07. LA+ IMAGINATION (Spring 2018)

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LA+ Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture University of Pennsylvania stuart weitzman School of Design Editor in Chief Dr Tatum L. Hands Creative Direction Prof. Richard J. Weller Issue Editors Tatum Hands Richard Weller Production Coordinator Colin Curley Production Team Zhexuan Liao Prakul Reddy Pottapu Editorial Assistant Allison Koll www.laplusjournal.com laplus@design.upenn.edu ISSN (Online): 2689-2413 ISSN (Print): 2376-4171 Proofreading by Jake Anderson Back cover illustration by Laurie Olin All images appear courtesy of their authors under license granted pursuant to the terms of the LA+ IMAGINATION design competition.

Copyright Š 2017 University of Pennsylvania School of Design All rights reserved. No part of this journal may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic, mechanical, photocopying of microfilming, recording, or otherwise (except that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press) without written permission from the publisher.

LA+ Journal, PennDesign and the University of Pennsylvania endeavor to respect copyright consistent with their nonprofit educational mission. The journal has attempted to trace and acknowledge all sources of images used in this publication and apologizes for any errors or omissions. If you believe any material has been included in this publication improperly, please bring it to our attention. Recommended citation: LA+ Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture, no. 7 (2018).

imagination |iˌmajəˈnāSHən| noun (pl. imaginations) the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses: she’d never been blessed with a vivid imagination. • the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful: technology gives workers the chance to use their imagination. • the part of the mind that imagines things: a girl who existed only in my imagination. Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd Ed.

In This Issue


Editorial tatum l. hands


the black swamp armada jake boswell + marty koelsch


jury q+a richard weller, marion weiss, MARK KINGWELL, JAVIER ARPA, MATTHEW GANDY, JAMES CORNER


cohesion eric wong


stheno island nadège lachassagne + iwan burgaud


winning entries


the island of lost objects jacky bowring


puerto nuevo joseph henry kennedy jr.


pla-kappa: a cautionary tale of accumulation tei carpenter, arianna deane + ashley kuo


a fraudulent atoll justin parscher + jake boswell


coastal paradox bradley cantrell, fionn byrne + emma mendel


islands in the park ting liang + elizabeth savrann


the dredge islands neeraj bhatia, cesar lopez + jeremy jacinth


alderney north east james trevers


united plastic nation noël schardt + bjÖrn MÜNDNER


solarberg alexandra zahn


honorable mentions



Ø copenhagen marshall blecher + magnus maarbjerg

niebla tepui thomas yuan


salon des refusÉS


island library prakul reddy pottapu, zhexuan liao + richard weller Upcoming Issues

Previous: “Clearing Up — Coast of Sicily” by Andreas Achenbach (c. 1847) via Wikimedia Commons, public domain. Opposite: Ø Copenhagen by Marshall Blecher + Magnus Maarbjerg, used with permission.

LA+ imagination/spring 2018 7

imagination editorial We know of course that nothing is an island and yet in an infinite, liminal universe they seem a necessary fixation. Why are we attracted to islands? Is it genetic memory or cultural construct? Both no doubt. Like ships to land, the mind comes to rest on islands. Clinging to this latitude and that longitude (or, as it is now, a solid 1 in an ocean of 0s) the mind can anchor itself to an island and offload its stories. From Atlantis to The Lord of the Flies, we have built up an archipelago of island dreams and island nightmares, all of them useful fictions set in dialogue with the mainland. The landscape or architectural project is also a kind of island – a discrete world where the designer spins stories into stone. But what are these stories? Why are their plots so often so thin and their characters so obvious? Partly a critique of its relative absence in a world of overbearing realism and partly a wager that if given the opportunity the flood gates would open, this issue gives free rein to the imagination, and documents the results of the eponymous competition where entrants were asked, simply, to design an island. There was really only one rule: the island could not be bigger than one square kilometer. We asked entrants to provide a plan and section and supporting imagery, and explain their idea under 300 words. We received 180 entries from 33 countries. LA+ IMAGINATION’s eminent and interdisciplinary jury was comprised of James Corner (Founder, James Corner Field Operations), Marion Weiss (Co-founder, WEISS/MANFREDI), Javier Arpa (The Why Factory, Delft), Mathew Gandy (Professor of Geography, Cambridge University), Mark Kingwell (Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto), and Richard Weller (Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania). After several rounds of judging the jury awarded five equal winners and 10 honorable mentions, all of which are published in full in the following pages. In addition to these, we have compiled a Salon des Refusés of other notable entries, and at the back of the issue you will find a library of island classics to compare and contrast with those of the entrants. Through interviews, each juror offers their thoughts on the entries and reflects on contemporary design culture more broadly. LA+ Journal thanks everyone who entered and contributed to LA+ IMAGINATION. Tatum L. Hands Editor-in-Chief

jury q+a with Photo: Lou Caltabiano

richard weller Richard Weller is Professor and Chair of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania where he also holds the Meyerson Chair of Urbanism. His design work has been exhibited at the Australian Museum of Contemporary Art and is collected in the monograph Room 4.1.3: Innovations in Landscape Architecture (2005). His best-known built work is the Garden of Australian Dreams at the National Museum of Australia. Weller has published a number of books on scenario planning for cities and megaregions including Boomtown 2050: Scenarios for a Rapidly Growing City (2009) and Made in Australia: The Future of Australian Cities (2014). His most-recent work, The Atlas for the End of the World (2017), maps global flashpoints between urbanization and biodiversity. Weller is the Creative Director of LA+ Journal.

+ Why did LA+ Journal hold a design competition and will there be another one?

We wanted to make a space for designers to invent their own fictions, unfettered by the daily grind of site contingencies and budget (and other) compromises. It’s part of the journal’s mission to broaden the intellectual reach of landscape architecture and ideas competitions are great vehicles for that. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the LA+ IMAGINATION competition, so we are definitely thinking about what might be next. Watch this space!

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+ You’ve done a lot of design competitions over the years; what has been your favorite brief and what do you think is the value of an ideas-based competition?

I entered the original ideas competition for the Diomede Islands in the Bering Strait in 1988. It was the height of the Cold War and obviously compelling territory. It was a one-pager with no brief, no entry fee, and no prize money; and for someone like me who thought landscape architecture at the time was incredibly boring, it—and many other ideas competitions like it—represented intellectual adventure and freedom. This may come across as glib, but I’ve always believed that you never lose a competition because you develop your own approach to things and get to see yourself on a level playing field with everyone else, and that’s invaluable. This is the case with ideas competitions, but it is not the case when competitions are used to procure real projects and they have very prescriptive briefs, conservative judges, and require massive amounts of work. Those can be a real pain. In general, I think we need more ideas and less pain!

+ What was your approach to judging?

