One’s ability to ‘read’ a place and to locate his or her position in the world is intimately tied to the legibility of the limit. It is within this boundary that differentiation occurs, identity is clarified, and the ability to relate to a larger urban structure, and therefore act on that very structure, is strengthened. The delineation of an edge is therefore a tool of political empowerment.

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Systems-based thinking—from cybernetics to logistics to ecology—defines much of contemporary life and is ideologically aligned through endless connectivity. Several of these systemic processes occur at planetary scales and are highly intangible at the scale of human occupation, making them abstract and allowing us to remain indifferent to their organizational logics. The following two projects utilize figures—legible expressions of the limit—as ways to provide precise moments of territorial definition within the flux of networked processes. The tension between the field and object is heightened to clarify the identity of each, as well as one’s position relative to the spatial mechanisms organizing her environment. The structuring of this relationship, and the demarcation of the territory through these figures, empowers individuals—allowing people to locate

WATER LEVEL 4 FT

WATER LEVEL 7 FT

themselves, and therefore their politics, within the larger natural and artificial systems that organize their daily lives. RECON-FIGURE Arverne East is one of the few locations in Far Rockaway, New York that has a visual connection from the elevated rail to the ocean. Obstructions including sand dunes, an elevated boardwalk and housing run parallel to the shore, typically separating the community from the enduring asset of the site—the ocean. Proposed flood mitigation mechanisms after Hurricane Sandy have the potential to further disconnect the site from the water. Instead of perceiving water as something to defend against, how can it be repositioned as a performative surface that connects across the obstructions currently on the site? Further, how can the water—a physical entity that is characterized by the continuity of its surface condition—and its associated natural cycles be made legible through the act of delineation?

The delineation of an edge is therefore a tool of political empowerment. Taking the logic of stabilizing rock jetties, Recon-Figure proposes a series of nested figures to augment the existing coastline. The figures engage the water, functioning as groynes and breakwaters that also offer recreational spaces, stabilize the coast and concentrate wave action for energy capture.

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BHATIA

within a field condition of linear wetlands and housing blocks.

Overall master plan reveals a series of nested figures framed

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RESIDENTIAL 5 Housing - 1450 units 6 Hotel - 100 units 7 Parking (Above Retail)- 2000 spaces

PUBLIC SPACE 1 Theatre - 25,000 sf 2 Community Service Buildings - 40,000 sf 3 Art Studios - 24,000 sf 4 Boardwalk/Amusements - 400,000 sf

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1,000 ft

GREEN SPACE 11 Beaches 12 Nature Preserve - 35 acres 13 Dune Preserve - 10 acres 14 Active/Passive Space - 5 acres 15 Agriculture - 2 acres 16 Sports/Recreation - 120,000 sf

COMMERCIAL 8 Retail - 360,000 sf 9 Spa - 100,000 sf 10 Farmer’s Market - 80,000 sf

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A second set of figures carve into the coast to recreate connections and allow the water to enter the site in a controlled manner. The coast, instead of a static and separated line, is re-conceived as an accommodating surface, activated by differing levels of water that incite various programs calibrated to daily and seasonal conditions. The figures within the coastline offer a legible yet continually transforming identity to the community as water levels fluctuate. The surface of the water becomes a cultural, programmatic and performative urban element that, while continuous, has moments of differentiation and articulation. Here, the legibility of the fluctuating figures establishes new social and organizational relationships of public space while locating the individual within the dynamic cycles of hydrology. CONSTELLATORY COVE

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Porto Brandão is a picturesque coastal town located on the industrial routes of the Tejo River in Portugal. These regional industrial routes push up against the natural geographic beauty of this town, its monuments and

growing university. In addition to the tension between scales of industry, one of the difficulties in a comprehensive planning strategy for Porto Brandão is the complex topography that has caused a polynuclear distribution of built form in pockets—or islands—of consistent terrain throughout the city. Instead of an approach of unification, this proposal adopts a strategy of first disconnecting these islands only to reconnect them in a more precise manner. The act of disconnection allows each island to realize its ‘almost’ project into an ideal state. By defining the limit of each island, a legible entity capable of clarifying its own unique identity emerges. After this act of disconnection, two systems are employed to reconnect the islands. The first utilizes a cable car system to link the existing islands and create a comprehensive method of moving through the complex terrain of the city. The towers for the gondola stations create a series of territorial nodes that provide an overall legibility and wayfinding mechanism through the city, while underscoring the city’s pluralistic identity.

View looking east reveals the confluence of energy capture, storm protection and public programming.


The Porto Brand達o master plan reveals an archipelago of islands that are connected into a territorial constellation.

BHATIA

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ABOVE Each ‘almost island’ is clarified with an edge condition and connected with a cable car tower station. These competing identities aggregate into a plural identity for the city. BELOW As an alternative to surface transport, the cable car provides a legible infrastructure that connects and works with the city’s complex topography.

The towers also provide opportunities for new programs: residences for universityaffiliated scholars, hotels, restaurants, parking, observatories and transport hubs, such as the ferry terminal. This consolidates density and new growth at locations that are opportunistically located within the transport network and protects the natural landscape from sprawl. Lastly, these towers act at a scale in concert with the majestic surrounding landscape, re-framing the relationship between artificial and geologic structures within the city. The second mechanism of connection involves re-linking the existing series of fragmented paths through the city. These paths typically break down in regions of dramatic topographic changes. The towers are placed to not only touch islands and connect the gondola network, but also to fill in strategic


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gaps within the existing networks of paths, creating a comprehensive system for moving through the city both on land and in the sky.

ABOVE View to the north showing new infrastructural network

These two networks for movement—through and above the city—use the structural towers as programmatic condensers, both to provide an identity for each individual island and to forge a new collective identity for the pluralistic city. As an aggregation, the gondola network structures the city using the form of a territorial constellation. The stars in this constellation form the figure of the Portuguese ‘Sardinha,’ always visible from the sky. Inscribed in this territorial constellation, the diverse identities of Porto Brandão are unified to provide a legible mental and physical framework for the city. New nodes can be added over time, acknowledging and building upon the city’s polynuclear structure and competing identities.

ENDNOTES 1 Sheppard, Lola. “From Site to Territory.” Bracket [Goes Soft], eds. Neeraj Bhatia and Lola Sheppard. (Barcelona: Actar, 2013), 175. 2 Storey, David. Territories: The Claiming of Space. (New York: Routledge, 2001), 1. 3 Elden posits, “The idea of a political technology seeks to capture the processual, multiple and conflictual nature of the bundle of political techniques–that expanded sense–that make up and transform the contested and diverse notion of territory. Territory cannot simply be understood as the political-economic notion of land, nor even as a political-strategic sense of terrain, but instead comprises the techniques used to–among other elements–measure land and control and mange the terrain.” Elden, Stuart. “Introduction.” The Birth of Territory. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013), 17. 4 Storey, Territories. 9. Emphasis added. 5 Ibid., 3, 9. 6 Aureli, Pier Vittorio. “Toward the Archipelago.” Log (New York), 11 (Winter 2008): 99. 7 Arendt, Hannah. “Introduction into Politics.” The Promise of Politics. (Berlin: Schocken, 2007), 93. Reprint.

9 Lynch, Kevin. The Image of the City. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1960.

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8 Aureli, “Toward the Archipelago.” 119.


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FOLLOW the line, Hetch Hetchy, infrastructure, journey, power lines, Google Maps

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BELOW Hand-drawn map of route taken following the power lines

POWER TRIP

JENNY ODELL

San Francisco receives all of its municipal power from a dam at the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, which powers city streetlights, SF General Hospital, the SFO airport, SFUSD public schools, fire stations and the MUNI transportation system. The only map I could find online of the transmission towers from the dam was abstract; it included only tower symbols and a couple of straight lines. Wanting to better understand the route, I used Google Satellite maps to painstakingly trace these towers and lines from the Newark substation in the East Bay, where the power enters the grid, to the Kirkwood Powerhouse in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where the water flow from Hetch Hetchy is first converted to electricity. I then used this map to generate driving directions for a road trip in the summer of 2013. It was a difficult route, since the transmission lines blithely disregard all physical boundaries, crossing public and private lands and sneaking through backyards and inaccessible ravines. Ultimately, the route took me past the suburbs of Fremont; a paintball park; a series of vineyards; a road named for Tesla; a vehicular recreation area; the San Joaquin River Nation Wildlife Refuge; orchards and farms; a veterinary hospital parking lot; traffic jams and shopping centers in Modesto; a Del Taco; a fruit stand; an endless expanse of yellow grass (a wintering home for bald eagles, and thus an Area of Critical Environmental Concern);


this point, emerged through a white pipe that dropped straight down the face of a mountain. Then, across the river, the generated electricity clambered up the other side of the canyon via transmission towers. Indeed, this was characteristic of the system— so vulnerable, so unlikely, with its spindly structures making complicated maneuvers through dense suburbs and famously large mountains—just so a bus in San Francisco could open and close its doors. To a person unacquainted with contemporary civilization, it would seem obvious that the towers and pipes, and particularly the Kirkwood

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a crystal-blue reservoir; and Moccasin, a town owned entirely by San Francisco for the purpose of maintaining the Hetch Hetchy line. Past Moccasin, my Google directions failed me—telling me to turn right onto Forest Route 1 from Forest Route 1, for example—as my route twisted onto steep, mostly deserted roads. (One month later, the 2013 Rim Fire would break out in exactly this area, threatening the transmission lines and dropping ash on the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.) After several unsuccessful attempts, I finally found the Kirkwood Powerhouse at the bottom of a canyon. Hetch Hetchy water, which flows underground from the dam to

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Photographing these structures was by no means illegal, but it was unexpected. Simply training my gaze on something other than the usual sights of Yosemite, I encountered resistance. In places where it exists above JOURNEY 1 Newark substation 2 Fremont 3 Fremont cul-de-sac A 4 Fremont cul-de-sac B 5 Old Mission Park, Fremont 6 Livermore construction site 7 Livermore 8 Tesla road 9 Farms near Modesto 10 Modesto 11 Modesto substation 12 Warnerville substation 13 Oakdale substation 14 Red Hills Area of Critical Concern 15 near Moccasin 16 Moccasin sign 17 Moccasin town 18 Moccasin powerhouse - old and new 19 O’Shaughnessy dam

ground, the power grid is one of the best examples of something we have learned not to see. As a child I often took pictures in my neighborhood, and was dismayed when I noticed the power lines, as if they had materialized in the picture post-production. The towers of the Hetch Hetchy line stand unassumingly in fields next to the freeway and in the back parking lots of shopping centers, unseen until we see them. But now I have— and I’ve seen the hundreds of hot, dry miles

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To follow this line is to appreciate how many far-flung places are implicated in our everyday activities. One can easily imagine other such lines, whether underground, invisible or illegible. they cross. To follow this line is to appreciate how many far-flung places are implicated in our everyday activities. One can easily imagine other such lines, whether underground, invisible, or illegible, proceeding outward from almost every apparatus with which we interact. When the J MUNI line picks me up in the morning, banal as ever, I now know it’s driven by water rushing straight down a monumental pipe in a remote canyon in the Sierra Nevada. GU : ISSUE 05

ODELL

Penstock’s sublime vertical drop, are monuments. Instead, my curiosity about a public good, and my camera, simply aroused suspicion. “What are you taking pictures of?” a woman in a Fremont cul-de-sac asked as I photographed a tower and marveled at the audible buzz of electricity. When I explained the purpose of my project, she seemed dissatisfied. Despite the fact that I was wearing entirely leopard print and polka dots, disco was playing on my car stereo and my traveling companion was using a rainbow hula-hoop he’d found near the transmission tower, she watched us resentfully until we left. Trucks often slowed or tailed us on roads we had no evident reason to be on. And Moccasin had an unwelcome air, as though if you didn’t work there, you didn’t belong.


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ABSTRACT the line, design process, littoral zone, built work

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BARNACLES AT PIER 9

MICHAL KAPITULNIK

Perched between the bay and the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco is surrounded, and in many ways defined by its waterfront context. At the eastern edge of the bay this land-water threshold has been transformed over time, from tidally-influenced mudflats formed and reformed by wind, erosion and water, to a constructed, armored edge. This hard, static edge comprised of piers, docks and wharfs was also formed over time—through the deployment of a complex framework for siltation, accretion and land reclamation. Once central to the vibrant shipping industry in San Francisco, the eastern waterfront is now a collage of retail, restaurants, office spaces, wholesale fish markets, tourist destinations, private boat docks, public piers, parking lots and open spaces. The San Francisco Bay Trail seeks to connect this network, in an effort to create a more legible and accessible network of waterfront open space.


The Barnacles at Pier 9 transform one of these spaces—the marginal wharf between Piers 9 and 11—into a public open space that celebrates the ecological complexity of the bay’s edge. Surfacedesign looked to the geometry of barnacle clusters for inspiration in creating a space that invites visitors to sit, lounge and play. The bayshore is not a pure delineation; rather it is a moving threshold that pulses with tidal, seasonal and annual change. To read this flux—and the ecological and temporal richness that it invites—a design that marks and celebrates change must be deployed. Inspired by the natural history of the site, the horizontal striations of the intertidal zone and the abstracted geometry of a key intertidal species, the concrete-formed Barnacles sit steady and quiet: a datum at the bay’s edge. Ocean spray, crowds of students visiting the Exploratorium, tourists, cyclists and birds come in waves, imbuing the place with new meaning and diverse stories. When they retreat, the Barnacles are left empty and still once again.

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ECOLOGY OF THE INTERTIDAL ZONE

LEFT Constructed barnacles at Pier 9 ABOVE Concept + spatial diagrams, toolpath study

This edge is not a pure delineation; rather, it is a moving threshold that pulses with tidal, seasonal and annual change. GU : ISSUE 05

KAPITULNIK

The intertidal zone, also known as the littoral zone, is an area of great fluctuation. This zone is under water during high tide and left exposed during low tide. Intertidal species are adapted to both the extreme sun exposure and long periods of inundation by both fresh rainwater and seawater. High tide brings nutrients and food. When the tide goes out, it takes with it waste products and disperses eggs and larvae.


The intertidal zone is divided into three distinct zones: low, middle and high. These are expressed as distinct horizontal bands of organisms and animals that live on the rocks and pilings along the water’s edge. The upper limits of each band are maintained by physical constraints—a species’ ability to tolerate specific salt, air and tidal fluctuations. The lower limits are far more fluid, and generally influenced by competition, predation or access to food sources. The interplay of these physical and biological factors create specific and diverse ecological patterns in each subzone of the intertidal zone. There are more than 1,400 known barnacle species found in shallow and tidal waters around the world. Once established on a substrate, barnacles release compounds that attract larvae to the area. This results in the formation of large clusters of barnacles known as druses. These clusters create space for other species like sea anemones and tube worms to attach themselves, creating a diverse habitat of sea creatures. What may seem like a purely spatial arrangement of barnacles actually has larger social implications for the many species that make up the intertidal zone.

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Like the druses, the Barnacles at Pier 9 are meant to create a series of multi-scaled, flexible spaces for individuals, small groups and large communities to gather. The site engages the land-water threshold—an area both ecologically and culturally rich. The barnacle benches aim to blur this edge, bringing the stories of this rich ecology into the greater city beyond. In these times of great global change, the Barnacles provide a space of both contemplation and celebration—a space with which to engage the edge as it changes. ABOVE Paper, resin and concrete maquettes RIGHT Toolpath mockup


Derived from plan sketches and sections that were themselves abstractions of the geometry of barnacles, Surfacedesign began exploring the three-dimensional form of the benches through a series of paper maquettes. These models allowed the team to explore relationships between the scale of the multiple barnacle modules as well as the spaces that were created through the clustering of multiple barnacles across the site. These studies helped inform the digital modeling of the barnacle forms, ultimately resulting in a 3D digital model of the main planar form of the benches. Concreteworks, the fabricators of the Barnacles, then took the digital models and refined the form, vetting the angles for constructibility. Printed resin mock-ups of the benches were used to iterate and refine the form-making, and then used to create

concrete models so the team could study the texture, materiality and color of the final concrete forms. Once the main organizing geometry was set, the design team worked to develop a secondary language of folds that integrated the toolpath of the milling process into the final design of the objects surface. The precision of a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) router allowed for a direct translation of the digital model into physical formwork. Rather than sanding down or abstracting the toolpath, the design celebrates the intrinsic characteristics of the digital language of the construction process by expressing its pattern. The end result is a surface texture that softens the rigidity of the facets and brings a completely unique language to the sculptural form, reinterpreting the biological form of a barnacle and celebrating the digital methodologies that created it.

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KAPITULNIK

DESIGN PROCESS: MOVING BETWEEN THE DIGITAL AND THE PHYSICAL


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DE-GARBAGIFICATION #FOGWASTE N. CLAIRE NAPAWAN + BRETT SNYDER

MAINTAIN the line, community, waste-based art, performance, education

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We discovered the Artist in Residence Program at Recology, San Francisco’s solid waste management system, during a chance encounter at San Francisco International Airport’s 2013 exhibition The Art of Recology: The Artist in Residence Program 1990 – 2013. The exhibition offered new visions of household trash: a full-scale Hummer H1 crafted entirely from Styrofoam, bottle caps repurposed as a ladies’ shift dress and miles of used rope fashioned into an emblematic whale’s tail.1 This process of sorting, re-valuing and repurposing, as represented by the exhibition, has been eloquently termed ‘de-garbagification’ by the performance artist, Shannon Jackson.2 It is a process that we as designers have recently embarked upon as a critical component to a community-engaged process, exposing waste infrastructure through environmental design. We received a unique request from the City of San Jose for a ‘Public Art Project for Environmental Awareness of Sewer System Impacts.’ The project utilized the distinct but complementary ways in which our design collaboration works, through a balance of media and urban design, coupled with landscape architecture and participatory process. Owing a great debt to the precedent that was set a generation before us by some of the pioneers of waste-based art, our project emulates the work of these environmental artists who incorporated community participation, feminism and the delineation of waste infrastructure. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN WASTE-BASED ART The Artist in Residency Program at Recology was founded by the environmental and feminist artist Jo Hanson. Two decades prior, Hanson had already built a body of work that focused not only on the environment, but also on revealing human behavior relative to it.3 For Jo Hanson, the act of sweeping the city streets outside her home became a means of linking her domestic actions with her neighbors. The majority of her waste-based work operated on the balance of daily ritual and performance art. But it was the sophisticated manner in which she integrated these acts with community members and civic events—displaying the contents of her collected sweepings at


Roughly concurrent with Jo Hanson’s work, but located in New York City, Mierle Laderman Ukeles tackled similar connections between domestic ritual and creative process. Her 1969 manifesto, Maintenance Art, established BELOW Jo Hanson, Art That’s Sweeping the City. c. 1980. Photo by Jim Weeks

a genre of practice that acknowledged the tension between valuing and de-valuing objects and actions. Ukeles wrestled with the value of objects as either trash or treasure. In addition, she challenged the evaluation of her actions as either maintenance or art: “I am an artist. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. (Random order). I do a hell of a lot of washing, cleaning, cooking, renewing, supporting, preserving, etc. Also (up to now) separately I ‘do’ Art. Now I will simply do these everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art.”4 What evolved from this interest in elevating domestic actions as performance art was a body of work that established Ukeles as a leader in connecting private and public spheres—connecting the domestic to the systematic to address waste infrastructure in urban communities.5 Her 1978 performance piece, Touch Sanitation, resulted from a series of interviews with New York City sanitation workers, revealing the stigmas surrounding their work. The project included Ukeles walking the five boroughs of New York City for an eleven-month period, shaking hands and thanking sanitation workers as she encountered them.6 Ukeles sought to elevate the work of the individuals contributing to a critical infrastructure, embracing waste management like a performance artwork itself, and the maintenance crew as participants and community members. Thirty years later the collective works of Hanson and Ukeles still provide precedents for contemporary designers seeking community integration with design. In particular, we believe both women understood broader definitions of community than is often utilized today, encompassing the artist as well as city agencies and maintenance crews that serve the community. Both artists embraced process as a critical component of their work. This focus included recognition of city and community functions to produce metadesign, GU : ISSUE 05

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NAPAWAN + SNYDER

schools, churches and City Hall—that elevated her work from mere domestic activity. In her 1980 project Public Disclosure: Secrets from the Street, Hanson exhibited ten years’ worth of street litter at SF City Hall. This de-garbagification display was coupled with slide shows of the collection and sorting process, which included community and civic collaboration. Thus the process in which objects transformed from litter to artwork was an extension of the project itself; and that process included diverse participation. Following the project’s success, Jo Hanson spear-headed the selection of the first Artist in Residence for the Sanitary Fill Company in 1990 (later to become Recology), developing the program that continues to house three artists annually, each charged with promoting public awareness of environmental issues.


and incorporated community perspectives.7 By linking the domestic act with its systematic impact on our environment, these women embedded the exploration of infrastructure within common urban sites: homes, streets and civic centers.