Everyone’s a sucker for beautiful or intriguing graphics but in this competition, because of its implicit emphasis on ideation, I gave equal weight to the text. I was looking for depth of ideation and entries which were not naive about island clichés.

+ What do you think the entries say about the state of the imagination in contemporary design culture?

I think we are looking at a generation of designers who are so deep in the mechanics of production and so awash in information that they have very little time to cultivate an imaginative repertoire. I was happy to see that, when given the chance, there were some really weird and wonderful ideas. The problem for me, in many cases, was that those ideas didn’t get refined or developed enough. Klee said drawing is taking a line for a walk; I think it’s taking an idea for a run.

+ Is it fair to say the entries seemed divided between poetic fictions on the one hand and high-tech eco-machines on the other?

Yes, often entries did tend to be either/or in this regard and I think, as the question implies, the challenge is to elide the two. I have issues with both: the poetic tendency is mired in romanticism, whereas the mechanists are falsely advertising technology as a cure all.

+ Were there any entries that stood out for you that didn’t make the final 15?

Well this will somewhat contradict what I just said about romanticism but there was one entry regarding the former airport runway in Kowloon, Hong Kong that I really liked [“Kai Tak Island”]. The proposal was to disconnect it from the mainland, make it inaccessible and do nothing. I mean literally inaccessible and literally nothing. There are many practical reasons why this is a bad idea, especially in Hong Kong where space is at a premium, but I think it’s also a powerful and beautiful idea to cordon off a place and keep design out. Another entry I liked was one that walled off the CBD of London in a dystopian future [“Croesus”]. The text was a scathing indictment of neoliberalism. I was also amused by the big blonde off the coast of Dubai [“Brobdingnag’s Island: A Temple to Her”] and there was another [“Cenotaph for Vanished Biodiversity”] with a very beautiful drawing of Boulle’s Cenotaph to Newton sliced into coral.

+ What would you have done had you entered this competition?

Strategically, my approach to competitions like this has always been to try to think of all the things other entrants would likely do and not do them. That said, I would have at least gone some way down the path of putting a mad bio-tech scientist on a new island in the Galapagos and let that play out. Alternatively, given what’s happened recently, I probably would have thought about what a “little island of truth” in the midst of the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial would be. Tiring of those, I might have ended up somehow trying to dematerialize the whole thing. Islands are in our heads.

jury q+a with Photo: Shuli Sade

marion weiss Marion Weiss is co-founder of WEISS/MANFREDI and the Graham Chair Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. Her New York City-based multidisciplinary design practice is known for the dynamic integration of architecture, art, infrastructure, and landscape. Notable projects include the Seattle Art Museum: Olympic Sculpture Park, recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the “top ten architectural marvels” and by Architectural Record as one of “the most significant works that defines architecture in our era.” Weiss is the recipient of numerous awards including an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Architectural League of New York’s “Emerging Voices Award,” and the New York AIA Gold Medal. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennale, the Guggenheim Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s National Design Triennial, the National Building Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art.

+ What were the qualities you found most attractive and compelling in the entries?

The submissions revealed the breadth and depth of speculation elicited by the competition. It was a great pleasure to explore the travel guide-formatted narratives of each submission, from the romantically poignant to the apocalyptically scientific. These entries, collectively, emerge as a window into contemporary preoccupations and reveal, to me, a longing for succinct geographies that can uncover larger territorial critiques and dreams. I was particularly struck by the romantic character of many of the submissions; the graphics were often mesmerizing, independent of the accompanying written narrative.

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+ What do you think the entries say about the state of the imagination in contemporary design culture?

As expected, the state of the imagination in contemporary design culture is best characterized through many lenses. The framework of the competition and indeed the title—LA+ IMAGINATION—created a moment to distill both reveries and anxieties about the state of the built environment, and also revealed nostalgia for a more precarious mode of exploration informed by maps, sketches, and journals before the introduction of high-tech navigation systems. I was reminded of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities. In that book, 55 fictional cities are described to convey the extent of Kublai Khan’s empire, while in fact they are descriptions of one city: Venice. These competition entries, as a collection of narratives, form an interesting cross section of the zeitgeist that informs the imagination of architects and landscape architects today. The entries also suggest that the state of the imagination in contemporary design culture is preoccupied with very real challenges: the destruction of natural ecologies, overburdened infrastructures, rising water levels, and the intertwined realities of international politics and economics. Many submissions transcended the traditional definitions of landscape architecture and architecture, entering the realms of art, global politics, biology, and science fiction.

+ What do the entries tell us about the current relationship between landscape and architecture?

Contemporary design challenges are complex and interconnected, challenging the clarity of disciplinary distinctions. These challenges create new opportunities to reveal reciprocities between landscape and architecture, engineering and art, and technological capacities and environmental realities. The entries exhibit a fluid relationship between the two traditionally isolated spheres of landscape and architecture and utilize the alibi of the utopian island to address intertwining urban, social, and environmental conditions. In doing so, they reveal a new definition of the term ‘island.’

+ The role of architecture in many of the entries was mechanistic, high-tech, and utopian – did this surprise you?

The mechanistic, high-tech, and utopian profile of many of the entries appears somewhat nostalgic. This illustrative paradigm is more than half a century old, forged initially by the Russian Constructivists, later explored with delightful ambition by Super Studio and Archigram, and more recently seen in the paper architecture that followed Post Modernism’s romance with historical forms. The entries for this competition illuminate the gathering momentum of a post digital trend, shying away from the parametric paradigm that dominated the media a decade ago. Given today’s pressing environmental challenges and political climate, the utopian proposals not only critique contemporary realities, they offer refreshing prototypical futures.

+ Were there any entries that stood out for you that didn’t make the final 15?

There were a number of strong submissions, but the winners and honorable mentions encapsulated the best of the cross section of ideas that surfaced through many of the entries.

+ What would you have done had you entered this competition?

My own preoccupation with ‘island utopias’ is very current as we are completing a new building on Roosevelt Island for Cornell Tech. As part of a two million-square-foot campus, our focus has been on anticipating rising water levels and storm surges that could leave the site underwater by 2050. If I entered this competition, I would have taken advantage of the limbering exercise to address this pressing environmental challenge further on a real site and invent new typologies of urban resilience. I am interested in triggering new reciprocities between technology, urbanity, and academic inquiry and recasting the conventional distinctions between land and water and where the finite boundaries of the island intersect with the infinite expanse of water. The sheer optimism and audacity of the title of the competition— LA plus the imagination—affirms a commitment to renewed relationships between dreams, design, and the poetics of the community we designers share.

jury q+a with Photo: Mark Raynes Roberts

mark kingwell Mark Kingwell is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto, Canada, and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine in New York. He has published 18 books of political, cultural, and aesthetic theory including the bestsellers The World We Want (2000), Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City (2008), Rites of Way: The Politics and Poetics of Public Space (2009), and Measure Yourself Against the Earth (2015). His most recent book Fail Better uses the game of baseball to illustrate complex concepts like theoretically infinite game-space, “time out of time,” and the rules of civility. Kingwell is a regular contributor to LA+ Journal and is currently working on a book about the politics of boredom.