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When charged with tackling San Jose’s sewer infrastructure, we were guided by the approach exemplified by Hanson and Ukeles. So often the call to design solutions for complex environmental problems seeks ever-new technologies to address the issue. These “solutions” often introduce new environmental problems (e.g. designing larger infrastructural systems to support greater waste generation). These artists, on the other hand, looked to the patterns, habits and awareness embedded in everyday acts that might prevent the issue from occurring in the first place. This approach was considered feminist in the 1970s, but we would argue that it is a holistic and rational approach today— one needed to continue to tackle the complex environmental problems still present in our built environments. IMPLICATIONS FOR CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE Contemporary waste-based art might use waste as a medium, but it lacks an investigation of the processes by which items become garbage and value-less (garbagification). Moreover, it does not integrate with the communities that contributed to the creation of the waste or solicit their participation in transforming waste into art. As a result, these projects miss an opportunity to address the underlying processes that contribute to wastefulness. With regard to contemporary environmental design practice, the lessons learned from Jo Hanson and Mierle Laderman Ukele’s work—the embrace of a broader definition for

“I am an artist. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. (Random order). I do a hell of a lot of washing, cleaning, cooking, renewing, supporting, preserving, etc. Also (up to now) separately I ‘do’ Art. Now I will simply do these everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art.” community, efforts to link the domestic to the infrastructural and lastly, a focus on process over product—are all relevant to operating in today’s constrained and complex city. The work of these women existed prior to digital networks and social media, tools which are now deemed essential to a contemporary participatory design approach. While the tools may be farther and faster reaching than those utilized by Hanson and Ukeles, the principles of community participation, multi-scalar thinking and metadesign remain the same. For our project in San Jose, the works of Hanson and Ukeles served as precedents to convince San Jose City officials to allocate funding in support of an environmental art approach to address the overwhelming amount of residential fat, oil and grease waste (FOG waste) entering the city’s sewers. When FOG waste enters sewers from the kitchen sink disposal, it can lead to clogs and overflows of raw sewage into homes, streets or watersheds. The city came to recognize the opportunity to integrate city workers, community members and artists in a collaborative program to increase awareness regarding the connections between domestic practice (cooking and cleaning) and environmental health. It was a unique response by the city, based on an understanding of the potential of education over a purely engineered solution.


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Department of Sanitation. Chromogenic print, Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York

Our design process respected the work of the waste-based environmental artists before us and integrated with current digital networking tools to broaden our reach. As such, our process included wastewater treatment plant tours, ride-alongs with first responders to Sanitary Sewer Overflows, observation of High Priority Cleanings of neighborhood sewer lines, community outreach meetings, as well as Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping of the sewer system and related city functions. The resultant design project, FOGWASTE, includes infographics that frame the kitchen sink as part of the sewer system, and the sewer system as an extension of the ecosystem; truck wraps and manhole markings

that highlight artifacts of the otherwise invisible sewer system; and lastly, a digital, community-based network of imagery to share the public experience of the entire infrastructure, from kitchen sink to watershed, through the hashtag #FOGWASTE. In contrast to the typical design project that would deploy physical materials to re-engineer the landscape, our project used media and education to re-align people’s relationships to infrastructure, seeking to make the biggest impact on behavior with few materials.8 The components of the process that have contributed the most to the project’s success draw directly from the lessons we’ve learned from Hanson and Ukeles. We strove to solicit the community’s perspective as a component of the intervention and engaged with a diverse group of individuals impacting GU : ISSUE 05

NAPAWAN + SNYDER

ABOVE Handshake Ritual with workers of New York City


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the infrastructure’s function. Within those meetings, the focus on food (not waste) became the doorway to engaging with communities. This included introducing community members to the process of garbagification and its potential hazard to environmental health. Our design arose from an iterative process of learning from community members and city workers, making connections between their concerns and the broader environmental issues embedded in the infrastructure’s function. We’d like to think Jo and Mierle would be proud. As author Rob Thayer describes, “In a world where more and more of the technology controlling our lives is not only beyond our individual control but is also invisible and incomprehensible to the average person, the landscape serves not only as the foundation for our only genuine ‘tangible’ reality, but as the only mechanism by which we can really know where we are—and how and why as well.”9 He argues that the key to sustainability (and urban resilience) is transparency: the ability to see and understand urban infrastructural processes. Both Ukeles and Hanson strove to make visible the systems which support urban living. While their work focuses specifically on solid waste management, an effort to uncover the position and understanding of any infrastructural support to urban living could be essential to promoting greater stewardship. We must

also consider community engagement not only as a moment within the design process, but an integrated part of the entire process. Incorporating communities more fully with the infrastructure on which they unconsciously rely is critical in contemporary landscape design practice.

ENDNOTES 1 Junge, Andrew. “Styrofoam Hummer H1 (low mileage, always garaged),” 2005. Styrofoam, lumber, steel. Rubel, Remi. “Bottle Cap Dress,” 1991. Metal, paint, wire. Estess Ethan. “Last Dive at the Farallones: 100,000 marine mammals killed per year,” 2012. Wood, styrofoam, wood flooring adhesive, super glue, screws and rope. 2 Jackson, Shannon. “High Maintenance: The Sanitation Aesthetic of Mierle Laderman Ukeles.” Social Works: Performing Art, Supporting Publics. (New York: Routledge, 2011), 75. 3 Steinman, Susan Leibovitz. “Directional Signs: A Compendium of Artist’s Works.” Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, ed. Suzanne Lacy (Seattle: Bay Press, 1995), 230. 4 Ukeles, Mierle Laderman. “Part II of Maintenance Art: The Maintenance Art Exhibition: Care, Part One: Personal,” 1969. 5 Feldman, M. B. “Inside the Sanitation System: Mierle Ukeles, Urban Ecology, and the Social Circulation of Garbage.” Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, 10:1 (2009): 42 - 56. 6 Thompson, Nato. “Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991 - 2011.” 7 Borrowing from Ehn’s definition of ‘metadesign’ as: “to defer some design and participation until after the design project, and open up for use as design, design at use time or ‘design-after-design.’” This concept is also referred to as ‘micro-urbanism.’ Ehn, P. “Participation in Design Things.” Presented in Participatory Design Conference, Bloomington, Indiana, August 2008. (Bloomington: ACM Press), 2-101. 8 Bortolotti, M. “Micro-urbanism and the Ideal City.” Domus. 2006. <http:// www.worldarchitecture.org/submission-links/phnmc/micro-urbanism.html> 9 Thayer, Rob. Gray World, Green Heart: Technology, Nature, and the Sustainable Landscape. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.


06

LI M ITS OF CLOSUR E

JESSE VOGLER

The lines shall be measured with a chain; shall be plainly marked by chaps on trees, and exactly described on a plat, whereon shall be noted by the surveyor, at their proper distances all mines, salt springs, salt licks and mill seats, that shall come to his knowledge, and all water courses, mountains, and other remarkable and permanent things, over or near which such lines shall pass, and also the quantity of the lands. -1785 Land Ordinance

Roman land surveyors made the distinction between a line in the abstract—rigores (a line with no width)—and a line in the world—limites (which often took the form of a raised path or balk). Rigores were the lines that regulated order, the degree zero of delineation. Limites, then, were the material encumbrances, the limen (threshold) through which abstraction had to pass when it touched the ground. This gap—between the representation and the real—has haunted the surveyed line ever since. The line as labor. As work. As, perhaps, a performance of the earth. This performativity delaminates the line of the surveyor from the line of her plat. Without rehearsing the details of the public land survey system of this country, let us at least remember that these are not simply diagrams of intersecting meridianal and base-lines in a manual. Not simply the fixed gridiron of rural roads becoming city grids, or field lines with their inscribed center-pivot circles we see from the air, even. But, materially, a ritualized walk (twice-over!) of every linear mile within the survey’s coordinates. A temporal matrix—marched over by a deputy surveyor, the chain-men; the line-men. Each township as a specific, ritualized choreography, with a specified point of beginning, a sweep of the traverse and a designated edge to absorb the acknowledged imprecision. For, in the translation of abstraction to real—where lines have already been performed—there will always be an excess.

Prior to piling up the earth to construct a mound, there is to be dug a spadefull or two of earth from the corner boundary point, and in the cavity so formed is to be deposited a marked stone, or a portion of charcoal, (the quantity whereof is to be noted in the field book;) or in lieu of charcoal or marked stone, a charred stake is to be driven twelve inches down into such centre point: either of those will be a witness for the future, and whichever is adopted, the fact is to be noted in the field book. -1855 GLO Survey Instructions

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Besides the charcoal, marked stone or charred stake, one or the other of which must be lodged in the earth at the point of the corner, the deputy surveyor is recommended to plant midway between each pit and the trench, seeds of some tree, (those of fruit trees adapted to the climate being always to be preferred,) so that, in course of time, should such take root, a small clump of trees may possibly hereafter note the place of the corner. -1855 GLO Survey Instructions

VOGLER

The “limit of closure” set for the public land surveys may now be expressed by the fraction 1/905. -1973 Survey Manual

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4-2. The law provides that the original corners established during the process of the survey shall forever remain fixed in position, even disregarding technical errors which may have passed undetected before acceptance of the survey.

From the small hill called such and such, to such and such a river, and along that river to such and such a stream or such and such a road, and along that road to the lower slopes of such and such a mountain, a place which has the name such and such, and from there along the ridge of that mountain to the summit, and along the summit of the mountain past the watersheds to the place called such and such, and from there down to such and such a place, and from there to the cross roads of such and such a place, and from there past the tomb of such and such, to the place from which the description began. -Hyginus I, Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum

Surveyors have a phrase for this excess: “limits of closure.” A ratio—1/905—governing the gap between representation and real. In the governance of lines, this ratio is an acknowledgment of a line’s width, of the stray of the compass needle, of the stumble of a surveyor’s foot, of an accumulation of decisions, of a line’s material encumbrances. Historic U.S. survey manuals enjoin the surveyor to take particular care in the measurement of horizontal lines; taking care when traversing the earth to take her measurements “as nearly approximating an air line as is possible.” Yet we would do well to remind ourselves that this ‘air line’ is itself subject to, as David Foster Wallace reminds us, “the giant curve that informs straight lines.” The giant curve that brings all lines crashing back to the surface of the earth.

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The length of every line you run is to be ascertained by precise horizontal measurement, as nearly approximating to an air line as is possible in practice on the earth’s surface. -1855 GLO Survey Instructions

The line—the surveyed, embodied, earth-bound line—as narration. The Northwest Ordinance of 1785, the founding document for the survey of public lands in the United States, requires of the surveyor to ‘be noted,’ among the watercourses, mountains and mines, etc., “other remarkable and permanent things.” Remarkable—not in the sense of some system of exalted value—but rather, remarkable in a sense of base-materialism: simply that which may be remarked upon. A threshold for entrance into the world of utterances and, therefore, into the world of the archive. The line as a tabulation of qualities. The line as index of things remark-able.

A subsecivum derives its name from a line that cuts away (subseco). - Frontinus, Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum


IV:9. I cannot too strongly insist upon the need of a return to the method of old times. Our ancestors, when about to build a town or an army post, sacrificed some of the cattle that were wont to feed on the site proposed and examined their livers. -Vitruvius, 10 Books

474:5 Owners of adjoining improved lands where there is no partition fence shall, once in every 5 years, run the lines and renew the bounds between them. -New Hampshire Statutes

For it is here that the line enters the cadastre—the politico-legal register of boundaries and their attachments. Cadastre: from the greek katastichon—“line by line.” Lines, line by line. What is not included in the cadastre is invisible to the state. Yet there is always an outside. Roman surveyors had a term for this type of exclusion, for a “line that cuts away.” Subseciva were those lines that marked the boundary between the surveyed and the unsurveyed, the allocated and the unallocated, the remark-able and the unremark-able, perhaps. “Cursed be he that removeth his neighbors landmark: Amen.” And so begins (or, rather, is re-reiterated) the shuttling of meaning from a politico-temporal space to a moral-spiritual universe. Where, following the ‘symbolic form’ of Ernst Cassirer, “spiritual meaning is attached to a concrete, material sign and intrinsically given to this sign.” That Roman land surveyors practiced both the sorcery of geometry and that of divination— that composite practice where sheep livers and boundary stones mingle— gives us the particular twinning of the spiritual and the profane within one practice. Agrimensor and haruspex. One an agent of the state, of things made visible. The other an agent of metaphor, of things not directly seen. Both, together, with an objective belief in the materiality of the world.

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On an auspicious day they would yoke together a bull and cow, to draw a bronze ploughshare and run the first furrow, which would establish the course of the town walls. The fathers of the settlement would follow the plough, the cow on the inside and the bull on the outside, turning any uprooted and scattered clods back onto the furrowed line and piling them up to prevent their being dispersed. When they reached the point where the gates were to be, they carried the plough by hand, leaving the threshold of the gate untouched. -Alberti

VOGLER

Book X:Title I.I A just partition once made, shall always remain in force and, for no reason, shall it ever be altered thereafter. -Visigothic Code

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07

UNPOURED FORMWORKS

FRITZ HORSTMAN

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IMAGINE the line, structure, sculpture, negative space, scaled models

Formwork for a Water Treatment Plant Basswood and plywood 10” x 13” x 6” 2015

While working intensively on a large building project at the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, I noticed a poetry in the unfinished state of the construction site. I was drawn specifically to the space between the plywood walls that were raised as formworks for the pouring of cement. That space could only exist for a few hours before the cement truck arrived, but in that moment it was a revolving abstraction of potential, delineation, growth and destruction. Once filled, it was gone—the plywood stripped away, the earth backfilled. To suspend that moment, I began building models of formworks. Leaving them unfilled, they remain perpetually unfinished.


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Formwork for the Gowanus Canal Reclaimed construction material HORSTMAN

3’ x 30’ x 15’ 2014

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Spiral Formworks Basswood and plywood 3” x 12” x 10” 2015


From models based directly on architecture, I expanded my scope to forms found in the landscape. Making a formwork that depicts constraint upon the landscape is not exactly a reversal of formwork’s standard function, but it does ask a different set of questions. Why would you make a cement creek? What is the relationship between a flowing creek and poured cement?

That is what I’m after: a space into which we can pour our thoughts. I’ve been asked several times to scale the models up. In 2014, I built a 2’ x 20’ x 12’ formwork based on the shape of a creek. The sculpture was built at a 1:1 scale and installed directly next to the actual creek from which the form was derived. That autumn, I built a 30-foot formwork based on the shape of the Gowanus Canal, to be installed a block from that famously dirty Brooklyn waterway. In May 2015, I installed a large sculpture for the grounds of Hancock Shaker Village in western Massachusetts, which combined elements of Shaker architecture with this concept of a perpetually unfinished construction. In the autumn of 2016, I will realize my largest formwork to date. Boston’s deCordova Museum has commissioned an 8’ x 30’ x 30’ version of Formwork for a Spiral Movement.

U-Bend, Basswood and plywood 37

10” x 8” x 5” 2014 In the collection of Martha and Sam Peterson Formwork for Lily Creek (model), Basswood and plywood 7” x 10” x 1” 2014 Three Walls, Basswood and plywood 6” x 10” x 13” 2015

HORSTMAN

These sculptures acknowledge change, but also attempt to freeze the moment. The spaces that I delineate stand empty, almost begging to be filled. During the installation of each of the large projects described above, at least one person approached and asked when I was going to pour. Those people, whether aware of my intentions or not, had mentally filled the space. That is what I’m after: a space into which we can pour our thoughts. The small models do that intimately and preciously; the large installations relate more directly to our bodies and actual experience of landscape. GU : ISSUE 05


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Formwork for 8 into 14 Reclaimed construction material 3’ x 14’ x 14’ 2015 Commissioned by Hancock Shaker Village, Hancock, MA


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Formwork for 8 into 14 (model) Basswood and plywood 2” x 10” x 12”

HORSTMAN

2015

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Internal Memorandum - Privileged and Confidential DATE: 2/6/2026 TO: TranzKanada Corporate Shareholders FROM: TranzKanada Corp Central Headquarters SUBJECT: Keystone Pipeline Wildlife Migration Corridor - An Investment Opportunity! Dear Valued Shareholders, As you are all aware, construction is underway on the Keystone Pipeline Wildlife Migration Corridor. Responding to the overwhelming concern for resource extraction operations, instability and predicted extinctions of climate-sensitive North American mammals and birds, the Migration Corridor and its dedicated team of Habitat Relocation Officers are now prepared to unveil a comprehensive plan to assist in the resettlement of targeted species into plentiful northern territories over the next 25 years. As presented during last fall’s simulcast 2025 TranzKanada America North Forth! Conference, the migration corridor will utilize property easements acquired by TranzKanada Corp in the early 2000s for the construction and operation of the Keystone Oil Pipeline. This collection of pipeline easements constitutes a contiguous corridor 60 m wide and stretching over 2,200 km from Houston, Texas, to Hardisty, Alberta. While property owners can rest assured no damages will come to their land as disturbance,* the second phase Keystone Wildlife Migration Corridor simply opens the easements to endangered animals previously excluded for construction worker safety. On the coattails of biologists confirming the habitat value of the north trending open space (Johnson et al. 2023), citing a rise of grassland dependent species such as grouse and northern cottontail rabbits, and larger mammals such as bears and marmots, the Migration Corridor will now enable targeted species to seek refuge from the perpetual heat of North America. We are confident all necessary measures are in place to tag, trace and monitor all megafauna during their assisted migration north. A ribbon cutting is scheduled with the simultaneous release of a rehabilitated owl into the wild for March 3rd, 2026. Please watch the live broadcast at www.tranzkanada/xlwild.ca, where you can even follow your favorite wild animal journey north from the controlled climate of your own home! Following the 95% completion of the Assisted Migration project, TranzKanada will open a turn-key $4.3 billion conservation banking fund in the depopulated drylands of the central United States, no longer subject to stringent regulations of wildlife habitat preservation. TranzKanada’s proud dedication to the acceleration of fossil fuel extraction, transportation and combustion has played a key role in the climate disruption now driving the robust expansion of this exciting new market. It is our pleasure to offer current TranzKanada shareholders the first opportunity to invest in what will be the future of climate disruption and relocation revenue streams and markets. Please review the enclosed artist interpretation of the operational Keystone Wildlife Corridor prepared by GRNASFCK LLC. Warm Regards, TranzKanada Corp

* The vibration-induced seismic events experienced during the Keystone pipeline construction were isolated incidents, and all pumping stations have subsequently been inspected for pressure and regulatory compliance. TranzKanada is proud to state that we have not experienced a fatal accident since the High Pressure Gas Discharge Event (HPGDE) of 2021.