+ What were the qualities you found most attractive and compelling in the entries?

I was especially struck by combinations of aesthetic interest in the visual pieces and imaginative range in the concept. So, the proposals that got highest marks from me were ones that had elements of fantasy and free play of ideas, in particular if there was some esoteric dimension – a long-lost text, a wacky historical precedent, a sci-fi resonance. I found the many environmentally driven proposals worthy and earnest, but eventually too obvious and boring. Those ideas are important, but they lack a dimension of true imagination – that ability to conceive of something that is unexpected and yet, when presented with panache, seems entirely right and logical.

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+ What do you think the entries say about the state of the imagination in contemporary design culture?

Well, there are some great designers out there! I was impressed by the volume and quality of the work we saw. All of it was thoughtful and well-conceived. The parameters of the call helped a lot here, I think. Islands are a natural site of imaginative discourse, from Atlantis and Avalon to Robinson Crusoe, Napoleon on Elba, Manhattan’s delirious New York, even the prospect of a man on the Moon. The isolated land mass, to which we must journey in search of utopia or to which we are exiled, shipwrecked, and so on – the very idea embraces hope, romance, despair, politics, survival, and so much more. The entries reflected all of these elements.

+ From Plato to Foucault one could map the history of philosophy onto islands. What would be a philosopher’s island today?

Yes, philosophers love islands! The most obvious real-world version of this is probably Plato’s journey to Syracuse, on Sicily, to realize his utopian ideals in an actual political setting. The results were not encouraging. Philosophical islands work best in the mind, but what Mark Lilla has called “the lure of Syracuse” still afflicts some of us now and then. Today’s philosophical island would have to be a complicated property, maybe more like Michel Houellebecq’s The Possibility of an Island—a post-apocalyptic future of clones, empty sex, and materialism—than anything utopian. There is, as Kafka said, an infinity of hope in the universe, just not for us.

+ Were there any entries that stood out for you that didn’t make the final 15?

Several of my top picks were in the final 15. There were so many good ones that I don’t think there was one that stood out as being unjustly excluded.

+ What would you have done had you entered this competition?

Well, I guess my answers give a hint. I would have pursued the idea of the island as haven and site of new possibilities, and then tried to complicate that optimism with the usual set of troubling questions. What about evil? Or just the routine perfidies of human nature? Do we really understand the nature of happiness? (No, we don’t.) Is there such a thing as a perfect island? (No, there isn’t.) Plus, you know, a diminutive Tattoo figure working as sidekick to suave Ricardo Montalban: “Boss! Ze plane! Ze plane!”

jury q+a with Photo: Ricardo Espinosa

javier ARPA Javier Arpa is an architect and urban designer, and Research and Education Coordinator of The Why Factory – a think tank run in partnership by MVRDV and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He was curator of Paris Habitat and Paysages Habités, held in 2015 at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris and is author of the monograph Paris Habitat: One Hundred Years of City, One Hundred Years of Life (2015). Arpa is editor and co-author of the a+t series publications Density, In Common, Civilities, Strategy, and Hybrids, and lectures in landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

+ What were the qualities you found most attractive and compelling in the entries?

I was very enthusiastic about the direct engagement of many of the competition entries with current political, ecological, social, or cultural concerns. I am very interested in the voids left behind by economic, environmental, or humanitarian crises, so it has been really rewarding to see how entrants proposed to fill those voids with design. Moreover, despite the small scale of the island site, proposals pursue collective aspirations instead of cultivating individual dreams. This brings a lot of hope to the world of design. Indeed, after Koolhaas proclaimed the “death of urbanism,” architects, landscape architects, urbanists, and planners need to think big again.

LA+ imagination/spring 2018 15

+ What do you think the entries say about the state of the imagination in contemporary design culture?

I understand imagination as a true combination of science and fiction. Many entries showed quite a good deal of both. One could see in them that what begins as a fantasy in the imagination of the designer could one day be a reality. Other entries tried to respond to contemporary concerns in a very direct, almost tactical, manner, and the outcome was somehow not courageous enough. It is necessary to doubt and imagine more. Unfortunately, the production of visions in contemporary design culture has progressively diminished in the last decades. Educators should be aware of this circumstance and address it by inviting students to use their imagination beyond the tactical, and to move forward from charting patterns of future urbanization that are just like they are today.

+ One square kilometer is a pretty good platform for investigating new urban forms. Were you surprised that not many island designs took on the challenge of imagining alternative forms of urbanization?

I was. I would have expected the current crises addressed by some of the entries to have been taken a step (or several steps) further, so as to imagine bolder alternatives to today’s forms of urbanization. Often, entries looked at solutions to current difficulties but did not question what causes them. If the fabrication of the city is a political act, I missed the suggestion of alternative political and social scenarios, a true paradigm shift. Imagine a world where everyone is middle class (absolute equality), imagine a world which is truly democratic (full freedom), imagine a world where noone consumes more than what one produces (total self-sufficiency). How would the island look like under such scenarios?

+ Were there any entries that stood out for you that didn’t make the final 15?

There were indeed some outstanding works that did not make part of the final selection of 15 entries. This is part of every selection process, be it the selection of the winners of a design competition, the articles for a publication, or the contents of an exhibition. Throughout my career as an editor and curator, I have selected hundreds of works by designers and scholars for publications and exhibitions, but sometimes, exceptional work is left outside the final selection of contents, no matter how objective, scientific, and thorough one tries to be.

+ What would you have done had you entered this competition?

I guess I would try to respond to the scenarios described earlier as point of departure for different islanded urban experiments. For example, how does a scenario of overall equality, freedom, or self-sufficiency materialize in one square kilometer of territory? How do automation, nanomaterials, robotics, and biotechnology contribute to the production of a healthier world? If humans tend to live longer and longer, could we imagine an island where everyone lived forever? What would be the consequences of eternal youth on urban form? If the dense, diverse, and intense city is the one that best responds to the collective need of saving resources and limiting global warming, how can it fulfil our individual desires at the same time? what if the entire world population moved to a hyper-tall, hyper-dense, hyper-diverse, and hyper-intense city with a one square kilometer footprint while the rest of the planet remained untouched? What would a 100% ‘green’ developed urban island look like? What urban forms might appear from those scenarios? What architecture, what landscape, what urban design could support such urbanity? What ecosystems, transport networks, or infrastructure would emerge? The visions produced would probably be made of bits of scientific knowledge, touches of objective data, good long moments of fantasy, and lots of optimism.

jury q+a with Photo: Nathan Pitt

matthew gandy Matthew Gandy is Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography at Cambridge University, UK, with research interests in landscape, infrastructure, and biodiversity. He is author of numerous books including Concrete and Clay: Reworking Nature in New York City (2002), which received the 2003 Spiro Kostof award for the book “that has made the greatest contribution to our understanding of urbanism and its relationship with architecture,� and The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity, and the Urban Imagination (2014), which received the 2014 AAG Meridian Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work in Geography and the 2016 award for the most innovative book in planning history from the International Planning History Society. He is currently researching the interface between cultural and scientific aspects to urban biodiversity, as captured in his award-winning documentary film Natura Urbana (2017).