US / Canadian Border Keystone Pipeline

Lepus arcticus

Arid adapted grasses (typ.)

Habitat relocation officer Ursos arctos

Zea mays var. GMO ‘desert solution’

Habitat relocation officer Arid adapted timber

th ng

00

2,2

60 m

km

Ease

men t bo und ary

KEYSTONE WILDLIFE MIGRATION CORRIDOR, 2036 (50% Assisted Migration Completion) Artist’s interpretation prepared by GRNASFCK llc

le tal To


09 NEVADA WILDERNESS

EXPLORE the line, arid landscapes, journeys, photography, wilderness

TIM PINAULT

“Although bleak, Nevada contains much variety.” This seemingly contradictory statement from the legend of a map purchased in May 2011 on my first trip to the desert wilderness further fueled my curiosity to explore it. The map shows the wilderness areas of Northwest Nevada, and the town I found myself in was situated in the southwest edge of this map. Come July, the gypsum mine and the town’s primary employer would close, leaving the town with a single digit population. Due to the shifting nature of the landscape since its production in the late 1960s, the map is not very effective as a tool for navigation. Streams go for years without water and the number of unmarked dirt trails has multiplied. What is truly unique about the map is the way in which places are described by the inhabitants of its paper borders. Anecdotes

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Weather, 2014


Petrified Forest, 2011

PINAULT

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Naked Jim, 2011 GU : ISSUE 05


about mineral deposits, ghost towns, hunting grounds, hot springs and Native American sites are all written on the map. Consequently, I have repeatedly used this somewhat misleading map as a jumping off point for my journeys as well as the conceptual framework for my photography.

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Wilderness itself is difficult to describe, and the task is usually left to those who have a use for it. While we think of wilderness as free and wild, it is interesting to note how many official borders are applied to it. One map in my collection shows ten different wilderness areas designated across three different counties. High Rock Lake wilderness is southwest of Little High Rock Canyon, which is south of High Rock Canyon. This lies west of East Fork High Rock Canyon. The entire area is bisected by the Washoe and Humboldt County line. Together, they make up a section of The Black Rock Desert High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area. This composite landscape is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the organization that administers public land in the United States. The wilderness shares its northern border with the Summit Lake Indian Reservation and Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Area, home to a unique fish that was vital for the Northern Paiute, Western Shoshone and Washoe Native

Ed, Thunder Mountain, 2013

The Meeting Place, 2011

Americans. The Lahonton Cutthroat Trout is currently threatened, and fish from this area are being used to restock the population in Pyramid Lake about 180 miles south. The Hycroft Gold Mine is located on the southeast edge of the wilderness in the Sulfur Mining District between Humboldt and Pershing Counties. According to their website, “At approximately 72,000 acres the mine uses an open pit leaching process extracting silver and gold 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Sulfur is a ghost town today (its post office closed in 1953), but the green lights of the mine are visible deep into the black rock desert at night. Describing wilderness only seems to get more difficult and blurred with the more detail you add. Hunters need wilderness to hunt game; conservationists fight for wilderness to preserve animals. Wilderness provides us with places to extract natural resources for everyday living; scenic photographs of wilderness are needed to remind us that such places still exist. The wilderness I’ve found in Nevada is full of wonderful stories and endless contradictions. Legends of red-haired giants who once lived in caves with ocean views, feral dog packs roaming the range, ancient paths through


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scorched earth, freezing hot springs, friendly strangers and long days of travel dictated by the ever-fluctuating but awe-inspiring weather. To the uninitiated, trouble appears to be around every corner. Schoolchildren are taught the dangers of abandoned mines like the dangers of street drugs: “Stay Out, Stay Alive.� Photography gains its authority from its ability to describe reality. We believe in its

descriptive powers oblivious of the agenda of the photographer or his publisher. Wilderness receives its authority from mapmakers and land managers. The names they assign (Black Rock Desert, Sulphur Mining District) remind us of our primal selves or reflect our consumerbased culture. Over time our agendas will change, and it will always be up to the viewer of a photograph or the user of wilderness to decide its context.

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PINAULT

Feral Dog Pack, 2011


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IMAGINING A THIRD NATION US - ME XICO BORDER | 184 8 - 2016

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MICHAEL DEAR


HONOR the line, boundary monuments, psychogeography, history

The illustrations accompanying this essay are the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration with Michelle Hook and Stephanie Lin. This work aims to give form to the imaginary, and to interpret the complexity of the history and future of the third nation along the US-Mexico border. The boundaries separating nation-states are usually regarded as robust, established features of the human condition, but they are not. Since its creation in 1848, the line marking the border between the United States and Mexico has been subject to constant re-negotiation and adjustment as a consequence of disputes at both international and local levels. Geopolitical imperatives have often been subordinated to exigencies of place and environment, of pragmatism and convenience, and of memory and tradition. The ascendancy of such practices gives substance and form to autonomous, localized spaces such as a ‘third nation’ between Mexico and the US. A third nation is constituted by shared affiliations and territorial attachment that characterize borderland peoples, becoming manifest through myriad practices pertaining to work, family, law, commerce and culture. Very few border people I have met refer to a ‘third nation’ in everyday conversation, yet they readily adopt alternative expressions

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LEFT Paso del Norte Map, detail (1848). On February 2, 1848, a ‘Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement’ was signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo, thus terminating the Mexican-American War which had commenced in 1846. The war was ostensibly about securing the boundary of the recently-annexed state of Texas, but it was clear from the outset that the US President Polk’s goal was territorial expansion. Mexico had gained peace and $15 million, but eventually lost one-half history through a war that many (including Ulysses S. Grant) regarded as dishonorable. GU : ISSUE 05

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of its territory; and the US achieved the most important land grab in its


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descriptive of emerging hybrid identities, such as ‘transborder’ citizen. Many children live bi-national (or even transnational) lives in connection with cross-border schooling and family ties. In my experience, the single most common signifier of third-nation status is a self-proclaimed belief that people have more in common with one other than with citizens of their adjacent nation-states. We speak of a nation when referring to a group of people whose members voluntarily identify with others on the basis of shared history, geography, ethnicity, cultural tradition, language and alliances against external threat. The sentiment uniting the nation’s affiliates is commonly called nationalism. Many tenets underlying nationalism are nebulous and transitory—which is why nations are sometimes referred to as imagined communities—but there can be no doubt about their power and consequence. When people acquire the sovereign right to govern a territory, and that right is recognized by others, the territory is deemed to be a nation-state. A third nation is a community of interest carved out of the territories between two (or

more) existing nation-states. It occupies an ‘in-between’ space, transcending the boundary that divides its constitutive nationstates, and creating from them a hybrid identity distinct from the host countries. The third nation at the US-Mexico border is identifiable through several historical and contemporary precedents of regional autonomies that warrant the appellation. These include the nations of the prehistoric Chichimeca region between the northern Anasazi cultures in the US and the southern Aztec heartland in Mexico; the fluid mutations and adaptations of Spanish colonial rule in northern Nueva España; and the powerful, expansive empires of the nineteenth-century Comanche and Apache. Today, the Tohono O’Odham Indian Nation is bisected by the US-Mexico boundary between Arizona and Sonora, possessing an enduring sense of identity, autonomous tribal institutions and laws, and a formal territorial organization. The strategies involved in promoting third nationalism, taken together, may amount to a political movement aimed at third nationhood, i.e. progress toward territorial autonomy characteristic of a nation-state. Such strategies vary greatly over time and space, waxing and waning according to fortune and the times. Political actions advancing third nationhood may have positive and negative origins and connotations. For instance, constructive cross-border cooperation may be promoted by trade, or by the desire to overcome a shared exogenous threat; but perverse forms of integration can also result from the coalitions of international criminal networks, or from the penetration of repressive regimes into adjacent territories. Nineteenth-century German geographer Friedrich Ratzel portrayed the state as a living organism, placing great emphasis on its edges, or border, as the foundation of a state’s geographical integrity and well-being of its


MARKING THE LINE On February 2, 1848, a ‘Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement’ was signed at Guadalupe Hidalgo, terminating the Mexican-American War which began in 1846 and was regarded by many as a dishonorable action by the US. Article V of the Treaty required the designation of a “boundary line with due precision, upon authoritative maps, and to establish upon the ground landmarks which shall show the limits of both republics.”2 The line would extend from the mouth of the deepest channel of the Rio Grande (known in Mexico as the Río Bravo del Norte); up river to “the town called Paso” (present-day Ciudad Juárez); from thence overland to the Gila River, and down the channel of the Colorado River; after which it would follow the Spanish colonial division between Upper (Alta) California and Lower (Baja) California to the Pacific Ocean.

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a point 42 miles north of its true position. Disputes over the precise location for the land-water boundary were not resolved until the Treaty of 1853, known as the Gadsden Purchase in the US. After that, the long interior survey connecting Paso and California was undertaken.

The boundary survey officially began on July 6, 1849, starting with the California survey from San Diego to the Colorado River. Attention was understandably lavished on fixing the puntos iniciales of the line. The foundational marker was located one marine league south of the port of San Diego, but disagreements arose immediately because there was no standard measure for a marine league. However, the two joint boundary commissioners, Salazar and Emory, agreed to split the difference between their surveys. A location for the initial point was fixed at the shoreline west of present-day Tijuana, and a temporary monument erected. The running of the boundary line could begin.

After the completion of the California section in 1851, the commissioners turned their attention to the Rio Grande/Río Bravo and the interior surveys, both of which presented stiffer challenges to the survey teams. Most problematic was the Treaty’s specification that the land boundary west of the Rio Grande was to begin at a point eight miles north of Paso. However, the Disturnell map (appended to the Treaty) erroneously showed Paso at GU : ISSUE 05

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citizens. In this essay, my interest lies in the physicality of the border, that is, the material expressions of occupation and separation; how such expressions alter across time; and how they take on cognitive meanings that promote (or deflate) sentiments of third nationhood. My focus is on landscape and artifact in the US-Mexico borderlands, and proceeds by constructing biographies of the ancient monuments that were established to mark the international boundary line after the Mexican-American war. For over 150 years, these monuments have survived as tarnished, violated symbols of Mexico’s bitter defeat, or as neglected carcasses from the era of America’s manifest destiny. Presently, the boundary monuments are being rudely displaced in third-nation consciousness by vastly more intrusive forms of partitioning: the fortifications constructed by the US along the border since 9/11, which I refer to collectively as the Wall.1

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When the 54 boundary survey maps were signed in 1856, Emory and Salazar wrote: “these maps and views…shall be evidence of the location of the true line, and shall be the record to which all disputes…shall be referred,” and from which “there shall be no appeal or departure.” Despite this assertion, historical geographer Paula Rebert’s judgment seems more accurate: “The true boundary was the boundary marked on the ground” that she observed, and in subsequent disagreements, what was actually on the ground (including the monuments) had stronger legal claim than the maps.3 In the case of the river boundary, marked by the deepest channel in the Río Grande, as the river’s meanders fluctuated, so did the international boundary. The last major disagreement based on altered river channels —the Chamizal section between El Paso and Cuidad Juárez—was settled by international treaty in 1963, channelizing the river bed at that location. Other sections of the river remain contested.

As borderland settlements expanded during the nineteenth century, disputes over the exact location of the boundary line multiplied. A second boundary commission was established to resurvey the line, locate and rebuild the old monuments, and install additional markers as necessary along the land portion of the border. The new survey teams commenced work in 1892. They faced nothing like the hardships confronting the first, since they had the original survey documents and existing monuments as guides, and possessed superior instrumentation. Moreover, they

enjoyed the conveniences of the Southern Pacific Railway which ran just north of the border, as well as telegraphic communication. Many original monuments were difficult to find in mountainous terrain, and mistakes in the first survey meant that some monuments were incorrectly positioned. A number of stone markers had been deliberately destroyed by indigenous peoples as an expression of antipathy toward the US. Others had been dismantled for use as building materials, or moved by settlers in order to gain control over nearby land, water or mineral resources.

The resurvey work was completed relatively quickly by June 1894, increasing the number of boundary monuments from 52 to 258. The teams had discovered errors in the original survey that, if corrected, would have resulted in a net gain of over 300 square miles of territory to Mexico. Because both sides feared that new attempts to adjust the line would cause unending litigation, the anomalies were either quietly adjusted or left unchallenged. Once again, the evidence on the ground overrode concerns based in mathematical or cartographic exactitude.




For most of the 20th century, the boundary line remained loosely marked and casually observed. Outside the cities, the divide often remained unidentified and people crossed without hindrance. Then in 1945, as a harbinger of things to come, increased numbers of undocumented crossings into California caused a chain-link fence to be erected for five miles on either side of the All-American Canal at Calexico. The fence was constructed from materials that had been recycled from a former World War II internment camp. By the mid-1990s, in

The topmost profile consists of 21st century electronic surveillance apparatus; below this is the 1990s-style fencing; in the third horizon lies the monument from the late 19th century boundary resurvey; and at its base rests a concrete retaining wall that had been spray-painted with symbols of birth and death characteristic of ancient Mesoamerican cultures. For me, this singular site became emblematic of centuries of merging borderland occupation and identity.

response to chaotic waves of undocumented migration from Mexico, the US began erecting large fences facing major border cities such as Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez. They were constructed from metal plates that had originally been manufactured to serve as temporary landing mats for aircraft during the war in Vietnam, and recycled by turning the panels upright and clipping them together to form a fence. Following the fateful attacks of 9/11, the US unilaterally adopted a program of fortifying its entire southern border. Almost 700 miles of new fencing were constructed along the land boundary at a cost of over $2 billion. The new barriers are policed by a much-expanded US Border Patrol and bolstered by a ‘virtual border’ of high-tech surveillance. These unprecedented fortifications threaten the connections among third nation communities. Yet cross-border trade continues to grow, and new and expanded border crossings are being opened. Border dwellers have so far demonstrated remarkable durability and adaptability based in generations of coexistence.

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The monument site is also a memory tablet. When I revisited 122A five years later, the border violence associated with drug cartels was a heavy presence in the city, and the Mesoamerican iconography had been overwritten by an image of Santa Muerta, the patron saint of death. Still later, in 2014, the image had again been replaced, this time by a plaintive memorial commemorating the unsolved killing of Juan Elena Rodriguez, a teenager shot in the back several times through the fence by a US Border Patrol agent. Along streets on both sides of the border, signs were posted seeking justice for the boy’s death.

THIRD NATION PSYCHOGEOGRAPHIES The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo designated several tasks essential to the realization and ongoing maintenance of the international boundary: the allocation of territory, specifications for the survey and demarcation of the line, and protocols pertaining to matters of future administration. The material landscapes that emerged from construction of the line thereafter influenced the emergent ‘mental maps’ (or ‘psychogeographies’) of residents in the new borderlands. At the site of monument 122A on the Avenida Internacional, in Sonora in 2003, a fortuitous vertical stacking of boundary infrastructure recalls the ‘deep archeology‘ of the line. GU : ISSUE 05

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After the 1892-94 resurvey, additions to the monument inventory were few. Around the turn of the century, a further 18 were erected to “more perfectly mark” the line in congested towns, on new rail bridges, or to repair damage. With the completion of 276 monuments, the official monumentation program ended. Both countries agreed that any further delimitation would consist of smaller ‘markers’ (monojeras) of concrete. By 1975, another 442 markers had been added, principally in and around the sprawling border towns; another 51 were added in 1984.

These fluid reincarnations at a single monument over a single decade are symptomatic of altered identities and affiliations that characterized the border even before its inception. For instance, early in the 19th century, the open territory bristled with diverse nationalities, including Spanishspeaking frontier dwellers, nomadic and sedentary Native Americans and recentlyarrived Anglo Americans. Historian Andrés Reséndez encapsulates the speed of transformation: “Scores of Mexican-Texans went from Spanish subjects, to Mexican citizens, to Texans, and wound up as Americans, in the short span of a lifetime.”4 Even after Mexico’s independence from Spain

in 1821 and her loss in 1848, border dwellers continued looking northward to the US for their livelihoods.

Once the 1848 boundary line was in place, the frontier spaces that the Spaniards had never completely subdued became border places where Mexico and the US sought to secure the newly-defined territorial limits of their nations. A strategy of urban and economic development was adopted by both sides as the means for modernization and securitization. On the Mexican side, for example, the settlement of Nuevo Laredo was established across from Laredo, Texas, by people preferring to live under the Mexican flag; other Mexicans moved north to live under US jurisdiction. Borderland nationalisms in these new territories were hardly heroic struggles between two well-established nationalist ideologies; instead, they were hybrid constructs forged by people on the ground, making idiosyncratic choices based upon personal preferences or happenstance. For decades after the 1848 Treaty, the borderlands remained in turmoil. Large-scale violence finally subsided only after the ‘Indian


problem,’ the US Civil War, and the Mexican Revolution had been settled. During the upward turn in post-World War I economies, the flow of Mexican migrants into the US became increasingly unmanageable, and was instrumental in the creation of the US Border Patrol in 1924. This was the moment when the international boundary was no longer a permeable border, and still less an open frontier, but instead emerged as a specific line of partition (la línea) with a dedicated police force responsible for its enforcement. The line precisely marked the point of transition where an individual would become ‘illegal’—a status based in geopolitical difference, subject to punitive legal consequences.

to Mexico. For a while, the Bracero and Wetback programs in the US operated at cross purposes, simultaneously promoting immigration while casting out migrants. When the Bracero program was officially terminated in 1960, Mexican border towns were clogged with returning workers. In response, the Mexican government introduced a Border Industrialization Program in 1965, giving impetus to the maquiladora industry by relaxing trade restrictions to encourage the establishment of assembly plants for U.S. manufacturers across the border line in Mexico, where labor costs were lower. The ensuing prosperity brought population growth, and by 1980 many border towns had been transformed into large, closely-linked ‘twin cities.’ Today, the US-Mexico borderlands are among the fastest-growing regions in both countries, especially since the 1994 North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) accelerated trade connections between the two countries. The growing material wealth of Mexico’s northern states intensified borderlanders’ independent outlook and their proclivity

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As a consequence of World War II, a shortage of labor in the US led to the 1942 ‘Bracero’ program which issued identity cards to Mexican nationals wishing to work in el norte. By 1960, over four million workers had participated in the program. But the postwar need to absorb returning troops led to a backlash against bracero workers, culminating in ‘Operation Wetback’ in 1953-54, when thousands of workers were returned

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to nurture connections with the US. The north’s transborder outlook is constitutive of a third nation mentality that extends beyond the border zone. I often heard it said that if the international boundary was relocated 20 miles further north, hardly anyone would notice (some US border towns are over 90% people of Mexican origin). Carlos Monsiváis labeled this altered national consciousness as la frontera portátil, or ‘portable border,’ —a constant awareness of the possibility of crossing over engendering a hybridized border consciousness that is inescapably part of who we are.