+ What were the qualities you found most attractive and compelling in the entries?

I especially liked the more imaginative entries that combined a sophisticated design eye with complex conceptual debates. I was also impressed by those entries that made a thoughtful engagement with key political challenges such as the loss of biodiversity, the significance of socio-economic disparities, and specific environmental issues such as the accumulation of plastic waste.

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+ What do you think the entries say about the state of the imagination in contemporary design culture?

I think the critical significance of imagination is that different worlds have to be imagined before they can be brought into being. Furthermore, the ironic use of imaginative worlds, as in science-fiction scenarios, can also help to illuminate critical social and political tensions. I would place some of the more critically reflexive and neo-Ballardian entries into this genre of cultural representation.

+ What do you think are the important intersections between critical geography and design today?

There are some intersections between these fields. Interesting examples include the work on urban atmospheres by Tim Edensor and others, along with critical explorations of the role of design in promoting neo-liberal urbanism. More recently, critical perspectives are emerging in relation to landscape urbanism and other influential approaches to landscape design, as well as growing interest in non-design and the spontaneous dynamics of ecological processes.

+ The ‘island’ of the Anthropocene is the planet Earth; how do you reconcile a sense of the planetary with a sense of the local?

In a sense the planet Earth is local since the biosphere is so isolated and vulnerable when viewed from space – I am thinking in particular of the extraordinary ‘blue dot’ image taken by Voyager 1 in 1990 from the edge of our solar system, some six billion kilometers away. The idea of the earth as an ‘island’ on the brink of the sixth mass extinction event has clearly been influenced by the Anthropocene debate accompanied by a new concern with geo-history that places our contemporary predicament in the context of ‘deep time.’

+ What would you have done had you entered this competition?

One of my current research themes is the significance of marginal urban spaces, such as ‘wastelands,’ for biodiversity. I might have based my imaginary island on one of my study sites to create a kind of late-modern urban refugia for plants and animals using a multi-sensory representation for the dynamic and largely unknown realm of morethan-human nature. I would have presented my urban ‘island’ as a kind of cultural and scientific laboratory for the Anthropocene.

jury q+a with Photo: Peden Munk

james corner James Corner is the founder and director of James Corner Field Operations in New York and emeritus Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. Best known for designing New York City’s acclaimed “High Line,” his public realm works also include London’s South Park Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Santa Monica’s Tongva Park, Chicago’s Navy Pier, Philadelphia’s Race Street Pier, Hong Kong’s Salisbury Gardens and Tsim Tsa Tsui Waterfront, and Shenzhen’s new city of Qianhai, a new coastal city for three million people. Corner’s books include The High Line (2015); The Landscape Imagination (2014), and Taking Measures Across the American Landscape (1996). In 2007, he was named by TIME Magazine as one of “Ten Most Influential Designers.”

+ What were the qualities you found most attractive and compelling in the entries?

Many entries captured very well the essence of islands – their remoteness, distance, isolation, and beguilement. I found that the deployment of maps and navigation was a useful way for many to begin to describe the ‘otherness’ of islands, the surprise of discovery and finding places both mythological and real. I was also impressed with the laconic representation of many of the entries; simple and beautiful imagery combined with effective modes of communicating quite sophisticated ideas and themes. The sheer range and diversity of ideas was extraordinary – from extremely poetic and abstract notions to the most utilitarian and instrumentalist approaches.

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+ What do you think the entries say about the state of the imagination in contemporary design culture?

Collectively, the entries point to a very lively and diverse imagination of islands and the essential qualities of ‘islandness,’ not to mention a general adventurousness toward speculation and possibility. Of course, islands are more imaginary than they are tangible, and often exceed or escape easy capture. But the question ties imagination to design culture, and here I think it is important to recognize a key differentiator – for without any specific site, culture, history, or program, the competition exercise is less about design in any contextual or responsive way and more about pure speculation. Here, design intelligence is focused more upon dreaming and conjuring up possibilities rather than being focused upon a field of real and contextual situations. And so, yes, the exercise is useful, provocative, and heartening in its display of imaginary possibilities, but it also runs the risk of polarizing imaginative work from design practice, as if the imagination belongs only to artistic fiction and not also to science, technology, engineering, problem solving, and everyday life.

+ In your book The Landscape Imagination you are not advocating for the concoction of fantasies or fictions, so much as new ways of seeing and making landscape. Were there any signs in the entries of this being done?

My response to this question follows from the above: that the landscape imagination is not limited to dreams and fantasies, but is actually more instrumental in terms of shaping how we see, act, make, and live. The imagination conjoins fact with fiction, science with art, instrumentality with meaning, and everyday reality with a certain utopianism. The best entries in this competition appealed to me because they broached poetic phenomenology with everyday logistics or program in some way. And they did this in varied imaginative ways. On the one hand, “Coastal Paradox” is wholly fictional, but it takes seriously the issue of mapping, description, analysis, and projection as creating a new reality, a new program, a new understanding. On the other hand, “Dredge Islands,” as well as “United Plastic Nation” and the more compelling “Solarberg,” paint a picture of islands as technological instruments, mobile, functioning, and productive, but with a certain aura, an otherness that points to further suggestion and possibility. These examples deploy an imagination that is looking not to simply project a fantastical image (paradisiacal or otherwise) but more to use the idea of ‘island’ to explore and construct alternative realities.

+ Can you suggest what you think will constitute a new landscape aesthetic this century?