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Of course, all is not well at the US-Mexico border. Undocumented immigration, drug and human trafficking, and national security remain volatile geopolitical issues. The closure of our southern border may herald a new isolationist psychogeography—a fortress mentality— in the US, just as the penetration of cartel influence deep into Mexican society may presage the emergence of a narcodemocracy. In 2011, I revisited El Paso-Ciudad Juárez after

most of the fortifications had been completed. Accustomed by now to the Wall’s shadows, I was taken aback to discover a complete absence of fences or barriers in the vicinity of Monument 1, where the land boundary meets the Río Bravo. Here, the border line is marked only by a shallow earthen berm topped off with a sign announcing the international boundary. The ambience during my visit that day was relaxed, and communication across the line was as easy as breathing.

DESIGN FOR A THIRD NATION I have been concerned to extend my understanding of the creation and maintenance of third nation psychogeographies among borderland citizens. The principal foci of my inquiry were the boundary monuments that have marked the US-MX border since 1848, and my goal was to develop biographies of the Wall over time and space, from inception to the present day. The historical narrative began with the monuments as representations of US victory and Mexican defeat, and ended with their forgetting and enclosure in a landscape that is overwhelmed by fortification, regulation and geopolitical hostility. My method of inquiry has been principally to explore new formulations and visualizations of the monuments, anticipating that such re-representations may offer altered ways of understanding, and new directions for design practice. I regard this approach as experimental, and some tentative assessment may be helpful. In substantive terms, a series of psychogeographies emerged from my focus on border people’s perceptions, suggesting how the history and geography of border communities may be recast. Divergent and fluid forms of third-nation communities were uncovered, as well as the persistence of established traditions. The visualization/


The transdisciplinary method employed in this study, based on reconstituted visualizations and biographies of geopolitical objects, emerged as an heuristic device that stimulated the cultivation of new ways of seeing. Prior to writing this essay, my border experiences had already shifted from a focus on drugs, national security and immigration to the third nation as a foundation for borderland prosperity, security and peace. My interest in psychogeographies of the border derived from the desire to explain how conventional geopolitical concerns (partition and sovereignty) had been usurped by third nation imperatives reflecting connectivity and continuity. The primary visualization imagined the imagined community of third-nation citizens, adding substance to cognitive notions of hybridity, identity and affiliation. The role of human agency through time and space was displayed prominently throughout the foldout through cartography, chart, artwork, photograph, newspaper, treaty, game card, architectural drawing and survey documents. The existence of a resilient third nation should stimulate new practice among design professionals who have the capacity to promote (or hinder) its well-being.5 I have met borderland children on both sides who know nothing about the monuments in their streets, and teenagers who cannot recall a childhood before the Wall was built or before the nightmare of cartel violence descended upon their communities. Encouraging border youth

on both sides to celebrate the monuments as symbols of shared history, to recover the recent history of lives across the line, and to imagine and realize life without a Wall are worthy design challenges.6

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ENDNOTES * Circled, handwritten numbers throughout the text refer to zones of the foldout illustration. 1 Complete documentation regarding the sources and conduct of inquiry supporting this essay is available in Dear, Michael (2015, expanded paperback edition) Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the US-Mexico Divide. (New York: Oxford University Press). 2 Griswold del Castillo, Richard (1990) The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press) 188. 3 Rebert, Paula. (2001) La Gran Línea: Mapping the United States-Mexico Boundary, 1849-1857. (Austin: University of Texas Press) 191. 4 Reséndez, Andrés. (2005) Changing National Identities at the Frontier: Texas and New Mexico, 1800-1850. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 2. 5 The challenges of undertaking transdisciplinary work at the intersection of the humanities and environmental design are concisely examined in Dear, Michael (2015) Practicing Geohumanities. GeoHumanities, 1(1): 20–35. An introduction to the emerging field of GeoHumanities may be found in Dear, Michael, J. Ketchum, S. Luria, and D. Richardson (eds) 2011. GeoHumanities: Art, history, text at the edge of place. (London and New York: Routledge). 6 This investigation has been funded in part by the Mellon Foundation under the auspices of the Global Urban Humanities project at UC Berkeley (GLOUH): http://globalurbanhumanities.berkeley.edu/about/ced.berkeley. edu. Special thanks to Michelle Hook, Stephanie Lin, and Story Wiggins for their insightful collaboration; to Richard Hindle and Marc Treib for conversations; and to the inspiring graphics in Richard McGuire’s book, Here (2014, New York: Pantheon Books). DEAR

foldout incorporated many diverse evidences based in text, image and map that elevated the prominence of place in borderland lives, especially the importance of what is present on the ground. It also highlighted the extent to which the Wall is a stark aberration in the history and prehistory of the territory that became an international boundary line. Despite the belligerent crudeness of the Wall’s massive interruption, the third nation endures.

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SCALE the line, urban infrastructure, miniature landscapes, ephemeral

TINY TR AFFIC CONES

ISABELLE SMEALL

Traffic cones create paths through cities, drawing attention to temporary dangers and suggesting safe detours. They try to tell us where to look and where to walk. But their prevalence can diminish their power, and they are often ignored and forgotten, exasperated workers trying desperately to catch our attention. These tiny clay traffic cones, abandoned on the streets of San Francisco, still attempt to draw the gaze of passers-by, but the scale of their concerns has shifted. They have been freed from the burden of protection and can focus instead on the small surprises that occupy the same sidewalks as the hazards marked by their larger counterparts.

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Traffic Cones, polymer clay and paint. Shown at actual size.


SMEALL

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12

MANHAT TAN’S GEOLOGIC DELINEATIONS

DISSECT the line, geology, forms of representation, deep section, scales

TIAGO TORRES CAMPOS

One of the most intriguing qualities of Lebbeus Woods’ Lower Manhattan is its power to invoke a subliminal depiction of New York City. The image, produced in 1999, reveals an aerial view of the island with the East and the Hudson Rivers both dammed, inviting the beholder to look into an unfathomable abyss with a sudden desire to see what one cannot see (fig. 1).1 With Lower Manhattan, Woods proposes to reconcile the city of New York with the bedrock on which it laid its foundations. Departing from the idea that “the old scale of Manhattan is that of the skyscraper,”2 the experimental architect redefines scale with respect to the relationship between the city—those “small human scratchings on the surface of the Earth”3—and the planet itself. Woods was less interested in the accuracy of geologic representation than in providing its geologic context within deep space and deep time, while also emphasizing that such an intrepid action must take place between precision and contingency.

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In his essay Episodes from a History of Scalelessness, the researcher Adam Bobbette investigates the history of scale, and the lack thereof, in literature, photography and geology, by examining a series of photographs taken in 1886 by the British geologist and photographer William Jerome Harrison.4 Bobbette’s interest in the series does not lie in any particular geologic or photographic quality of the images, but rather on the limits they expose: the spatial and temporal vastness of geology, the technical and technological limits of emerging photographic activities and the limits of precision challenged by the bridge that Harrison erects between the two. FIG. 2 Pinnacle of chalk embedded in drift, William Jerome Harrison, 1886. Source: Bobbette in Architecture in the Anthropocene

Harrison’s geological photographs reveal the texture, volume or expression of rocks. Very often, there are smaller, everyday objects such as coins, rulers or bags meticulously arranged in the photographic composition to act as scale


FIG. 1 Lower Manhattan, Lebbeus Woods, 1999


devices. Due to the availability of better equipment, Harrison’s close-ups were so detailed that ghostly human figures could no longer inhabit them. With the human figure outside the frame, these recognizable objects became fundamental to giving the geologic impressions a sense of scale; without them, the rocks could be easily confounded with much bigger—or much smaller—geological assemblages, such as mountains or pebbles (fig. 2).

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Woods’ Lower Manhattan parallels some of Harrison’s photographs in its relation to scale, and by deliberately fossilizing the cityscape within the bedrock. Although the distinction between fossil and rock remains clear in Harrison’s written work, his geological impressions reveal more complex relationships between figure and ground: fossils are figure when the rock is ground, but fossils become ground when the figure of an everyday object leans on them. Backgrounds are broken to allow comparisons with the foreground, and even scale devices gain fossilized contours and seem to be embedded in the rock.5 In Lower Manhattan the city, like a magnifying lens, sharpens the bedrock and brings it into the foreground. However, Harrison’s everyday objects do not necessarily resolve the scale of the rocks. Instead, they complicate “relations among scales,” not by dissolving the constructions of time and space but by revealing an “accumulation of fossilized impressions expanding in space and time.”6 A similar miseen-scène emanates from Lower Manhattan, a representation in which a whole city, a whole bedrock and a whole planet intersect and coalesce with one another, like fossilized impressions expanding in space and time. Imagine a deep section cutting across the island from the tip of the tallest skyscraper, descending all the way through the building’s

entrance at street level and through the underground foundations until it hits the rock. Imagine that the deep section cuts even further, passing through the folded and deformed layers of schist, marble and gneiss that support the island. In the words of Lebbeus Woods in his 2012 Epilogue to Lower Manhattan, “Once we begin to consider what lies below Manhattan, it is hard to know where to stop” (fig. 3).7 Even without offering an accurate representation of the rock, the deep section encourages us to consider a recalibration of the city. By puncturing through the unfathomable abyss, it reveals Manhattan’s geological scales while raising a cognitive challenge to its perceived limits and to our own limitations as humans. My endeavor is to translate the deep section into a model—a device to test new relations among scales, following Harrison’s photographic work.8 With this threedimensional kinetic tool, I aim to illustrate the fossilized accumulations of city, soil and rock that put into evidence New York City as a Geologic Force, as postulated by Ellsworth and Kruse.9 I attempt to translate the incommensurable geologic change of Manhattan taking place across deep time and space into our own amenable temporal and spatial scales (fig. 5a). The deep section, transformed into a threedimensional speculative device, also acquires meaningful architectural properties. With its extruded layers of rock, soil, city and parks, the device not only models existing ecologies of scale with distinct spatial and temporal depths, but also inaugurates its own spatial and temporal relations defined by materiality, weight and performance of the apparatus. Perhaps one of the device’s most important formulations is implicit rather than explicit.


FIG. 3 Manhattan’s Deep Section, (2014)

The device performs through successive actions that recalibrate the island, mainly by forging operations to translate relations of proximity, distortion, rotation, fracture or partition into a three-dimensional representation. The faults exist implicitly as gaps, singularities or geometric distortions, but also as possibilities for change (fig. 4).

Though it may be clear how the device operates as an immersive experimental method to test new geologic boundaries in and of Manhattan, two things remain unclear: the meaning and implications of creating such a device, and its potential implications for representations of the island. In Epilogue to Lower Manhattan, Lebbeus Woods shares a few of his preoccupations with the meaning of contextualizing Manhattan as geologic. Although the movement of tectonic plates could take millions of years before becoming humanly detectable, the architect explains that the mere awareness of moving rock—and therefore a moving city—may be enough to change our way of understanding GU : ISSUE 05

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Although extruded, the distinct layers form assemblages following principles of dominance, size and scale. They are made visible by combined mechanisms of finetuning that mimic rules and dominant geometries of movement of the tectonic faults—a method with its own additional architectural properties (fig. 5b).


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FIG. 4 Investigative device synthesizing imperceptible spatial changes with incommensurable temporal changes (2015)

and inhabiting the planet, and could certainly change our position and plans for the future. Within the thirteen years that separate Lower Manhattan from its epilogue, Woods’ architectural discourse evolved to define the tectonic movements of the entire planet. In this concept, cities become rafts adrift in an underground sea of semi-liquid rock, and they move, “slowly but surely” (fig. 6).10 If the delineation of the city as figure against the rocky ground was already difficult to draw in the Anthropocene epoch, where humans are recognized as a dominant geologic force in a dynamic planet, we need to consider new ways to imagine scale—or to create

new scale devices altogether—in order to build up “new layers of cultural meaning and aesthetic sensation.”11 The geologic allows us to experiment upon our figurations of space, time and change. Contemporary artists, writers, architects and philosophers are increasingly aware of the need to aesthetically represent what emanates from the geologic. Where Lebbeus Woods succeeded in pushing its representation by expanding the city as fossilized impressions in space and time, we now ought, like Harrison through photography, to represent the human as a geologic force by accumulating those impressions in meaningful ways.


ENDNOTES 1 Lower Manhattan was first published as a manifesto in the issue 384 of the Italian magazine Abitare in May, 1999. 2 Woods, Lebbeus. “Without Walls: An Interview with Lebbeus Woods,” interviewed by G. Manaugh. BLDG BLOG, 3 October 2007. 3 Ibid. 4 Bobbette, Adam. “Episodes from a History of Scalelessness,” in Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy, ed. E. Turpin (Michigan: Open Humanities University Press, 2013), 47-58. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid. 7 Woods, Lebbeus. Lower Manhattan Revisited. 3/8/2012. Web. 2/19/2014. <https://lebbeuswoods.wordpress.com> 8 This device is part of my speculative work developed for the city of New York within the scope of my Ph.D. in Architecture by Design. 9 Ellsworth, E. and J. Kruse. New York as a Geologic Force: A Field Guide to the GeoArchitecture of New York. New York: Smudge Studio, 2011. 10 Woods, Lower Manhattan Revisited. 11 Ellsworth and Kruse, Making the Geologic Now.

FIG. 5 (A/B) Studies of the deep section as a device to test relations among scales (2015)

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FIG. 6 Composite representation of New York (2015) GU : ISSUE 05


SATELLITE

SATELLITE

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13 MEANS + MIGR ATIONS

h’

h

ELIZABETH YARINA

DORIS BEACON

E RFAC

SU SEA

SEA

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SHIFT the line, mean sea level, climate change, political boundaries

ABOVE Satellite Altimeter Positioning System. Drawing by the author, based on data from Sandwell et al. (2014)

OCEAN OR

FLO

CRUST

Mean sea level is a geo-scientific-political tool that provides a conceptual datum for a substance that is inherently fluid: the ocean. This tool foretells forms and flows of occupation as humans adapt to the ocean’s evolving topography. Historically, migration patterns associated with climatic changes were unbounded (or at least less bounded) by hard geopolitical lines. When one atoll in the South Pacific suffered a storm surge or lost its freshwater source, islanders would easily mobilize to another.1 Increasingly rapid changes in mean sea level and the associated impacts on global water cycles require new means of migration across predefined borders. Flows of populations away from zones of climate-related risks toward areas of safety establish new poles of migration. A changing climate defines new territories created by ice-melt and questions existing boundaries.


Mean sea level, along with most global-scale oceanic properties, is measured from the outer atmosphere. Beginning with Seasat in 1977, satellites have generated a vast repository of data about the Earth, including surface temperature, topography, salinity, the height and spectra of waves, surface wind speed and direction, ocean color, continental and sea ice extent, ocean mass, and surface currents.2 While it is difficult for satellites to penetrate the depths of the ocean, surficial conditions can provide information about what is happening below. Variations in sea level provide insights about ocean floor topography.

“The rise in the level of the oceans is far from uniform. In fact, while in certain ocean regions the sea level has indeed risen (by up to 20 millimeters a year in places), in others it has fallen an equivalent amount.”3

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ABOVE AND BELOW Topex/Poseidon Tracks. Drawing by the author, based on data from IMOS (Integrated Marine Observing System) (2014)

YARINA

Sea level and its deviation from Mean Sea Level (MSL, a global average) are established through satellite altimetry. The first satellite altimeter was Topex/Poseidon, a joint collaboration between the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The data collected in their first cycle in 1992 corresponded with prior data collected at the ocean surface level, but with a great increase in speed and accuracy. Topex/Poseidon’s tenday circulation about the Earth tracked from 66 degrees north to 66 degrees south, thus covering all but 10% of the ocean’s area.

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Their successor, Jason-1, was introduced in 2001 midway between Topex/Poseidon’s tracks, doubling the resolution of data collection. Though Topex/Poseidon was decommissioned in 2005, there are currently four satellite altimeters in orbit, operated by more than as many national sea and space agencies, and seven new satellite altimetry deployments are planned for the next decade.4 AVISO, the representation and data arm of CNES, annually outputs maps showing current sea level and ongoing trends. These maps clearly show that sea level is not, in fact, level. Levels at any given moment, and rates of change over time, vary according to regional and global processes, including currents, ice melt and the gravitational force of the Earth and moon. AVISO’s maps contribute to knowledge on the complex connections between long-term climatic patterns, global tides, and perhaps most importantly, global sea level rise. Comparison of the 2012 map to prior iterations demonstrates a two-inch increase in MSL since 1993. This increase is due to factors including glacial melt and the thermal expansion of water with rising temperatures.5 In the composite map above, the 2012 outline shows the effect of La Niña in the Pacific with a rising sea level in the western tropics. It additionally demonstrates the effect of the Decadal Pacific Oscillation, a pattern of

ABOVE Overlay of Topex/Poseidon’s sea level data with historical in-situ data collected over the prior century. Compiled by the author (2014) BELOW LEFT Atoll out-migration. Drawing by author, based on data from multiple sources (2014) BELOW RIGHT Thawing Coastlines: Northward Opportunities. Drawing by the author, based on data from Valsson (2014)


MSL is not only an index of a changing climate but also of patterns of habitation and migration. The redistribution of global waters caused by a changing climate has impacts on local geographies and livelihoods, ultimately resulting in the redistribution of human populations. The atoll nations of the South Pacific are especially attuned to these changes and associated risks. Measurements taken at the atoll of Funafuti in Tuvalu indicate that sea level there is rising at more than double the rate of the global average, over five millimeters per year.6 Atmospheric and oceanographic factors contribute to this anomaly; trade winds, produced by the

Earth’s rotation, concentrate water toward the equator, and subsidence of the area’s tectonic plates lowers the South Pacific atoll states with respect to the rising seas. A rise of a few meters could eliminate several nations completely, requiring massive migration strategies. Historically, atoll-dwellers lived a mobile life, easily re-locating to another island if resources became scarce or land uninhabitable.7 Now, the territorialization of the South Pacific creates barriers to mobility and funnels migrants through particular routes related to political alliances and associations. Atoll states without ties to high-ground nations have already begun to negotiate land purchases and migration agreements with larger and higher nearby islands.