This is a big and complex question, and impossible to answer in this short format. The crux of this issue is that landscape is inevitably bound so deeply into cultural habit and expectation. In the west, this continues to circle around images of pastoral countryside, natural wilderness or cultivated gardens. Here, the aesthetic question still circles around the balance or relationship between formal and informal, wild and manicured, rough and orderly, and so on, as pertaining to a mostly ‘green’ nature. It is almost impossible to disassociate ‘landscape’ from cultural convention – as I have said elsewhere, landscape retards its own advancement; it is almost innately nostalgic. While this is enormously limiting and conservative in terms of expanding aesthetic horizons, I think it is also not necessarily a negative to be completely overturned; to the contrary, nostalgia can be the basis for romance, belonging, place, and continuity, themes that can be seen in some of the island submissions, a sort of longing, for ‘home’ as well as for ‘escape.’ If we are to advance landscape aesthetics and innovate with the medium, then I think it is first necessary to expand or re-invent what ‘landscape’ actually is, avoiding traditionalist stylistic issues for more innovative and comprehensive versions of landscape that might in turn suggest new aesthetic responses. By focusing on questions of ‘island,’ the competition set an alternative basis for considering landscape, and thereby allowed for people to consider aspects of geography, ecology, culture, place, and resiliency, without resorting to traditional landscape tropes. To the degree that we saw any kind of radically new aesthetic though remains questionable, for many invoked familiar themes of landscape, especially drawn from cinema: apocalyptic melancholy, space-ship-like autonomy, sepia-toned found objects and

jury q+a with james corner 20

cartographic maps, machinic constructions, Pandora-like settings, atmospheric moods and mists. “Coastal Paradox” is perhaps one that does stand out to me as something new and fresh, pointing to an aesthetic that seems at once biological, geological, scale-less, emergent, and visceral.

+ When asked for evocative views of their islands very few entrants constructed images of landscape as eco-paradisiacal, whereas this trope dominates the way landscape is portrayed in contemporary practice and culture more broadly. Can you speak to this discrepancy?

In a way, the abstractness of ‘islands’ allows one to escape the cultural and environmental groundedness of place. Perhaps this helps to dream afresh without getting caught up in too much reality. Perhaps it also helps to avoid the obviousness of eco-paradisiacal tropes. Another thought is that perhaps this younger generation of landscape architects are more in-tune with current ideas of resiliency, technology, media, data, mobility, and innovation than the older mindset, where landscape carries with it heavy notes of naturalism and paradise.

+ Were there any entries that stood out for you that didn’t make the final 15?

There was one that captured my attention, and that I wish had made it in to the final 15. “Island Urbanism” speaks to “out with the melting pot” and the homogeneity of an interconnected, open society, and “in with the salad bowl,” or the creation of cheekby-jowl, self-sufficient social groups and differentiated neighborhoods, coming together in parks and public spaces for “cultural exchange.” Riddled with complexity and contradiction, this provocative proposal speaks to difficult challenges facing urban society today: pluralism and inclusion through acculturation in an anonymous, equalizing organizational system, or pluralism and inclusion through differentiation, adjacency, and a kind of islanding of different cultures but within a shared matrix.

+ What would you have done had you entered this competition?

While the rules limited one to an island of only one square kilometer, I would like to have thought of planet Earth as an island—which indeed it is—with limited resources, complex logistics and solitary isolation in the context of deep space. Earth is an island that provokes the imaginary as well as demands new forms and actions of imagining, especially if humankind is to figure out more sustainable and just forms of existence. If constrained to one square kilometer, I would have wanted to think of the island much like Earth, or alternatively, the smallest living cell – an isolated but dynamic system, both generating and expending energy, responsive and adapting to changing circumstance, nurturing and evolving new sets of possibility over time. Such an island would need to be seen in terms of its set of processes, interactions, and effects, not just as an object or a scene – even though its objecthood would inevitably be beautiful, transcending representation.

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winning entries

the dredge islands neeraj bhatia, cesar lopez + jeremy jacinth coastal paradox Bradley Cantrell, Fionn Byrne + Emma Mendel the island of lost objects jacky bowring PLA - Kappa : A cautionary Tale of accumulation tei carpenter, arianna deane + ashley kuo United Plastic Nation Noël Schardt + BJÖRN MÜNDNER


The Island of Lost Objects Jacky Bowring

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recently came across these documents during my research at the Royal Geographical Society in London. The papers detail the exploration of the enigmatic Island of Lost Objects. Located at 0.00°N 0.00°E, the island marks the world’s geographical cipher, the null point. Uncannily, it seems that the island was not always at its current location. I was astonished to find that it had previously been located at the antipodal point, its geographical Other. At its former location it was known as Howland Island, and is still shown as such on some maps. It is a flat, uninhabited island, forlorn and windswept. Not only is the Island a kind of phantom, its now non-existent Other persists as an after-image. There is an irresolvable sense of presence and absence, investing the Island with an aura of loss. The documents recounted a number of curious elements on the island. A well is mysteriously noted as being “of seemingly infinite depth,” perhaps an extreme type of wishing well. An altar and a beacon were further signals of hope in the face of loss. Alongside these votive elements of hope, were various forms of searching: a lookout tower, an acoustic mirror, and a perimeter track worn into the ground from scouring the horizon. It struck me that these practices of hoping and searching were all futile rituals, unlikely to yield a result. Instead, I realized—however perverse this might be— that the island is a place for the love of loss, for the prolonging of longing. Its own absence from its origin amplifies this. The island is evidently for the contemplation of all lost objects: love, civilizations, innocence, missing persons, MH370, passenger pigeons, the Great Buddha of Bamiyan. The endless litany of lost objects, the gaping lacunae in our lives – extinctions, misplacements, destructions, death.


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Photos by Joann94024 (top) and Paul Glazzard (bottom), used under CC BY license.


Pla-Kappa A Cautionary Tale of Accumulation Tei Carpenter + Arianna Deane + Ashely Kuo

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he floating island of Pla-Kappa shifts it shape slowly, constantly growing while consuming itself. Swirling clockwise within the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, Pla-Kappa is coproduced between nature’s ocean currents, organic matter, and accumulations of human-made waste. Within the barely visible dispersed soup of micro-plastics and flotsam on the ocean surface covering 150,000 km2, Pla-Kappa began its coagulation with the rise of severe water temperatures. Captured at 35.625°N 144.105°W, it is the first and largest island amongst a vast archipelago, each new island an index of disposability. As humans expel more goods, Pla-Kappa grows taller, more entangled, and more buoyant. When icebergs became extinct, Pla-Kappa and its counterparts replaced them as inverted artificial likenesses, drifting through the ocean. Some researchers refer to Pla-Kappa as the New Galapagos. An extreme ecosystem with endemic species, Pla-Kappa’s habitats include hybrid conditions of soft organics and hard plastics, chemical-rich ridges and escarpments. Years ago, the sea skater population swelled because of the explosion of waste substrates in the ocean. Marine food chains adapted and Pla-Kappa became a site for the emergence of new species. Along Pla-Kappa’s Blue Hole, plastic-eating bacteria and Styrofoam-eating mealworms metabolize parts of the island, thriving on discarded single-use food containers, space blankets, and half empty bottles of car oil. A mutation of caddisfly larvae that uses its silk to form protective cases out of loose waste particles burgeoned on PlaKappa, secreting a binding enzyme to produce the island’s new ground. Pla-Kappa simultaneously grows and deteriorates with the help of these new species, changing material states with exposure to the natural elements. Scientists probe, monitor, and try to manage Pla-Kappa. Speculators circle Pla-Kappa in helicopters, eager to extract its resources, looking for ways to continue the cycle of consumption, again.