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warm or cool surfaces temperatures, on the northern coasts of North America and China. This map shows the highest MSL to date, irrespective of weather patterns.

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The rising of South Pacific seas is inherently linked to the thawing of Arctic polar regions. Previously uninhabitable or undesirable locations in and near the Arctic Circle are thawing out, creating new potential zones for development. Resources hidden below ice caps and permafrost are also becoming accessible. Complex systems of ownership in this zone will be further complicated as new shipping routes, oil reserves and developable lands are exposed. As areas like the South

Pacific become less habitable from processes associated with sea level rise and climate change, the Arctic region may become a magnet for migrants seeking new ground. Changes to global climatic processes result in the redistribution of water throughout the planet, such that some regions are drowning, others are thawing and still more are drying out. The Sahel region in West Africa is coping with severe drought conflated by

Lake Chad, a large freshwater lake formerly spanning four Sahel nations, has been reduced to 10% of its original size in the last five decades.

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ongoing land degradation and local conflict. Lake Chad, a large freshwater lake formerly spanning four Sahel nations, has been reduced to 10% of its original size in the last five decades, and no longer reaches Niger or Nigeria. Farmers from the area are beginning to mobilize, both within the region and internationally. Malta serves as a landing point for North African refugees attempting to cross into Europe, but restrictions prevent these migrants from entering the EU. Over 2% of Maltese residents are actually African migrants living in limbo.8 Further west, refugees attempt to land on Spanish soil through the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta or Melilla, adjacent to Morocco and Algiers respectively. Here, Africans can enter the EU without leaving the African subcontinent.


Mean sea level is a tool by which we can index broader processes associated with global climate change. Climatic shifts associated with changes in MSL defy the borders and regions established by modern nation-states. The redistribution of water throughout the planet will necessitate a redistribution of vulnerable populations. This will require a reconsideration of geographically arbitrary boundaries and a reconceptualization of borders and migrations. New climatological territories, established by the migration of water and people studied here, will require a re-framing of the means by which we inhabit places and migrate between them. This research was originally developed in the course ‘Oceanic Turn’ with Associate Professor Pierre Belanger at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

ENDNOTES 1 Connell, John. “Population, migration, and problems of atoll development in the South Pacific.” Pacific Studies. 9.2 (1986): 41. 2

Surface currents are only measured extensively in coastal areas. Freeman, A. “Ocean measurements from space in 2025.”Oceanography in 2025: Proceedings of a Workshop. National Academies Press (2009): 92.

The redistribution of water throughout the planet will necessitate a redistribution of vulnerable populations.

3 AVISO. “Mean sea level rise and the Greenhouse effect.” N.D. Web. Dec 2015. <http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/applications/ocean/meansea-level-greenhouse-effect/print.html> 4 AVISO. “Topex/Poseidon Orbits.” N.D. Web. Dec 2015. <http://www.aviso. altimetry.fr/en/missions/past-missions/topexposeidon/orbits.html> 5 Subsidence/uplift, the depletion of freshwater aquifers, changing salinity levels and global decadal weather patterns also contribute to changes in MSL.

7 Connell, John. “Population, migration, and problems of atoll development in the South Pacific.” Pacific Studies. 9.2 (1986): 41. 8 Lutterbeck, Derek. “Small frontier island: Malta and the challenge of irregular immigration.” Mediterranean Quarterly. 20.1 (2009): 119-144.

ABOVE LEFT Satellite image of Ceuta, NASA (2007) ABOVE RIGHT Sahel Rising. Drawing by the author, based on data from multiple sources (2014) LEFT The Disappearance of Lake Chad in Africa, 1963 - 2010. Drawing by the author, based on data from NASA (2010) GU : ISSUE 05

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6 “Sea Change.” The Economist. Aug 2013. <http://www.economist.com/ news/asia/21584396-gathering-pacific-leaders-worries-about-climatechange-sea-change>


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ROUTE FIT TKO

KARL KULLMANN

TR ACING WALTER B ENJAMIN’S PATH OF NO RE TURN

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WALK the line, cartography, borders, horizon, memorial, tunnels

1. Tunnels present us with a dilemma. By definition, a tunnel supplies a shortcut between two locations separated by an obstacle. While these obstacles are typically geomorphic, tunnels are also likely to circumvent socio-economic rifts within cities, or geopolitical frontiers between nation-states. The tunnel allows us to defy gravity and to evade situations above ground that inconvenience or challenge us. Even the most inconspicuous tunnel acts like a wormhole as it compresses time and space and brings the distant close to hand. But this convenience comes at a price. Whereas surface paths are readily traversed for the experience of their own meandering enjoyment, tunnels always imply a dangerous passage, a high-risk venture undertaken for the reward of the


When exiting a tunnel, we are abruptly confronted with new conditions on the other side. As our night-eyes readapt to the sunlight, we scramble to re-assimilate our cognitive maps with our cartographic ones. As anyone who has exited an unfamiliar subway knows, we are vulnerable in this disorientated state to all manner of threats that stand between our onward passage and us. Moreover, since tunnels are inherently unidirectional, those who congregate around our point of exit may seek to make the reverse journey. This impulse—coupled with the sheer effort required to bore a tunnel through rock and space/time—means that to retain potency, tunnels must be conceived and controlled with discipline. When these filters break down and a tunnel is inundated, the fates of the territories at each end are irrevocably entangled. 2. In 1940, Walter Benjamin encountered a tunnel when escaping occupied Europe for the comparative safety of Franco’s ‘non-belligerent’ Spain and, eventually, America. Set at the Mediterranean toe of the Pyrenees, this particular tunnel served a dual geomorphic and geopolitical purpose: to bore through the foothill shales and to forge a direct conduit between France and Spain. At each end of the tunnel, the paired bureaucratic border towns of Cerbère and Portbou were intensified by elaborate infrastructures for switching trains between the Iberian and Standard railroad gauges. Within this microcosm, the stone tunnel remained,

for the time being, under the vigilant control of the Spanish and Vichy border guards. Divested of the full complement of required documents, Benjamin was permitted to exit this tunnel in Spain, but not to enter it in France. Presented with this Hobson’s choice, he chose the high path over the Pyrenees. Escaping over the mountains was not without peril; near the more popular and less physically demanding coastal routes, the ridgeline-border swarmed with Gardes Mobiles ready to capture fleeing refugees. Evading this fate necessitated traversing much higher and less guarded ground. Benjamin was guided along this high route by the resistance passeur Lisa Fittko, who in turn followed a rudimentary map sketched by the sympathetic mayor of Banyuls-sur-Mer. In places barely formed, the old smuggler’s path had previously been used in the reverse direction to evacuate Republican Army troops into exile at the end of the Spanish Civil War.

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In these conduits, our bodies are often restricted and contorted in uncomfortable and claustrophobic ways—we associate tunnels with hunching, crawling, tripping and bumping in the darkness. Mingling silently with the vineyard workers under the cover of pre-dawn darkness, the route ushered its human cargo up into the hills above Banyuls-sur-Mer. The rapidly contorted switchbacks of the initial stages of the path cartographically delineate the evasive maneuvers taken by those who sought its freedom. Higher up, the route levels out and tracks stealthily below the ridgeline, just out of sight of the border patrols. After crossing the frontier at Coll del Suro (elevation 2,000-feet), the path contours around the valley before dropping down and following the valley floor to reach Portbou by late afternoon. GU : ISSUE 05

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ends and not the experience of the means. In these conduits, our bodies are often restricted and contorted in uncomfortable and claustrophobic ways—we associate tunnels with hunching, crawling, tripping and bumping in the darkness. Even the transportation capsules designed to insulate us from the experience of tunnel traversal are exposed in all their fragility when something goes wrong.


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After parting ways with Fittko near the border, Benjamin and his briefcase did make it down to Portbou. But in a cruel bureaucratic miscommunication, stateless apatrides with entry papers to Spain—but without exit papers from France—were, for a brief window in time, to be returned from whence they came. The rail tunnel that a day earlier Benjamin could exit but not enter was now inversed, with its inescapable entrance disgorging into a landscape of annihilation. As history records, Benjamin’s body was discovered in his cheap Portbou hotel room the next morning. The contents of the briefcase—which Fittko recalls contained a manuscript more important to Benjamin than his life—were never recovered. 3. From the unmarked grave, mislaid body and lost manuscript of an unknown and penniless intellectual, Benjamin became posthumously influential. Following Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt’s introduction of his extant work to German and American readers, respectively, Benjamin’s narrative and celebrity rose to the lofty status of memorialization. While Benjamin’s life is commemorated in several locations, it is the memorial at Portbou by Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan that most embodies Benjamin’s

journey. Situated just out of town at the entrance to the cemetery where Benjamin is interred, Passages comprises a 100-foot long weathered steel tunnel that descends through the headland before terminating precariously out over the sea below. Like most axial tunnels, the entrance portal reveals little about the price or reward of entry. At Vaux-le-Vicomte, André Le Nôtre shrewdly exploited this ambivalence by contriving the grand axis as a tunnel that lures the visitor away from the palace. But instead of presenting a worthy revelation at its conclusion, the axis terminates with a strategic retreat into the shadows. At this juncture, the visitor’s attention is rotated around for the rhetorical revelation of an overview of the palace itself. Like Vaux-le-Vicomte, Passages’ axis is also a lure, enticing the curious down its stairs toward a diminutive promise of the sea. But about three-fifths of the way down— like passing over the pivot on a seesaw—the experience starts to destabilize.

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The rail tunnel that a day earlier Benjamin could exit but not enter was now inversed, with its inescapable entrance disgorging into a landscape of annihilation. Momentarily caught in this position, the promise of a conduit to the sea is withheld. Turning around, the point of origin is now substituted with framed sky. In between, the world tilts up at an impossible angle, the water is replaced by atmosphere, and the weather resembling the tides. Somehow simultaneously below and above ground, we lose the horizon as an orienting datum and begin to take leave of our senses. Left suspended vulnerably off the cliff, we entertain our own private vertigo. GU : ISSUE 05

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As Fittko recounts in her memoirs, the journey presented an immense challenge to Benjamin’s cerebral constitution. Cognizant of the task ahead, he gauged the amount of energy needed for the journey and expended it in calculated amounts. This self-pacing extended to their initial reconnaissance, where he insisted on sleeping alone and exposed on the ground rather than returning to the village and repeating the first third of the journey over. Even so, as Fittko’s small party of émigrés scrambled between boulders and up vineyard terraces, Benjamin’s fading energy budget was tested to its limits. The heavy black briefcase that he hauled along the route only compounded an already demanding traverse.


We might imagine that this unbalancing catapults us from the tunnel like Benjamin’s Angelus Novus; face turned to the past, wings flung back in the storm of history. The reality, however, is far less furious as we tentatively retrace our steps and emerge back out through the portal. Here in the daylight— released from the tunnel’s constructed horizon—we rush to re-establish our bearings by locking back onto the real horizon that lies out across the Mediterranean Sea. In a fleeting moment of transfer between the two, neither horizon predominates. In this instant, our fragile sensing apparatus is primed for recalibrating the horizon’s terms of engagement. Insofar as we customarily perceive the future as being dispensed ‘over the horizon,’ we are habituated to the real horizon’s elusive delineation of time and space. But while momentarily untethered, we dare to disregard time as a linear and receding chain of events. 74

In short time—with our eyes re-adapted to the daylight and bodily gyroscopes re-assimilated to the real horizon—we are ready to continue onward with our journey. A tunnel that initially appeared as a shortcut turned out to be a detour. But somehow we can’t just casually compartmentalize the experience; like the caged fox that decides it is free while the rest of the world is incarcerated, are we actually still in the tunnel without comprehending it? 4. It was tunneling at a global scale that thrust Benjamin to Portbou in the first place. The mass ballistics of total war fundamentally warped spatial relations, as aerial bombers leapfrogged the middle ground to almost instantly apply their distant force onto the local milieu. Here, the cardinal conventions of left/right and up/down became redundant, as peril was more likely to materialize from over the North Pole or under the Atlantic Ocean, than to respect the latitudinal bias of the Cartesian map.


In Fluid Geography, Buckminster Fuller captures this transformation, noting that, “The world has been surprising itself by coming in its own back doors and down its own chimneys from every unlooked-for direction.” Fuller concludes that this new spatial and temporal order requires novel cartographic methods for “peeling data off the globe and for assembling the peelings in such a manner as to gain useful knowledge of the spherical coursings.” In the absence of Fuller’s ‘one continent’ Dymaxion map (which would not be disseminated for another decade) refugees were stuck with obsolete Mercator projections of the world; static maps that still assumed north was up and the ground was beneath their feet. Today, with the convenience of handheld geo-positioning devices, we are habituated to making and remaking our own individual maps in any way we wish. But in 1940, a self-made map was an act of subterfuge; falling under the wrong eyes, sketch maps like the one drawn by the mayor and carried by Fittko were likely to prove perilous for their handler. In the war of maps, only one was meant to prevail.

The fertile liminal zone of the ‘borderland’ has been almost entirely expunged, as the global map is zippered shut. To circumvent these impregnable edifices, today Benjamin’s passage takes the form of a listing vessel on the Mediterranean or Timor Seas, a refrigerated truck across the Steppe, a long walk through the Balkans, a perilous fording of the Darien Gap, or a desperate dash over the Rio Grande. As new tunnels open up on a massive scale, the Dymaxion world map is once more deconstructed, rotated and re-composited. To trace Fittko’s Route in this context is to discover the difficulty in distinguishing a path from a tunnel—they are, in effect, one and the same. Drawings and photographs by Karl Kullmann.

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KULLMANN

In the postwar Dymaxion world order, continents teamed up, and many borders were dismantled. After the Cold War, even the most intransient walls and fences dividing cities and nations fell, and for a time a fluid interconnected world appeared to be a geographical—as well as digital—reality. The hibernated border bureaucracies of Portbou and Cerbère echoed this order; with undefended tunnels and no documents to validate, both towns devolved into rail sidings and seaside resorts. But outside of this bubble, borderless tranquility is illusory; passage remains highly selective overall, with more miles of urban walls and fortified and surveilled frontiers in the world now than at any time in the history of nation states. GU : ISSUE 05


SACRAMENTO SAN JOAQUIN R I V E R D E LTA

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B AY AREA LOS ANGELES


CALIFORNIA WATER LINES

JUXTAPOSE the line, political jurisdictions, water, data mapping, wetlands

JANET TORRES with Kathleen O’Leary

Underlying the fabric of human society are invisible lines that mark the boundaries of natural and political systems. They rarely spatially coincide in their entirety, and this spatial conflict generates complexity and contention in the management of a sustainable system under changing global conditions. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the management of water resources, where political battles are waged to gain jurisdiction over waters that are naturally demarcated. Districts of human construction, often conceived outside physical and ecological considerations, create groups polarized along socio-political lines. This tension becomes critical during periods of high variability in natural conditions, as the political lines are tested along natural ones. However, the collaborative arrangements of political boundaries across natural ones increase a system’s resilience to disruption by facilitating feedback between the environment and those inhabiting it. Public administration theory suggests that we view boundaries as points of interactions, not barriers.1 In a time when sustainability is at the forefront of public management, it is critical that we redefine the ways to approach and engage with these boundaries.

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These images begin to visualize the spatial intersection of political and physical delineations of water in three major economic centers in California. The boundaries explored are by no means exhaustive. For example, geologic limits influence the movement and availability of groundwater, adding a third dimension beyond the typical two-dimensional view of water management schemes. As you view and compare the natural and physical boundaries, ponder this: Is the disjunction of boundaries facilitating or obstructing the sustainable management of water resources? Can you imagine a better line? This work, informed by publicly available geospatial data, is the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration. ENDNOTE 1 Quick, K. S. and M.S. Feldman. “Boundaries as junctures: Collaborative boundary work for building efficient resilience.” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 24.3 (2014): 673-695. GU : ISSUE 05

TORRES

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P O L I T I C A L WAT E R L I N E S GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN AREAS

PRIVATE WATER DISTRICTS

FEMA FLOOD ZONES

LOS AN GELES

LOS ANGELES COUNTIES Los Angeles Orange

LA RIVER MOUTH DELTA COUNTIES Contra Costa Sacramento San Joaquin Solano Yolo

THE DELTA

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BAY ARE A

BAY AREA COUNTIES Alameda Contra Costa Marin Napa San Francisco San Mateo Santa Clara Solano Sonoma

THE BAY


GROUNDWATER BASINS

NATURAL WATERSHEDS

Note: All maps are at the same scale. EXISTING WETLANDS

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LEGAL DELTA

TORRES

N AT U R A L WAT E R L I N E S

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LEAP: LIVE EDGE ADAP TATION PROJECT NATE KAUFFMAN

THICKEN the line, infrastructure, adaptation, edge, integration

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BELOW An embayment in Emeryville fronts the East Bay’s most critical infrastructures, which are imperiled by rising waters. By constructing a barrier beach complex and shallowing the currently under-performing basin, a massive expansion of the tidal marsh and its commensurate flood protection capacity becomes possible.

Few global settings can boast the superlative suite that is the San Francisco Bay Area. An ideal natural harbor with numerable protected port sites; the only inland delta on the planet and a multitude of ecological assets; extensive access to diverse regions and myriad natural resources; the home of a deep melting pot of global cultures and an incredibly pleasant climate; and most recently, the global nexus of technologic innovation. It is also a peculiar conurbation in its form: the Bay Area surrounds and seemingly focuses its collective geographic energy on its ‘empty’ centrum: the bay itself. This exceptional place will be remade by its rising waters. At over 1,000 linear miles, much of it lined with vulnerable critical infrastructures, the bayshore—and the intersection of the built and natural environments embodied therein— is primed to experience unprecedented impacts. The ‘hard’ engineering solutions that were historically applied and embraced to control the bay’s dynamics are aging, degrading, economically unsustainable and abjectly failing to deliver multiple social and cultural benefits.


Defining where the land ends and water begins, or which swaths are suitable for urbanization and which must be kept, left, or restored for the ‘natural’ landscape, has become a fascinating, multidimensional challenge to ponder in the era of a warming planet. The Bay Area once lay at the heart of the most densely populated region of native peoples in North America. Their essential extirpation echoed and mirrored the devastation of the natural landscape and its resources as European colonialists and white settlers from the east flocked to the bay. The event that drove most of this activity and degradation was, of course, the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s and its commensurate developments. Hydraulic gold mining of the Sierra Nevada foothills flushed a massive pulse of fine sediment downstream, even as dams designed to detain water for booming population centers and agriculture were being planned and built, further disrupting

the natural equilibrium of hydraulic and sedimentary cycling in the largest Pacific estuary in the Americas. At the terminus of this watershed, the bayshore was rapidly filled with trash, rubble and earth to create more area for flatland development. A century after the Gold Rush began in earnest, the cesspool conditions of the bay galvanized local citizens in a grassroots uprising intended to, and appropriately called, Save the Bay. The Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), a temporary agency, was appointed to craft The Bay Plan as a unifying rulebook to define the uses to which the bay could be put. Magna Carta to the BCDC, which was later permanently appointed, The Bay Plan was conceived and drafted prior to mainstream awareness of climate change and sea level rise. Along with the McAteer-Petris legislation of 1969, it broadly defined—and aimed to prevent—filling of the San Francisco Bay, thus setting the stage for our current predicament.