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Coastal Paradox Bradley Cantrell + Fionn Byrne + Emma Mendel

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ow do we know when a plant has died? You, yourself, will expire a last breath as neural activity comes to a halt and the heart discontinues the steady beating it began as you were born into this world. One would think there is no better metronome of vitality than the heart. As this restless muscle finally relents, death takes over. While certainly you understand life and death as a process, you will have no trouble distinguishing one from another. But the kingdom of fungi demonstrates a most odd hybrid of alive and dead; having no excretory organs, each cell in a fungus must deal with its own waste. With growth, they build up non-living material in vacuoles or cell walls. This slow accumulation of death is contradictory to one of our most important dualisms. No last breaths will punctuate the border between subjectivities of alive and dead. What the fungi teaches us is that our representation of the world is limited, divisive, and subjective. Our sense organs act to constantly cleave things from an undifferentiated medium. Our powers of perception fumble to see the unmediated space-timeenergy-matter continuum through which we exist. Here, in the undifferentiated medium, there are no islands, no binaries, no edges, no objects, no beholders, no life, no death. At stake is our isolationism, at all levels and in all forms. The way we perceive and describe the natural world consequently affects how we understand our human society. To see differently allows us to think differently. Through increasing our vocabulary of edges and challenging the existence of an absolute island, we seek to question other binary divisions: racism, sexism, speciesism, isolationism. Boundaries blur and walls give way to gradients.


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The Dredge Islands Neeraj Bhatia + Cesar Lopez + Jeremy Jacinth

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pproximately one-third of the overall dredged material from the Great Lakes Basin originates from the Maumee River near Toledo, Ohio. Due to increases in ship sizes and port activity, decreasing water levels, and challenges with upland sediment management, the dredging of the river will continue indefinitely. This proposal examines what to do with this large amount of dredge material and asks how it can do more for the city. Using a series of dredge processing islands, the project examines new ways to cohabit the riverfront with regional industry and public programming. Employing a series of geotubes to dewater the dredge material, these floating pontoons are fitted with temporary public programs. Located within close proximity to the city where they can be an asset, the continual dispatching of new islands offer an iterative form of public-space making within the geologics of dredge. Once dewatering has occurred, the geotubes are opened and hydro-seeded to remediate the sediment for open-lake placement. The geotubes are eventually tugged into the bay where the sediment is mixed with bentonite and water to form a slurry that suppresses and absorbs algae growth. Incrementally distributed throughout Lake Erie, over several years this process is anticipated to return the lake to its original nutrient composition. In the context of mid-sized cities where low land values, productive industry along the water, and an associated depravity of public space collide, a system of producing land in a malleable, temporal, transformable, and transportable logic enables the symbiotic cohabitation of industry, culture, and ecology. This positions land not as a commodity to capture and hold, but rather as a temporal material state that is iteratively deployed and used by locals and then redistributed to a territorial ecology.


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United Plastic Nation Noël Schardt + BJÖRN MÜNDNER

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ars, poverty, environmental destruction – sounds like a recipe for Armageddon. What if we could take greed, ignorance, and violence and create something positive? The United Plastic Nation is the antipode – an ever-growing structure, floating through the ocean currents, slowly turning circles around the globe, feeding off a seemingly endless resource: our drive for self-destruction. On its way, it collects and recycles plastic from the oceans. Building material is produced, which is then 3D-printed by a swarm of robotic drones. Layer by layer, they build a completely self-sufficient city. Food is grown in vertical aquaponic farms, water and waste cycle through closed systems, and energy is produced by the waves. The island grows both horizontally and vertically along a New York-like grid, forming an unsinkable iceberg structure. Eventually a landmass of one square kilometer emerges with residential, industrial, recreational, and commercial zones – the first district of the United Plastic Nation. While growing, the island passes by all continents, connecting regions of poverty and despair with regions of wealth and prosperity. It collects its inhabitants from the army of forgotten and dispossessed who are stuck in between. Buried deep below the surface in the belly of the island lie the servers which contain the squirreled-away fortunes of the world’s richest and greediest. Positioned in international waters, the United Plastic Nation is bound by no national laws, thus enabling it to function as a tax haven and generate revenue. The United Plastic Nation questions the concept of the nation state, which defines itself by exclusion of the outside via borders and citizenship. This island is instead, by default, inclusive; it has no borders, is part of all continents, and anyone can be become citizen. A society of true urban nomads is born, not moving from city to city but moving their city themselves.


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honorable mentions

A Fraudulent Atoll Justin Parscher + Jake Boswell SOLARberg Alexandra Zahn Cohesion Eric Wong STHENO ISLAND Nadège Lachassagne + Iwan Burgaud Ø Copenhagen Marshall Blecher + Magnus Maarbjerg The Black Swamp Armada Jake Boswell + Marty Koelsch Puerto nuevo Joseph Henry Kennedy Jr. Islands in The Park : The City As Aggregated Archipelago Ting Liang + Elizabeth Savrann Alderney North East James Trevers Niebla Tepui Thomas Yuan

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Ø Copenhagen Marshall Blecher + Magnus Maarbjerg


Copenhagen is an experimental floating island park and a platform for the discussion of climate resilient urbanism located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It takes its name from the unique single-letter Danish word for island. Ø is a very small island at around 30 square meters with a tree, a billboard, and a chair. It is constructed from an enclosed timber-and-steel flotation support cage filled with 8,000 recycled plastic bottles collected from the city’s streets and drains. The island’s tree is a small-leafed linden: a symbol of the City of Copenhagen. Resilient to salt spray, the linden is isolated from the brackish harbor water in a sealed drum and watered with a solar water maker. Ø is moveable and can be towed to different locations around the former industrial harbor, anchored for two months at a time. Some of the locations will be prominent, visible from the busiest bridges and a short swim from the waterfront, while others will be discreet, tucked into small industrial bays accessible only by adventurous kayakers and boaters. On a steel-framed billboard, Ø will showcase a small, changing exhibition dealing with issues around climate change and sea level rise, but mostly it will be a place for swimmers and boaters to stop by for a break in the shade of the linden tree for a picnic, or to drink some beers. The project will provide a new interactive platform for sharing stories about climate resilient urbanism at the same time as introducing a new paradigm in public space.