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DIAGR AMMATIC FR AME WORK FOR L ANDFORM INTERVENTIONS

CONSTRUCTED OFFSHORE LANDFORMS

establish protective barriers and dissipate wave energy while providing valuable habitat and human spaces. Composed at least partially of re-used dredge material, LEAP embraces a new natural resource stewardship paradigm. The bay’s historical geography is echoed in a novel landform-building approach.

TIDAL MARSH PLAINS

are fostered and constructed in shallow basins shadowed by offshore landforms. These sequester carbon, soak up stormwater and build habitat.

WAVES

driven by the wind, sustain powerful scouring energy in areas of high fetch, which is a destructive impediment to marsh establishment and evolution.

THE HORIZONTAL LEVEE

is a physical impediment to storm surges and rising saltwaters. It re-establishes habitat and public open space on the bayshore. Coupled with a management scheme incorporating treated municipal wastewater, it represents a low-tech, progressive, multi-benefit green infrastructure strategy.

LAGOONS + BASINS

KAUFFMAN

link the bay’s tidal rhythm to the backing marsh plains. Protected by ancillary offshore complexes, tidal action and athropogenic nourishment regimens can shallow these embayments to keep pace with rising waters. These will be dynamic spaces on a daily basis and will provide crucial stillwater habitat for wildlife.

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The BCDC, to ensure their effectiveness, claim jurisdiction and authority over a shoreline band of land extending inland 100 feet from the bay’s ‘edge.’ On a map, the bayshore appears as a line, though it is not: rather, it is a web of overlapping fields that ebb, flow and fluctuate constantly, in rhythms often too subtle for the human eye to see, or the human lifespan to witness. The maximum and minimum reaches of our tides frame the baylands as a band of ecosystems. As a function of climate change and sea level rise, this band is bound to change dramatically. Therein lies the most daunting and politically fraught reality with which the region’s organizational architecture is attempting, rather gracelessly, to grapple: how can a politically-fragmented region embrace a new paradigm of responsible land stewardship and utilization in an age of unpredictable, large-scale impacts

of a changing planet? Myriad agencies, jurisdictions, and countless public and private interests vie for some modicum of control over the bayshore. The net effect of overlapping and competing mandates; outmoded regulatory frameworks; and the brittle nature of bay planning, policies and regulation is a predictable petrification of the progressive ethos that has defined the San Francisco Bay Area, and indeed, attempted to ‘Save the Bay’ in the first place. LEAP (the Live Edge Adaptation Project) was conceived as a response to this slowmoving disaster and our shortcomings in addressing it. LEAP relies on, envisions and represents a major pivot toward embracing natural shore forms and ecological systems as sea level rise adaptation strategies. By crafting novel resource stewardship paradigms and cutting-edge ‘green’ infrastructure innovations, the bayshore can be reimagined


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The BCDC, to ensure their effectiveness, claim jurisdiction and authority over a shoreline band of land extending inland 100 feet from the bay’s ‘edge.’ The cornerstone of this approach is the tidal marsh. Decimated by hydraulic mining, damming, culverting creeks and the flatout filling of the bay in the 19th and 20th centuries, the marsh nonetheless represents an incredibly resilient and economically feasible natural complex for reducing surge height and energy, physically retaining water

ABOVE Progressive, ecologically-based infrastructure projects must succeed in doing what our traditional approaches do not: delivering multiple-benefit outcomes for the communities and societies that invest in them. By remaking the bayshore as a vital component of a regional way of life, LEAP imagines a massive enhancement of open space and ecosystem functionality.

and preventing inland flooding. Marshes also provide major services in stormwater management, carbon sequestration and habitat, in addition to improving the quality of life in adjacent communities. But the tidal marsh, for all of its beneficial potential, is critically threatened. It exists only in a narrow band where the proper elevation, tidal inundation regime, and sediment and organic matter cycling coexist. As the bay rises, our surviving marshes will drown without approaches intended to help them keep pace with rising waters. Moreover, the marsh’s natural reaction to a rising bay is to migrate to higher elevations—and thus GU : ISSUE 05

KAUFFMAN

as a massive expansion and enhancement of habitat and human spaces. Moreover, by cultivating a culture of human beings as ecological architects committed to social and environmental justice, a major opportunity has arisen.


P LA N N IN G FR AME WOR K F OR LEAP INT ER VENT IO NS VARIOUS SHORE FORMS ARE DEPLOYED BASED ON LOCAL BATHYMETRIC, TIDAL, WAVE AND SEDIMENT DYNAMICS

SAND BARS + SPITS Beaches are attractive and useful landforms. They excel at attracting visitors as well as dissipating wave energy.

SHOALS

Subtidal sandbars correctly placed with shadow marsh plains provide subtidal habitat.

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BARRIER ISLANDS

Islands serve as destinations, that are accessible by boat or boardwalk, or as off-limits nature preserves.

REEFS

The bay was once filled with oysters, a keystone species that delivers myriad ecological services in addition to functioning as breakwaters.


CASE STUDY: EAST BAY Burdened with major infrastructure vulnerabilities but blessed by the shoreline’s shallow offshore terraces, LEAP imagines a 2,000-acre expansion of open space and habitat in the region’s underutilized embayments, a massive enhancement in green space grafted to the scaffold of the artificial urbanized edge.

As the bay rises, our surviving marshes will drown without approaches intended to help them keep pace with rising waters. LEAP is not a coincidental title for this endeavor: one would logically assume the way to gauge progress and to test and identify adaptation and resilience measures in the

bay—in physical structures and landscape buffering, in marsh plain nourishment and sustainability strategies, and in ecosystem expansion and enhancement—would entail deploying multiple low-impact proofs of concept projects. That logical expectation belies the stagnancy of our regional response to a slow-moving catastrophe. The ironies run deep in the sluggish waters of regulation, protection and traditional restoration circles of the bay. One of the worst is surely the ethical ramification of our generation’s inaction. Political reluctance to challenge outdated and insufficient measures, many aimed at and born of progressive environmental ideals, will doom future generations and the ecologic systems caged by current intransigence. This is an absurdly antithetical fate for a place whose concern for social and environmental justice is undeniable.

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KAUFFMAN

to the built environment that hugs the shore so tightly. Without proactive environmental engineering measures to restore and build the live edge, and the political will to advance these approaches, our marshes will drown and our mudflats will become open water—the most dangerous condition to cope with for any shoreline society. By embracing novel, naturally-informed shore forms, extant marsh plains can be strengthened and expanded, and new marsh plains can be constructed in the shallow terraces of the bay.

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CUT the line, hide and reveal, soil transects, liminal landscapes

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THE DIRT HOTEL

KATHLEEN O’LEARY + STORY WIGGINS

In coming upon abandoned, ‘blighted,’ or undefined spaces in cities, people are confronted with the unknowable complexities of urban processes: back-of-house operations, cycles of investment and personal triumph or tragedy.1 The faint traces of such stories are often illegible to the casual trespasser, who is conditioned to experience these spaces as invisible. Building on Gilles Clement’s assertion of the importance of the tiers paysage as a repository of Earth’s biodiversity—abandoned lots exalted as fragments of the ‘Planetary Garden’2—we believe these spaces have a concurrent function as humble monuments to the urban cultural landscape. To this end, light-handed interventions can be wielded to accentuate the wild charm of such liminal spaces, and perhaps most importantly, to illuminate their place in the city. The simple act of drawing a line—a datum or a transect—often suffices to put the existing landscape into relief.


Softened by the cover of spontaneous flora and the forces of wind and water, this defunct dumping ground has become a destination for dog walkers, urban hikers, transients, dirt bikers and remote-controlled car enthusiasts. Our proposal protects the unconventional beauty of the site while exposing the underlying process of its formation. Translating the methodology of the environmental scientist into a formal operation, our intervention is limited to four 12-foot wide transects that climb, slice, slope and perch in relation to the existing mounds.

Liminal spaces have a concurrent function as humble monuments to the urban cultural landscape.

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Along each transect, shifting perspectives allow visitors to read variations in the soil mosaic; plant and animal communities; and size, form and weathering patterns of the Anthropocene topography. The design intends to elevate the site and its mundane origins in the mind of the visitor, creating a monument to the messy and forgotten ‘logistics landscapes’3 without which the city, spreading neatly away toward the hills, could not exist.

ENDNOTES 1 Groth, Paul. “Bridging the Liberal Arts and Architectural Practice.” ArchCairo (Cairo, Egypt, March 2007): 11-36. 2 Clement, Gilles. “The Natural History of Forsaken Spaces.” Harvard Design Magazine, 31 (2009/2010): 40-42. 3 Berger, Alan, and Charles Waldheim. “Logistics Landscape.” Landscape Journal, 27 (2008): 219-246.

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Dirt Hotel emerged from an investigation into such a site in Berkeley, California: an unlikely collection of massive soil mounds at the edge of the San Francisco Bay. Both evidence and byproduct of urbanization, the mounds represent the excavation, transport and storage of two million cubic feet of soil that collectively traveled over 700 miles from countless construction sites around the Bay Area.


organic matter

color2

color 1

structure

texture

DISTURBANCE

SAMPLE 01

form: small, discrete mound

1%

reddish yellow value/7//chroma/8 grey value/6//chroma/1

platy

SANDY LOAM

45° 40°

coarse sand

ANGLE OF REPOSE

gravel

SAMPLE 02

35°

fine sand

organic matter

color

structure

texture

form: larger discrete eroding mound

associated activity: dirt biking

habitat value: ground nesting and cover

associated activity: innaccessible

natural community analog: grasslands habitat value: ground nesting and cover

natural community analog: baccharis brushland

dominant species: scotch broom

SANDY LOAM

C O M PA C T I O N

8%

grey value/6//chroma/1

single grained

SAMPLE 03

molybdenum

phosphorous

calcium

2%

dark reddish grey value/4//chroma/1

molybdenum

calcium

SAND blocky

ADDITION OF O R G A N I C M AT T E R

nitrogen

phosphorous

nitrogen

organic matter

color

structure

texture

form: compacted center of large amalgamated mound

associated activity: walking, remote control car touring

habitat value: low

natural community analog: desert

dominant species: false barley

potassium

sulfur

potassium

sulfur

SAMPLE 04

slip face

form: leeward slope of amalgamated mound

associated activity: inaccessible

habitat value: cover

natural community analog: coastal scrub

dominant species: dandelion

a straight line or narrow section through an object or natural feature or across the ear th’s sur face, along which obser vations are made or measurements taken.

dominant species: pampas grass

1.

/‘transekt/

T R A N • S E C T

88 windward slope

1%

weak red value/4//chroma/3

granular

SILTY CLAY LOAM

WASTING

organic matter

color

structure

texture

SAMPLE 05

organic matter

color

structure

texture

W E AT H E R I N G

form: steep windward slope of amalgamated mound

associated activity: mostly inaccessible; lookout at ridge

habitat value: cover

natural community analog: baccharis brushland

dominant species: coyote brush

talus

3%

brown value/5//chroma/2

blocky

LOAMY SAND

HOLOCENE

ANTRHOPOCENE


A.

A.

A.

STA I R

A.

STA I R

STA I R

STA I R

0

0

LADDER

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

0

B.

O’LEARY + WIGGINS

CUT INTERVENTION

T R A N TSREACNTS B . T B C .U T CI U N TT EI N R TVEERNVTEI NOTNI O N EC

TRANSECT B.

CUT INTERVENTION

B.

B.

B.

CUT

CUT

CUT

CUT

S O I L D I S P L AY

S O I L D I S P L AY

S O I L D I S P L AY

S O I L D I S P L AY

HORIZON WINDOWS

HORIZON WINDOWS

HORIZON WINDOWS

HORIZON WINDOWS

LOOK INSIDE

LOOK INSIDE

LOOK INSIDE

LOOK INSIDE

STA I R I N T ER V EN T ION

STA I R I N T ER V EN T ION

STA I R I N T ER V EN T ION

STA I R I N T ER V EN T ION

rammed earth path

display window

rammed earth path

displayretaining windowwall concrete

display window concrete retaining wall rammed earth path

rammed earth path

concrete retaining wall display window

concrete retaining wall

TRANSECT A.

TRANSECT A.

F U R R O W PAT H W AY

F U R R O W PAT H W AY

TRANSECT A.

10 ft

TRANSECT A.

0

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

F U R R O W PAT H W AY

TRANSECT B.

10 ft

0

0

0

F U R R O W PAT H W AY

LOC ATION + LANDFORM

LOC ATION + LANDFORM

HIDE + REVEAL

LOC ATION + LANDFORM

HIDE + REVEAL

LOC ATION + LANDFORM

HIDE + REVEAL

HIDE + REVEAL

INTERVENTION DETAIL

INTERVENTION DETAIL

LADDER

INTERVENTION DETAIL

I N T E R V E N T I O N D E T A I LL A D D E R

LADDER

0

RISE THROUGH

RISE THROUGH

RISE THROUGH

RISE THROUGH

I M P L E M E N TAT I O N

I M P L E M E N TAT I O N

I M P L ETMY EP NO TL OA GT II EO SN

I M P L E M E N TAT I O N

0

0

urban soil mosaic drainage

drainage

urban soil mosaic

urban soil mosaic

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

drainage

drainage

urban soil mosaic

0

0

0

0

0

0

slanted walls

slanted walls

slanted walls

slanted walls

I ON RV YE N NO TFI ONIRVNT YET NOE TRFI OO NVIRVENYNETNTEOR ITRFOOVNIRENSYNY TTOEI RFOVNI ENSNT TEO IROVNESNFT I O N S I N T E R V E N T I O N S I N I NVV E N TE

TYPOLOGIES

PERMEABLE FLOOR

PERMEABLE FLOOR

PERMEABLE FLOOR

RAMP / SLIDE

RAMP / SLIDE

C.

RAMP / SLIDE

RAMP / SLIDE

C.

C.

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

“floating” ground

“floating” ground

0

0

0

0

0

0

spontaneous vegetation existing subgrade

existing subgrade

spontaneous “floating” groundvegetation

“floating” ground spontaneous vegetation

0

0

RISE + SLIDE INTERVENTION

RISE + SLIDE INTERVENTION

TRANSECT C.

TRANSECT C.

P L AT F OR M I N T ER V EN T ION

TRANSECT D.

TE R CA TN S . T F OPRL M A TI FNOT E R RMV EI N TRANS DE . C TPD LA N TT E I ORNV E N T I O N

P L AT F OR M I N T ER V EN T ION

TRANSECT D.

RISE + SLIDE INTERVENTION

RISE + SLIDE INTERVENTION

TRANSECT C.

existing subgrade

existing subgrade

spontaneous vegetation

TRANSECT C.

VISIBLE GROUND

VISIBLE GROUND

VISIBLE GROUND

VISIBLE GROUND

SUNKEN SLIDE

SUNKEN SLIDE

SUNKEN SLIDE

SUNKEN SLIDE

PERMEABLE FLOOR

C.

I ON RV YE N NO TFI ONIRVNT YET NOE TRFI OO NVIRVENYNETNTEOR ITRFOOVNIRENSYNY TTOEI RFOVNI ENSNT TEO IROVNESNFT I O N S I N T E R V E N T I O N S I T Y PNO L IONGVVI EE NS TE

I ON RV YE N NO TFI ONIRVNT YET NOE TRFI OO NVIRVENYNETNTEOR ITRFOOVNIRENSYNY TTOEI RFOVNI ENSNT TEO IROVNESNFT I O N S I N T E R V E N T I O N S I N I NVV E N TE I N V E N T I O N R V Y E N O T F I O N I R V N Y E T N O E T R F I O N V I R V E N Y N E T N T E O I T R F O O V N I R E N S Y N T T O E I R F O V N I E N S N T T E IROVNESNFT I O N S I N T E R V E N T I O N S I T Y PNO L O GVI E S E N T O R Y O

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P L AT F OR M

INVERSE TRANSECT

INVERSE TRANSECT

INVERSE TRANSECT

P L AT F OR M

D.

P L AT F OR M

P L AT F OR M

P L AT F OR M LO G IC

P L AT F OR M LO G IC

P L AT F OR M LO G IC

P L AT F OR M LO G IC

IN, ON, BELOW

IN, ON, BELOW

IN, ON, BELOW

IN, ON, BELOW

INVERSE TRANSECT

D.

D.

D.

0

0

10 ft

10 ft

0

0

0

0

0

0

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft

10 ft


1939 1939 1939 1939 1939

1968 1968 1968 1968 1968

2 million cubic feet 700 miles 1993 1993 1993 1993 1993

2004 2004 2004 1939 2004 2004

2005 2005 2005 1968 2005 2005

2008 2008 2008 1993 2008 2008

2009 2009 2009 2002 2009 2009

2011 2011 2011 2004 2011 2011

2012 2012 2012 2005 2012 2012

2014 2014 2014 2008 2014 2014

2015 2015 2015 2009 2015 2015

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2002 2002 2002 2002 2002

berkeley berkeley berkeley dirt dirt dirt pile pile pile berkeley berkeley dirt dirt pile pile historical historical historical morphology morphology morphology historical historical morphology morphology

2011

2012

2014

2015

berkeley dirt pile historical morphology

ABOVE Historical morphology of the mounds during the period of excavation storage. In 2012, dumping activity ceased and vegetation quickly colonized the land forms.


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18

MARK the line, moon cycles, intertidal zone, epistemology, axes, creatures, installation

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LIMINAL TERR AINS + LIVE OB JECTS

ROD BARNETT


The intertidal mudflat is a transitional habitat that seems to lack delineation; it is an imperceptibly differentiated gradient from land to sea. Yet the tidal flat has two very important axes. While invisible to the naked eye, their interaction is critical to the rhythms and cycles of life in this zone. For many centuries, the Maori people have inhabited the Manukau Harbour on the west coast of Auckland, New Zealand. Their ecological epistemology is based on the interaction between the tides and the moon, between the invisible X and Y axes of intertidal life.