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honorable mentions 58

The Black Swamp Armada Jake Boswell + Marty Koelsch


he Maumee River flows out of Northwest Ohio and enters Lake Erie from Toledo in the vast, shallow basin known as Maumee Bay. The Maumee Watershed was once home to one of the largest swamps in the continental United States, the Great Black Swamp. In the mid-19th century, legislation and new technology allowed settlers to clear and drain the swamp, converting roughly 4,800 square miles of it into some of the richest agricultural land in the United States. The result is a long-term ecological problem for the lake and those that depend on it. Today, nutrients leaching off that farmland result in yearly blooms of toxic algae. In 2014, a bloom shut down the drinking water supply for half a million people living in and around the City of Toledo for nearly two weeks. Algae growth is exacerbated by the lake’s shallowness, which allows enough light and warmth to support its growth. To date, legislation intended to deal with the crisis has been ineffective. The Black Swamp Armada addresses this quandary by recreating the Great Black Swamp, not as an in-situ restored ecology, but as a vast series of floating islands anchored within Maumee Bay. Each island is constructed of a pre-cast, perforated and self-buoyant concrete vessel. The vessels support a soil volume sufficient to grow water-loving tree species, like willow and cypress. As they grow, the trees shade the lake, reducing the amount of light available to the algae; they also act as living sponges, taking up excess nutrient and storing it within their living tissue. The islands are organized as an extension of the Township and Range System, replicating the figure of the surrounding countryside while addressing its less-desirable outgrowths. Prototype vessels have been pioneered, constructed, and successfully floated by the design team.

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honorable mentions 60

Cohesion Eric Wong


ohesion is inspired by the novel The Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle. The 1666 novel follows a heroine who discovers a world where diversity and inventions work harmoniously together, the knowledge of which she would later transfer to save her homeland, the United Kingdom. This project asks, “How can Britain be a truly United Kingdom?” and “What is the re-imagined role of capital cities to suggest new urban cohesive typologies?” Cohesion, the new capital city of the United Kingdom is located at the geographical center of the British Isles – the Isle of Man. It is the speculative driver and investigative scale-model kit to cultivate accessibility, green sustainability, and compassion. The narrative aims to reunite an arguably broken Britain in the 21st century, providing for the disenfranchised generation within the UK and the increasing dislocated global communities. It provides a new framework to connect the British Isles: food, clean water, fresh air, and green energy is sustainably produced in the new capital. A renewed urban infrastructure of sustainable tectonics will become a blueprint for green credentials and an urban framework for unity in Cohesion. Relocating Britain’s capital may appear totally fanciful and farfetched; however, such relocation has been considered in the past to the regions of Lancashire and York. The relocation of the capital to the geographical center of the British Isles, on the Isle of Man, would invoke a radical geographical redistribution of wealth, and ease pressures on London’s transport and housing market. A shift in balance of contending forces, a binding center to mediate separated regions, a revival of past glory, and the promotion of a new national consensus – Cohesion is the catalyst to a truly united kingdom.

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honorable mentions 62

STHENO ISLAND Nadège Lachassagne + Iwan Burgaud


hen machines proliferate through a reproductive instinct on a cosmic scale, the planets of our solar system will have all been visited and certain ones colonized to permit their logical expansion. A rapid and limitless surge of machines along the quantum curves of time and space – beyond all human, animal, and plant boundaries. Titan, Saturn’s moon: the latest satellite images have revealed the appearance of a shiny exogenous point on the black liquid expanse of the Kraken Mare. Plates were tangled together like the embedded carcasses of a gigantic automobile accident. At first contact with the atmosphere of Titan, they seemed to oxidize, fossilize and thus make up future sedimentary layers. No element corresponded to the geological cross-section already extracted and known on this moon. The silence contrasted with the picture of the shock of impact that had formed this synthetic landscape. Something had fallen. In the viscous black expanse, a broken silhouette emerged and seemed to move in order to take shape. A powerful wavelike force of survival was operating the tectonics of these plates in agony – an energy of new beginnings which attached itself to a burst but still intact chrysalis-like body through its self-loving will. The compact aggregation of debris formed an island, very different from the other archipelagos of the Kraken Mare. The petrifaction that it had undergone gave it its Gorgon name: Stheno. The failed machine matrix was restructuring itself in order to be self-fertile once again. A programmed survival for itself and by itself. It was entropy on the loose in a sea of oil. Exotrash had found there a favorable environment for its proliferation. An endemic limitless source of energy, favorable for voracious and efficient exploitation.

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honorable mentions 64

Puerto nuevo Joseph Henry Kennedy Jr.


f the over 8,000 square kilometers of land that form the Galapagos Archipelago, less than 3% is zoned for human use. The remaining 97% is a designated national park protected under strict access and conservation regulations. With an official population of over 25,000 legal residents, the resources and infrastructure required to sustain a growing human presence present numerous challenges and conflicts with ecological preservation. The tension between preservation, tourism, and the development of local agriculture is often unknown to most visitors. Legislation that restricts the use of modern pesticides and machinery, combined with a lack of economic incentives, has led the majority of residents to shift from an agricultural livelihood base to more lucrative jobs in the tourism industry. A consequent reliance on imported mainland produce has resulted in higher prices for food and an increased risk of importing invasive species that can threaten the vulnerable Galapagos ecosystem. Located at the southern edge of the Galapagos administrative boundary, Puerto Nuevo acts as a processing and shipping center that distributes the agricultural output of a growing island chain that supports farmland outside the jurisdiction of Galapagos farming restrictions. This proposal repurposes abandoned oil rigs in order to drill into the Earth’s crust above the geothermal hot spot and create volcanic disturbances that result in the formation of new islands. These anthropogenic interventions are intended as catalysts for the existing tectonic process, which can be isolated and controlled to produce additional islands with arable land that support the expanding appetites of Galapagos residents and tourists without imposing a threat to the region’s endemic wildlife.

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honorable mentions 66

A Fraudulent Atoll Justin Parscher + Jake Boswell


etween 1999 and 2014, the suspect, Alandro Narudo, was in contact with government officials, tribal leaders, and corporate entities throughout Oceania. Narudo used 23 different names during this time and claimed to hail from 13 different countries. His approach would begin with letters personally tailored to the recipient claiming common acquaintances, with promotional materials and endorsements attached. Narudo’s appeal combined two urgent areas of concern in the region: rising sea levels and large amounts of non-biodegradable waste. Narudo claimed to have invented a means to use traditional weaving practices to bind together plastic and metal waste into stable mats. These mats could then gradually be backfilled or floated off local beaches to form new islands. Once constructed, the islands would provide habitat, attract tourism, retain potable water, and intercept floating waste pushed westward in the Pacific Gyre. The weaving was to be done by residents instructed in Narudo’s methods. Taking advantage of chronic underemployment in the region, Narudo used a form of franchise fraud where victims would pay for access to training materials and equipment, which would be unusable if delivered at all. After some correspondence, one contact in the Marshall Islands became suspicious and alerted the police. However, Narudo never showed for a scheduled rendezvous in Majuro, and thereafter ceased all communication. Ironically, in the time since, Narudo’s scheme appears to have been studied and adapted by the Republic of The Marshall Islands. In November 2016, the micro-nation appealed to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for an Exclusive Economic Zone around several unclaimed reefs east of Arno Atoll, to be based on the creation of a ‘Confidence Atoll’. If their proposal succeeds, the Marshall Islands could attain access to significant deposits of rare earth metals in the area.