Within scientific domains of knowledge, such creatures are almost entirely unexplained. The more science tries to describe them and understand them, the darker they become. To the Maori, harvesting and eating is a way of explanation; to consume a live object is to bring it into the light. The Polynesian fishing calendar reflects the lunar cycle in relation to intertidal animals— species whose rhythms and behaviors are intricately evolved to take advantage of tidal fluxes generated by the gravitational pull of the moon. The lunar cycle’s tidal consequence suspends living objects between darkness and light in a longitudinal zone that is both land and sea. This soft shore—littoral, intertidal, epipelagic—transforms sunlight into

seagrass, and subsequently into cockle, crab, hatchling, bivalve, gastropod, crustacean and echinoderm. It’s a gravitational field of food. The moon’s pull generates patterns of life for intertidal fauna, and thus for the terrestrial and aerial predators that feed in this liminal zone. Here, the Maori, the apex predator, takes advantage of her own foraging opportunities. The cycle of the moon and the rhythm of the tides it pulls across the shore are predicted in the Maori calendrical system, where epistemology and ecology come together to form a maramataka, a lunar system for regulating the gathering of food. Maori involve all the heavenly systems in their maramataka, solar and stellar cycles included, but it is the 28-30 day cycle of marama, the moon, that is most relevant to practices of food harvesting on the mudflats of Manukau Harbor. When fishing, the phase of the moon, the time of day, the condition of the water, the species of fish present and the weight of your neighbor’s haul are all significant aspects in understanding the relationship between the catch and the lunar cycle. The moon dictates all, but the sun and the stars describe the background oscillations that pull all creatures along their evolutionary paths. GU : ISSUE 05

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BARNETT

An installation at Manukau Harbor investigated this interaction. It used the analytical, landscape architectural convention of the transect—of identifying, naming and drawing. A stringline was stretched along the mudflat from land to harbor channel. At regular intervals along the line pegs were inserted into the mud. At each peg, a drawing was made of different creatures observed in the immediate vicinity, and then attached to the peg itself. The transect became a line of live objects: Amphineura, Bivalvia, Crustacea, Gastropeda, Odonata, Scyphax.¹


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The lunar cycle’s tidal consequence suspends living objects between darkness and light in a longitudinal zone that is both land and sea.


ENDNOTES 1 Quilter, C.G. and R.D. Lewis, “Clock Control of Foraging in the isopod Scyphax ornatus Dana.� New Zealand Journal of Zoology, vol.16 (1989): 373. Scyphax ornatus is a terrestrial isopod that exhibits circadian and circa semilunar activity rhythms when kept in constant conditions in the laboratory, suggesting that these rhythms enable Scyphax to predict nightly foraging opportunities. 2 Matariki is the Maori name for the Pleiades star cluster, which appears in mid-winter in the New Zealand sky.

BARNETT

On the mudflats of the Manukau Harbor, benthic and epipelagic species are found on the seabed and swimming in the two-inch aquatic layer between the mud and the air. When the Matariki 2 are low on the horizon in the northeast of the sky, at the time of the half-moon waxing gibbous, eel and fish are abundant but small, and it is a productive day to collect shellfish.The sky and the harvesting secrets it shares are a cultural resource as much as the land or sea. For the Maori, as for Scyphax, the moon is about a meal.

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19

INSCRIBE the line, body, Earth, process, permanence, topography

L ANDSCAPE AS TAT TOO

CHIP SULLIVAN

Since the beginning of time, humans have tattooed the Earth’s surface with sacred images and symbolic landscape constructions, carefully sited on topographic power points. Today, we use colossal earth-moving machines to rearrange the land on a massive scale with complete disrespect to the genius loci. In Greek mythology, the principle of the ‘Gaia Spirit’ suggests that Earth, like the human form, is a living, breathing creature. How does the treatment of topography compare with that of the human body? This phenomenon can be explained in part by observing the difference between Western tattoo and the traditional Japanese full-body tattoo.

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In the United States, a person can get a tattoo at any time of day and in any state of inebriation. Western tattoos are applied to the body quickly with electric needles, and images are often unrelated to one another or to the overall topography of the body. In contrast, the Japanese tattoo master does not advertise; one has to obtain a referral before starting a long interview process. Once the tattoo master better comprehends the client’s persona, they choose what to engrave into the skin and draw the image in marker on the client’s body to ensure it relates to every contour. (Imagine if, as landscape architects, we could interview our clients to deem their worthiness before agreeing to work for them!) Images usually maintain a deep spiritual significance, and are completed in two to ten years by hand—a commitment to long-range master planning in the landscape of body design. Finally, Japanese full-body tattoos are not designed to be seen and are only revealed to the public on special occasions. As landscape architects, we must never forget that our designs etched into Mother Earth are permanent. We must be sure to give the living ‘Gaia’ the same serious consideration we would take when having an image tattooed onto our bodies. These marks must enhance the sacred power of the Earth.


SULLIVAN

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20

UNPAVE the line, reflection, seasonal change, sculpture, critical landscapes

THE ASPHALT UNIVERSE

AN INTERVIEW WITH PAULA MEIJERINK

Paula Meijerink, in collaboration with WANTED landscape, designs cultural spaces that help us reflect on the asphalt environments which dominate our lives. In addition to her practice, she is associate professor at Ohio State University’s Knowlton School. After Meijerink’s lecture Asphalt Ecologies at UC Berkeley in 2015, Ground Up team member Cristina Bejarano had the opportunity to speak with the designer and scholar about the evolution of her work. Ground Up: You’ve written about the history and pervasive use of asphalt as a building material worldwide. The project Asphalt Garden comes across as an artistic statement in defense of this material. You made asphalt beautiful by allowing it to reflect its surroundings—tall trees and vistas of the St. Lawrence River. How was that project received at the time? Do you think the perception of asphalt has changed since then?

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Asphalt Garden, 2003, Métis International Garden Festival, Gaspé, Canada Photo by WANTED landscape

Paula Meijerink: I very much appreciate landscape architecture as a means to express a political position; this intellectual transfer from idea to physical expression is traditionally much more related to art than to landscape


architecture. Whereas a landscape architect is a service provider and has a responsibility to a client, art provides a kind of intellectual and creative freedom. Asphalt Garden was conducted in the context of an international garden festival with a mandate of innovation, and with a patron promoting creative exploration, thus providing a context of freedom closer to an artistic endeavor. Asphalt Garden was designed by Michele Adrian and myself under the name of WANTED/ SE BUSCA, and we definitely saw asphalt as a material underexplored in all creative arts. Asphalt Garden was an instant success— there was an immediate recognition and appreciation of a new type of garden with such a difficult and socially underappreciated material. All of our work on asphalt must be seen as a critical response to pervasive notions of urbanism, dominance of road engineering and common parking lot proposals, to name a few.

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I think very little has changed in how asphalt is perceived, or in the role asphalt spaces, such as roads and parking lots, play in the development of the contemporary city. The road—as a conduit for automotive movement at all times everywhere—remains the dominant organizer of urban space globally. At the Illinois Institute of Technology, a design studio is currently exploring the car-less city. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this daring and much needed urban exploration.

Asphalt Garden, 2003, Métis International Garden Festival, Gaspé, Canada, Rendering by Paula Meijerink

MEIJERINK

GU: Your work with Thierry Beaudoin at the McCord Museum in Montreal, Urban Forest, has created an incredible recurring summer street festival, which you call “the programmatic colonization, with a socialpolitical output, of a four-meter-wide strip on

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the asphalt roadbed.” Large metal sculptures with colorful ribbons resembling trees animate the sidewalk outside of the museum in warmer months of the year. What do you think about the temporary nature of this intervention? How have social and political uses shaped the design over time? PM: The Urban Forest is an enchanted place in the city, with a great ambiance and abundance of social activities. I am extremely pleased to see the increasing sociopolitical role this project plays in the city. It provides space to station a van that provides information and helps youth find jobs; it provides space for fundraising efforts for a diabetes organization; and it’s a space for live radio broadcasts. Urban Forest was one of the first streets in Montreal to be converted into pedestrian space for the duration of the summer, and its success contributed to many other similar initiatives. However, this demonstrated success in fact weakened the case for permanent transformation of the street into primarily pedestrian spaces—which would allow a much greater density of biomass and biodiversity in the city, and a much more engaged human presence, among other benefits. Why would one change a street permanently if it could be done temporarily? I find this to be a lack of long-term vision and a short-sighted notion of urban sustainability.

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ABOVE + RIGHT Urban Forest, McCord Museum, 2011-2015, Victoria Street, Montreal, Canada Designers: WANTED landscape with France Cormier and Frédérique Caplette, Architects: Atelier Big City Left photo: McCord Museum, right photo: WANTED landscape RIGHT BELOW Ice Fountain sketch for the Kirkland Medical Center project in Kirkland, Quebec, Canada by WANTED landscape.

GU: Your current project is a permanent intervention: a garden for the Kirkland Medical Center, which as you put it, “creates an intense experience appealing to a variety of senses, an attempt to intrigue the mind, a garden as a psychological condition.” Could you share more details about this work and your design process?


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For the Kirkland Medical Center, the medium of design seeks to build a close and intimate relation between a person walking and his or her immediate environment. We create an animated walk from the parking lot to the front door and attempt to bring many spatial, ecological and sensational stimuli GU : ISSUE 05

MEIJERINK

PM: This design attempts to provide an antidote or counterargument to landscapes associated with the highway: big box office buildings, parking lots, anemic green spaces. These are landscapes associated with many North American car landscapes—cheap, generic, low maintenance—and are often associated with the highway landscape. These landscapes, however, hold untapped potentials for biodiversity, ecological richness, biomass production and social engagement and appreciation. So again, this project is a critical reflection on the car landscape, or what I call ‘the asphalt universe.’


Sketches for the Kirkland Medical Center project in Kirkland, Quebec, Canada by WANTED landscape.

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GU: Your drawings for this project show a series of hybrid plant-rock structures, almost like woodland creatures, that help delineate the space. What was your inspiration for the forms? PM: Woodland creature is an outstanding term. We want the rock to be at eye level,

floating above the ground, to create a very direct and intimate experience similar to a traditional Chinese scholar’s rock.

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One client has a great appreciation for rocks and mosses, and the other is a urologist, so of course a water feature has to be included. We highlight a variety of small plant species that would grow in the cracks of the rocks, almost like a miniature botanical garden or a mini-ecosystem. By exploring different rock typologies, we have developed a number of methods to conceive this, with a lot of attention to detailing the plant system: size, angle, depth, distance and distribution of holes, such that they hold enough soil and can collect rainwater that drips down and creates a field around the rock. The rock’s orientation creates different microclimates and a dynamic experience. MEIJERINK

into this short distance. Time and experience are fundamental to this notion of landscape architecture: walk slowly - take an interest in horticultural species diversity - listen to the sound of water dripping - watch an icicle building up in the winter - compare representational trees to real trees - see color touch a floating planted rock - hear the sound of gravel being slowly walked upon. We intend to shape this landscape as a psychological space and healing garden—an enchanted garden in the midst of parking lots, gas stations, highways and traffic lights.

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21

REVEALING GEOMETRIES

EFTYCHIOS SAVVIDIS

A CONTEMPOR ARY APPROACH TO THE ANCIENT CIT Y

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ILLUMINATE the line, history, design, archaeology, preservation

This article represents a condensed version of “Accumulated Inscriptions,” presented in April 2015 at the School of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens. OVERVIEW In dealing with a place as peculiar and complex as Amathus, a new way of approaching, reading, comprehending and interpreting the site is attempted. By referencing hidden traces of the past, this project seeks to evoke a completely new condition by uncovering geometries. In doing so, it attempts to reveal accumulated inscriptions that molded and formed the landscape for ages. The ancient city of Amathus has undergone constant alterations and ‘inscriptions,’ having accumulated history over almost three thousand years. Amathus gave life to myths, witnessed the rise and fall of empires and accompanied the succession of kings, conquerors, gods and divinities. Since its excavation around the end of the previous century, it has become one of the island’s greatest cultural and archaeological sites. But what was once historically significant is now nothing more than a residual decorative element that slips into oblivion and withers, struggling to survive in the urban and touristic suburbs of the big city of Limassol. The site currently faces many issues, including its fate in contemporary times. There are many considerations regarding


the monument’s place and role in the contemporary city. Questions regarding its rescue, protection, preservation, exposure, reactivation and reinterpretation are among those that come to the fore. The palimpsestic and complex, yet mysterious nature of the remains and archaeological findings at Amathus led to an interest in understanding its superimposed inscriptions from different historical phases. ABOVE The acropolis’s palimpsest | Accumulated inscriptions: the Byzantine basilica over Aphrodite’s Roman sanctuary over a Hellenistic sanctuary. BELOW Amathus (as found) 1 Agora 2 Underground chamber 3 Unidentified buildings 4 Basilica NW 5 Southwestern wall and gate 6 Middle acropolis wall 7 Palace 8 Archaic residences 9 Kallinikos inscription 10 Western wall 11 Aphrodite’s sanctuary 12 Acropolis’s basilica 13 Northern wall 14 Aqueduct 15 Eastern wall 16 St. Tychon church 17 Eastern suburb 18 Eastern gate 19 Mausoleum 20 Basilica SE 21 Outer harbor 22 Inner harbor 23 Eastern necropolis 24 Tomb 25 Western necropolis

SAVVIDIS

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An attempt was made to decipher a series of incomprehensible correlations, unexpected conjugations, unexplained contradictions, strange deviations, gentle annexations and violent impositions, all summing up to a complexity that depicts the flux of history.

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DESIGN The nature of the intervention was influenced by the method in which one carefully reads or interprets a place. In imposing new conditions on the site, the project takes the monumentality and significance of such a project into consideration, while also adhering to laws, legislations, charters, declarations and texts pertaining to the city’s architectural heritage. Through its allusive use of layering, archaeological stratigraphy and the laws of superposition, the project aims to reveal geometries, bringing back to sight invisible traces of the past, and imbuing the place with the notion of time. A system of laws, principles and tools is set in motion, and with a few gestures of light, each new layer reveals and defines the preexisting layers in a unique way. CONSTRUCTION Metal poles carrying laser light pointers are placed at the intersections of different historical grids. The pointers emit white beams of light in specified directions, thus recreating the grids of different historical periods. The laser grids hover above city ruins in three levels, alluding to three discrete historical phases [i]. Light running on the ground coincides with the grids and geometries of the remains from different


LEFT The new layer, tools and assembly instructions [i] metal poles carrying laser light pointers [L]ight “running on the ground“ [B]ridge [R]amp [V]iew point ABOVE The new layer, night view, revealing geometries

and hosting human body experience [B, R, V]. New conditions are delineated on the landscape, and a new identity is ascribed to the ancient city. In some places, a deciphered and clarified condition results, while in others, it becomes more complex and convoluted. In all cases, the site becomes enriched with meaning and value.

BELOW The acropolis, afternoon view (as proposed) GU : ISSUE 05

SAVVIDIS

eras [L]. Routes with a distinct, discrete and repetitive form starting from the city or the coastline level enter the site, joining both preexistent and new grids. They abut, hover, approach and deflect while manipulating sight


22

RE-SURVEYING WALDEN

CONNECT the line, ice instruments, global trade, industrial infrastructure

MEG STUDER

This infographic essay, by Meg Studer of Siteations Studio, has been adapted for print. For the full series and a complete bibliography, please visit groundupjournal.org. Henry David Thoreau’s pastoral polemic, Walden, was initially published with a single drawing: “Walden Pond: A Reduced Plan.”1 It is dry and technical, economic and sparse. In it, we see the pond perimeter and plumbing depths. But township edges are erased; woodlot enclosures are absent; magnetic north is missing. The ephemeral etchings of surveying and ice extraction are nowhere to be found. Thoreau has left out territorial bounds, terrestrial orientation, market traces and labor.2 By choosing the surveyor’s plat, Thoreau foregrounds the embedded, if invisible, material tensions and legal conventions driving antebellum ‘improvement.’

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This visual essay thus seeks to unpack and expose the novel forms of property, climate and consumption underlying Thoreau’s sardonic survey. These images retrace the intentional erasures of his “Reduced Plan” to draw out the antecedent Coldscape.3 In excavating Thoreau’s layered etchings, this series maps the infrastructural alliances, metabolic relays and antebellum impacts of refrigeration on urban markets and trade triangles. RIGHT In “The Pond in Winter,” Thoreau’s lithograph functions as a pivot between what initially appears as dual demarcations of the pond in 1846-47: the extraction of ice for sale, in the later half of the text, mirrors his initial episode of depth surveying. While Thoreau claims a quest for pure knowledge with his pond measurements and map, each etching actually stakes out territory for commerce and, given Thoreau’s later profession, competence.

INDUSTRIAL & URBAN INFRASTRUCTURES Thoreau’s delineations act as an amusing, intimate and partial critique of Walden Pond’s harvest, but they also draw attention to the industrial efficiencies, novel territories and economies of scale that were adopted in the ice trade. Boston’s ice harvesters had copied the steam-driven belts of the cloth mills and capitalized on the standardization and expansion of the lumber industry; multistory warehouses were built from thin wooden frames and sawdust insulation. Pond surfaces and shores neatly mirrored the ‘rational’ factory floor, offering an embryotic glimpse of the assembly line logic and storage capacity key to capitalism.4


STUDER

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With crews skimming off “all the terra firma there was,“ Thoreau alludes to Massachusetts’s marginal recognition of ponds as legal ‘land.’5 In 1841, edge parcel ownership had been extended across inland water surfaces during arbitration over harvesting rights. A new landscape of refrigeration— with triangular harvest sites and shoreline speculation—blossomed as the water’s edge was carved up and commodified.6 Beyond production sites, the effects of ice were felt in urban refrigeration, distillation and chemical industries across the Northeast. In advance of mechanical refrigeration (1880s), the rise of the 19th century industrial city is unthinkable without ice as climate control. Along with Maine, Hudson and the Great Lakes’ ice harvests, Boston’s regional and

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interstate ice trade altered the extent and intensity of food collection and industrial processing, intensifying the redistribution, stocking, storage and density of urban masses fed.7 TRADING TRAJECTORIES Instead of looking toward Boston’s internal ice consumption, Thoreau imagines that Walden’s ice is consumed by “the sweltering inhabitants of Charleston and New Orleans, of Madras and Bombay and Calcutta... [where] Walden water is mingled with the sacred water of the Ganges.”8 As an abolitionist, Thoreau likely had in mind the other colonial links of Boston’s ice, whether in the East and West Indies or the American South. Indeed, as an inexpensive shipping ballast, ‘frozen-water’ subsidized the


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northern import of plantation cotton, rice and indigo. By 1855, with rising industrial demand for raw resources, ice constituted Boston’s largest annual export tonnage.9 As in the Americas, ice also subsidized the importation of a diverse array of materials from ‘the East’: graphite, jute, coffee,

saltpeter, tea and palm oils. As early as 1843, Boston companies traded entire shipments of ice for Indian cotton, which was then sold in Liverpool. With the closure of the South during the Civil War, these trade triangles deepened; Boston doubled Indian ice imports between 1847 and 1870.10

TOP We see the greatest urban impacts of ice in industries like dairy. Raw milk has a four-hour shelf-life, limiting transport. In the 1820s-30s, toll-road improvements and farmer’s iced wagons had enlarged Boston’s milk-shed from a 4 to 24-mile radius, converging at the milk depot. By the 1840s, refrigerated rail cars with simple, stacked ice blocks enabled milk collection from 65 to 100 miles away.11 By 1850, this regional reach underpinned sanitation reforms and dairy adulteration laws in Massachusetts. Yet, along with an expanded milkshed, uneven rail access spurred milk monopolies. a touch of derision, paints an image of inevitable melt as much as economic foray. He notes, “This heap, estimated to contain ten thousand tons, was finally covered with hay and boards; [with] a part of it carried off, the rest remaining exposed to the sun... the pond recovered the greater part.” 12 GU : ISSUE 05

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LEFT After a pragmatic description of the work crews, Thoreau steps back to survey the larger effort. His tally of Walden’s ice harvest, with


MEDIUMS & METRICS While Thoreau imagines mingling Walden’s water with the Ganges, his final trajectory for the ice trade is as much symbolic and political as it is poetic and material, weaving “from Carthage to Ternate and Tidore.” Here, he alludes to Milton’s mercantile critique of the spice trade (Ternate and Tidore) and older, revolutionary symbols of American ambivalence toward becoming, but also being crushed by, empire (Carthage).13 Thoreau may not have known the exact exchanges that ice subsidized, but he seems to have understood the relative routes, commercial complexities and inevitable culpabilities forged at the scale of global trade.

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Read in light of Thoreau’s traces and toponymy, Walden Pond is far from isolated or insular. Walden’s plat is, so to speak, merely the tip of the iceberg. It offers a glimpse of the processes—instruments, labor, legalities and logistics—involved in up-scaling distributed, rural storage strategies to create domestic markets and balanced international trade. Thoreau’s attention to the legal and commercial articulations, biased as they may be, ought to be an inspiration. As we, designers, turn to today’s terrain—of seasonal cycles, peripheral provisions, emergent patterns, fuzzy risk and intensive materiality— what are the mediums and bureaucratic metrics that we might appropriate to explore and instigate distributed change?

RIGHT In the old ‘Atlantic World,’ ice markets relied on Caribbean plantation sugar, molasses, coffee and inter-island slave trade to dictate demand.14 By the late-1840s, enticed by favorable tariffs and raw resources, American ice traders were experimenting with an expanded array of ‘frozen’ shipping to these markets, offering everything from boiled lobster to chilled fruits and butter. In 1849, the Gold Rush increased passenger and provision shipments around Cape Horn. Increased ice sales were simply the first freight legs for shipping supplies to San Francisco; ice was unloaded to make space for Argentinian and Peruvian meat.15


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DELEUZEANTARCTICA: RESISTING CARTOGR APHIC CONQUEST AT THE END OF THE WORLD THOMAS MURDOCH

CLAIM the line, territory, borders, sovereignty, Antarctica, geography

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BELOW Ceremonial South Pole Marker surrounded by flags of the 12 original signatory nations of the Antarctic Treaty: South Africa, Belgium, Japan, France, UK, USA, Norway, Australia, Russia (USSR), Chile, New Zealand and Argentina. NSF/Josh Landis (photolibrary.usap.gov)

Nations assert their territorial claims in a cartographic manner. If the concept of maps as state symbols seems absurd, consider the national atlases France and England produced in the late-16th century—heavily decorated with allegorical symbolism, proclaiming the glories of king and queen, and asserting national unity through a geographically detailed, single overview map of the entire country. Likewise, the wave of newly independent states formed after World War II revived the national atlas as a symbol of nationhood. Between 1940 and 1980, their number increased from fewer than 20 to more than 80, as former colonies turned to cartography as a tool of both economic development and political identity. French philosopher Gilles Deleuze provides a useful framework to analyze this post-colonial historical process. His political anthropology introduces a new agent he calls ‘the nomad,’ who runs counter to ‘the State.’ The nomad is aggressively creative, while the State plays the more passive role of consolidator. The latter thrives by capturing nomadic innovations and transforming them to fit its own national needs and agenda. Deleuze does not come up with a definition of the nomad, but puts the word into play


When the nomad-State opposition is spatially interpreted, Deleuze posits nomad space as ‘smooth’ and heterogeneous, and State space as ‘striated’ and homogeneous. The spaces inhabited by sedentary peoples—categorically State spaces—are defined by walls, enclosures and roads that exhibit consistent orientation and metric regularity. In contrast to these striations, the spaces inhabited by nomads— steppes and deserts—are smooth. This is also true of the ice desert inhabited by Eskimos, and of the sea roamed by seafaring peoples. Deleuze observes that in these spaces, orientations, landmarks and linkages are in continuous variation, and goes on to write: [T]here is no line separating earth and sky; there is no intermediate distance, no perspective or contour; visibility is limited; and yet there is an extraordinarily fine topology that relies not on points or objects, but rather on haecceities, on sets of relations (winds, undulations of snow or sand, the song of the sand, the creaking of the ice, the tactile qualities of both).1 Antarctica, a prime example of smooth nomadic space, resists cartographic conquest; it remains the last great hunk of land to be discovered, the only stretch of Earth without a native population, a de facto condominium governed by the signatory parties to the Antarctic Treaty, and inhabited by some 4,000 seasonal nomads who conduct scientific research. The continent was not discovered until 1820, when a Russian exploration team first sighted the landmass. There was not, however, much physical exploration of the land, and expeditions were few and generally far between. Famed Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton did not reach Antarctica

until 1907, nor Norwegian Roald Amundsen the South Pole until 1911. Expedition teams set up camps along the edges of the continent, but harsh winds and subzero temperatures meant there were only a few permanent settlements. The first of these settlements belonged to Argentina: a weather station off the mainland on Laurie Island, established 40 years before any other country built an Antarctic structure meant to last. Since then, more than 50 research stations have been constructed, strewn across the continent.

Antarctica, a prime example of smooth nomadic space, resists cartographic conquest; it remains the last great hunk of land to be discovered. Sovereign claims on Antarctic territory date back to 1908, when the UK asserted its right to clusters of South Atlantic islands and the Antarctic continent between the 20th and 80th degrees of west longitude. Given the convenient marker at its center, all claims to Antarctica terminate at the South Pole. Each of these official claims—seven total—are governed by the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, which “does not recognize, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims”2 but bars any future ones. Yet it is an imperfect agreement. The Argentine, British and Chilean claims all overlap, and have caused friction. The overlap between Argentina and Chile is 20 degrees of longitude, but since the UK’s border is tied to the South Sandwich Islands, their bid covers the entire Argentine claim, plus much of Chile’s. Meanwhile, the claims of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France and Norway are all recognized by each other. In addition to existing claimants, ‘new’ potential suitors have emerged to cloud the sovereignty issue even further. The ‘frontage GU : ISSUE 05

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in different contexts, reserving it as a fluid concept rather than acquiring a definite meaning.


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theory,’ or ‘facing principle,’ was proposed by Brazilian geopolitical scholar Therezinha de Castro in her book, Antártica: Teoria da Defrontação. It states that sovereignty over each point in Antarctica properly belongs to the first country whose non-Antarctic territory one would reach when traveling north in a straight line from said point. While this theory apparently does not enjoy official sanction within Brazilian government circles, the country has acted very much like a nation with possible territorial ambitions in the region— becoming a consultative (voting) party, mounting research expeditions and operating a base on the Antarctic Peninsula since 1983. Many states are only paying lip service to the singular importance of the 1959 Antarctic

Treaty, which pledged freedom of scientific research and the continent’s use for purely peaceful purposes. There is a tacit agreement not to acknowledge the diplomatic cover that scientific enterprise provides to states jockeying for natural resources. Evidence suggests that some research stations are little more than Potemkin villages built by countries in order to obtain Antarctic Treaty membership, and so influence the management decisions regarding the continent’s fisheries. The concern is that if enough signatories deem it expedient, the treaty could be amended for the worse. However, the treaty itself does not resolve the sovereignty issue, which grows increasingly complex over time. The original seven claimants cling to their assertions of


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status quo, in which sovereignty-obsessed cultural ambitions continue to draw lines over the continent, points toward the abrogation of Antarctica’s transnational utopian potential. We will not reform and expand the Antarctic imaginary without challenging and questioning the politics of territorial representation, the authority of the line and the rhetoric that draws it.

ENDNOTES 1 Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. “The Smooth and the Striated,” A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 421. 2 The Antarctic Treaty, National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs. MURDOCH

sovereign right in the region, manifested in governmental pronouncements and negotiations over development of Antarctic natural resources, and represented in cultural objects like maps, flags and stamps. Meanwhile, the list of potential claimants continues to grow. Article IV of the Antarctic Treaty precludes making and enlarging a claim for those nations party to the treaty. The danger lies in the lure of resources, rivalries outside the Antarctic, or old-fashioned nationalism that might eventually convince one of these nations its interest would be better served by trying to enforce a territorial claim. The breakdown of the Antarctic Treaty and armed conflict in the region arising from disputed borders surely represent a remote and worst-case scenario. But the current

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ROD BARNETT is Chair of the Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture at Washington University in St Louis. He has written extensively on themes developed from his work in nonlinear design, including interpretations of historical landscapes. He maintains an experimental practice that participates in competitions and exhibitions, investigating relationships between the human and nonhuman realms through drawing, writing and making.

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NEERAJ BHATIA is Founder of The Open Workshop and Assistant Professor at CCA where he co-directs The Urban Works Agency. Recon-Figure was completed in 2013 by Neeraj Bhatia, Carly Dean, Alicia Hergenroeder, Jonathan Negron and De Peter Yi at the Open Workshop. Constellatory Cove was completed in 2013 by The Open Workshop in collaboration with Lorena Del Rio Architects. The project team included: Neeraj Bhatia, Lorena Del Rio, Carly Dean, Alicia Hergenroeder, Jonathan Negron, De Peter Yi and Wei Zhao. 14

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TIAGO TORRES CAMPOS is a Portuguese landscape architect and assistant professor at the University of Edinburgh. He has published internationally and founded CNTXT Studio, a research-by-design platform focusing on the study of landscape and its intersections with architecture, art, design and digital media. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in Architecture by Design. MICHAEL DEAR is an emeritus professor of City & Regional Planning at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, and a member of the executive committee of the Global Urban Humanities (GLOUH) project at Berkeley. GRNASFCK is a nomadic landscape architecture studio investigating urbanism and ecology in the context of deep geologic time. The studio is the collaborative project of Ian Quate and Colleen Tuite, based in New York City. FRITZ HORSTMAN works with the landscape and the perception of natural phenomena. He has recently exhibited his sculptures and installations in Brooklyn, Japan, France and California, and will be featured in the 2016 deCordova Biennial. www.fritzhorstman.com

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MICHAL KAPITULNIK is an associate designer at Surfacedesign, Inc. A graduate of Berkeley’s MLA program, she was an editorial director of Ground Up Issue 01: Landscapes of Uncertainty. Surfacedesign is a landscape architecture and urban design firm based in San Francisco, California. NATE KAUFFMAN is a landscape architect from Northern California, and a project director for OWLIZED, a tech startup working to visualize the challenges and opportunities of a changing world. His work has been utilized by the San Francisco Estuary Institute, the California State Coastal Conservancy, the Oro Loma Sanitary District’s ‘Horizontal Levee’ proof-ofconcept-project, local design firms and others. Nate is also a studio instructor at UC Berkeley and teaches a youth-centered design/build studio, URBANFRAME, at MIT’s School of Architecture. KARL KULLMANN is an associate professor of landscape architecture and urban design at the University of California Berkeley. Karl’s scholarship, creative work and design practice explore the urban agency of the designed and discovered landscape. Karl explores this subject through diverse lenses, including urban topography, green infrastructure, urban wastelands, public gardens, urban decline, spatial orientation and disorientation, design modeling and visualization, mapping and datascaping. PAULA MEIJERINK originally from the Netherlands, is a landscape architect and co-founder of WANTED landscape. She is Associate Professor at Ohio State University’s Knowlton School. FALON MIHALIC is a licensed landscape architect,installation artist and writer. She owns and directs Falon Land Studio LLC, a landscape architecture and public art practice. She received her MLA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Natural Sciences from New College of Florida. Her research is driven by an inquiry into how landscape architecture can mediate perceptions of the natural world. THOMAS MURDOCH is a Master of Architecture student at the University of California, Berkeley.


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N. CLAIRE NAPAWAN is an associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of California, Davis where her research focuses on participatory design and urban resilience. She is also a partner of Group Projects, a San Francisco Bay Area based design collaborative which applies the various techniques explored through her research to built and speculative work. KATHLEEN O’LEARY + STORY WIGGINS are in their final year of the Master of Landscape Architecture program at the University of California, Berkeley. JENNY ODELL is a Bay Area native/captive whose work makes use of online mapping tools and vernacular imagery. Her work has made its way into the Google Headquarters, Les Rencontres D’Arles, Arts Santa Monica, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, La Gaîté lyrique (Paris), the Made in NY Media Center, Apexart (NY), the Lishui Photography Festival (China) and East Wing (Dubai). It has also been featured in TIME Magazine’s LightBox, The Atlantic, The Economist, WIRED, the NPR Picture Show, and a couple of Gestalten books. Odell teaches internet art at Stanford University. TIM PINAULT is a Bay Area artist who received his BFA from the University of Hawaii, and in 2012 received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been shown on both east and west coasts, and internationally. In 2015, Pinault presented a lecture at the California Historical Society as part of their series on historic photographic techniques and contemporary use. EFTYCHIOS SAVVIDIS is a recent graduate from the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens, receiving a diploma title which equals to BA + MA. He lives and works in Athens, Greece. ISABELLE SMEALL is a graphic designer living and working in San Francisco. Instagram @everyones_okay

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BRETT SNYDER AIA is a principal of Cheng+Snyder an experimental architecture studio based in Oakland, California; a partner of Group Projects a landscape/media collaborative; and an assistant professor of design at the University of California, Davis. Snyder works at and researches the intersection of architecture, media and graphics with a particular interest in developing vibrant urban spaces. MEG STUDER is a lecturer of landscape architecture at City College of New York’s Spitzer School of Architecture. She is the founder of Siteations Studio researching the quantitative constructions of territory and environments within modern governmentality. CHIP SULLIVAN is an artist, practitioner and professor of landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He promotes drawing as a critical tool for visual awareness and his new graphic novel Cartooning the Landscape will be published May 2016 by the University of Virginia Press. JANET TORRES is a second year Ph.D. student in the Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Department at UC Berkeley. She has a Bachelors degree in Urban Planning and a Masters in Water Science. She is interested in how diverse economies influence resilience at a regional level and how people engage with politicized spaces. JESSE VOGLER is interested in the meeting of systems and subjectivities. He is Director of the Institute of Marking and Measuring, and assistant professor of landscape architecture at Washington University in St. Louis. ELIZABETH YARINA is a joint Masters student in the Department of Architecture and the Department of City Planning at MIT, currently completing her thesis entitled “POSTISLAND FUTURES: Design as Agency for Tuvalu’s Sinking Atolls.” Her research explores the role of design thinking in political / territorial issues, with a particular focus on climate change and natural resources. Prior to attending MIT, she worked in the field of architectural design at William Rawn Architects in Boston and PLY Architecture in Ann Arbor. Lizzie received her B.S. in Architecture from the University of Michigan in 2010.

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GROUND UP IS the student journal of the Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

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IS an annual print and web publication intended to stimulate thought, discussion, visual exploration and substantive speculation about emerging landscape issues affecting contemporary praxis. IS an examination of a critical theme arising from the tension between contemporary landscape architecture, ecology and pressing cultural issues. IS intended as a discursive platform to explore concepts grounded in local issues with global relevance. WILL be guided by the interests of our readers and collaborators. We operate on an open call with invited entries from academics, practitioners, students, designers, scientists and activists.


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(Photo by Yang ‘Alex’ Liu)


O(UR)BLIQUE STRATEGIES The creative process can be regarded as an alchemical transformation of an individual’s subconscious into physically manifested realities. This process—for artists, designers, or any makers—can be exceedingly nonlinear with breakthroughs precipitated by happenstance or seemingly random triggers of thought. One can achieve a transcendent state of continual creative potency when enveloped in a flow state—a rapturous, focused immersion in activity that harnesses an alignment between mind and hand, energizing the creator with an ultimate sense of inspired direction. This disposition can be elusive, a truth which motivated the musician Brian Eno and visual artist Peter Schmidt to create their 1974 joint project Oblique Strategies. This collection of cards facilitates lateral thinking by proposing alternative approaches to the project at hand. Inspired by the work of these luminaries, the following pages offer an insight into some of the oblique strategies inspired and employed by the Ground Up crew, for your own interpretation.


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Focus on tiny details, dive deeper Call yer Ma

1 Cut cards along dotted lines. 2 Stack cards. 3 Shuffle. 4 When faced with a creative dilemma, select one card at random and proceed as directed. Every Monday evening the Ground Up crew gathered in room 315A of the landscape architecture studio in Wurster Hall, to earnestly concoct the artifact of creative alchemy you now hold in your hands. While indulging in the essential delicacies—artisanal cheeses, hummus with carrots and herbed popcorn, washed down with only the finest boxed wine—these weekly gatherings became a vital respite from the grind of the studio. This collaborative environment provided space for our team to share ideas and vibe off of the creative energy and kinship we discovered in one another. Punctuated by the witty criticism of our faculty advisor, Karl Kullmann, our process was delineated by the crosspollination of ideas in an open forum setting, where our unique talents and contributions were brought to light. From our creative lab to yours, we hope that these oblique strategies will inspire your next design endeavor, and help YOU to define the line…

Eliminate redundancies

Destroy and reflect

Pay attention to distractions

Execute and advance

Render your hills aluminum Be the master of your domain

Make a study model

Water a plant

Maybe it’s enough?

Be emphatic

Close your eyes and touch things

Quick rip + listen to Brian Eno

Think less, generate forms

Go to sleep early and get up early Draw something little and think about the big picture

Recite poems of the sea

Eat a sweet treat

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Blah blah blah Yada yada yada Take a break

Fake it

Be LOUD

What’s the formal logic?

Howl at the moon

Light something on fire

Do the opposite Ignore everyone

Keep it simple Whiskey

Hang out with a non-human Close your eyes and breathe Stretch it out Don’t be afraid of doing the “easy” thing

Drink water

Take a bath

Clean your dirtiest shelf

Back up

Turn your design upside down

Fearlessness!

And, by the way…… You’re beautiful!

Honor your error as a hidden intention

Use an old idea

Trespass Take one thing off


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ROD BARNETT NEERAJ BHATIA TIAGO TORRES CAMPOS MICHAEL DEAR FRITZ HORSTMAN MICHAL KAPITULNIK NATE KAUFFMAN KARL KULLMANN PAULA MEIJERINK FALON MIHALIC THOMAS MURDOCH N. CLAIRE NAPAWAN + BRETT SNYDER

JENNY ODELL TIM PINAULT EFTYCHIOS SAVVIDIS ISABELLE SMEALL MEG STUDER CHIP SULLIVAN JANET TORRES GRNASFCK JESSE VOGLER STORY WIGGINS + KATHLEEN O’LEARY ELIZABETH YARINA


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