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honorable mentions 68

Islands in The Park

The City As Aggregated Archipelago Ting Liang + Elizabeth Savrann


he project proposes a conceptualization of the adaptive city where the landscape is an articulated wave capable of enabling an archipelago of discrete (but related) ecological, hydrological, social, and architectural islandlike intensities. The design is influenced by the concept of islands as nodes of urban intensity within a void space—like Koolhaas’s City of the Captive Globe— except in this project, the void is as much an active and equal component of the city as the built figures. The islands of green and built space form an aggregated archipelago – the city as whole, made of equal pieces. The concept comes together formally as a surface with peaks and valleys; a wave, rather than a plane on which units are placed. This manages water, and distributes urban components based on a topographical system that does not privilege figure over ground or ground over figure. All components in the aggregate have different, but equal value and function. There are five systematic zones defined by their elevation on the topography of the wave and by their proximity to water type. By delineating the surface of the city into discrete zones there will be numerous interfaces. The circulation further intensifies ‘islanding’ as the roads always run along these current and/or projected boundaries. As the water level changes, the circulation remains stable while the low and high systems change. As an adaptive strategy, the design allows for water to move inland over long and short timescales to create physical islands. Zones become islanded by others, and over time boundaries change. The low areas have concrete superstructures that manage water based on type and amount of exposure. This hydrological system allows for designed sedimentation, erosion, and marsh formation informed by coastal geomorphological processes and the geological history of the Boston Harbor Islands.

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honorable mentions 70

Alderney North East James Trevers


ather than creating a new island, a tabular rasa devoid of culture or history, this project examined the British Channel Island of Alderney and its inimitable nissology of community and landscape. Shaped by the abandonment of the Third Reich’s Atlantic Wall, the islands were left with compelling yet ironic concrete monuments to the Nazi occupation in the form of bunkers; amalgamations of brutalism and defensive architecture. Their modernist aesthetic, however, is now contradicted by what Paul Virilio terms a “decrepit loneliness,” as time’s passing has seen their modernity recede through deterioration. This project looks to use subtle interventions to transform the aesthetic interpretation of these bunkers from military devices into a means of framing landscape. They would form key destinations along a proposed coastal walkway and their views would be reappropriated, transforming them from a view-to-a-kill into an arc-of-vision, inspired by John Wylie’s work on memorial benches. This process of reappropriation repeats across sites and scales, from the reuse of surplus sandstone in a disused quarry to the construction of a bridge upon infrastructure from the occupational period, as it looks to reveal new areas and vistas. Throughout this process, the project highlights previously obscured historical and natural phenomena within the landscape, as it seeks revelation rather than accumulation. It looks to provide access to the ‘playful’ within marine landscapes; running on newly accessed beaches, walking barefoot on raised paths, and crabbing off walkway piers. Via these new routes, the introspective experiences of the island are revealed through previously inaccessible views of the sea and the brutal history highlighted by the abandoned bunkers. Subtle interventions allow the creation of new meaning, as the project illuminates the bunkers and their wartime history, but also the sublime nature that contrasts and surrounds them.

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honorable mentions 72

SOLARberg Alexandra Zahn


he greatest threat to society and our globe in the 21st century is water: freshwater is becoming scarce and seas are rising. Most of the freshwater on Earth is held in glaciers, and as the climate changes and icebergs melt, the amount of freshwater on Earth is being depleted. SOLARberg is the iceberg of the 21st century, providing an alternative source of water by capturing that which was lost. SOLARberg is a large inflatable modular island, which mimics nature’s process making rain to passively desalinate water from the ocean. Water is then pumped inland using new technology that harnesses the wave energy. The water is then available for use by agriculture, industry, on-demand energy production (decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels), and ecological services such as recharging groundwater. This water would be owned by SOLARberg and sold to water-starved areas like Los Angeles. SOLARberg is transported and deployed ‘on site’ by a circular hull which surrounds it. It is first inflated, then weighed down by an artificial barrier reef lattice of wire and concrete. The hull is used as a lab for research, education, and data collection of climate change and sea level rise. The deck of the hull is open for visitors, students, and educators. With 1.5 million SOLARbergs, roughly the size of the Great Barrier Reef, sea levels would decrease by three feet over 100 years. Imagine a world where freshwater is clean and available for all, and rising seas are not a threat. SOLARberg can fulfill that dream.

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honorable mentions 74

Niebla Tepui Thomas Yuan


n the Amazons of Venezuela, the native Pemon people call the towering sandstone plateaus, “tepui,” meaning “house of god.” Tepuis are remnants of highlands from the Precambrian period, with some plateaus reaching as high as 2,000 meters. In the high altitude, tepuis have their own weather conditions: cooler and wetter than the tropical forest below. The summit landscape is host to a high percentage of endemic flora and fauna, making tepuis truly the Galapagos of the interior. Niebla Tepui is an exploration of how simple architectural interventions can augment the existing ecologies and engage with this mysterious landscape cloaked by mist. Conceptually, the parti is a response to the strong inherent vertical relationship between the different strata of geology, vegetation, and climate (air/moisture). The architectural form is derived from the desire to turn that vertical relationship into a horizontal experience. Visitors enter the building on a stone plinth and promenade, which takes them to the main building where botanists live and work. The elevated circular promenade is accessed from here, allowing botanists to closely monitor the enclosed landscape. The ring also serves the purpose of retaining organic material from being washed off the tepui. Over time, the poor soil inherent to tepuis would be improved, allowing local ecologies to flourish and intensify. The next structure is a lightweight lattice cloister for the cultivation of rare orchids, which are endemic to the area. Exiting the cloister, one begins the approach to the bathing complex situated on the highest point of the tepuis. The ascension begins with a passage through a field of lightning rods, symbolic of a ritual of cleansing (from the burst of ozonic odor resulting from lightning strikes) and embracing the weather conditions before reaching the bathing pavilion.

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Technofossil Cores Sutton Parker + Katherine Jenkins Te Atua o Heka Atoll Elizabeth Yarina Estuary Services Archipelago Marcel Wilson + Mariel Steiner Anfiteatro Azul Bomin Park Timeland Miriam GARCÍA GARCÍA DNALSI Cricket Day Kai Tak Island Dominique Cheng Save our Souls Island Julian Bolleter + Sally Appleton Plastipelago Marc Miller, Jennifer Birkeland + Nicole Wagy One for more Zhuocheng Gu Croesus Sofia Nikolaidou + Frixos Petrou Islands of Denial Amy Muir, Mark Jacques + Benjamin Kronenberg AKA Lin Chen The Island that Wants Us Alicja Maculewicz Hope Joan Suñé Almenar Pilgrimage to the Wild Yanling Deng Surround Martti Antonio Oliva Koskela, Jose Adolfo Rey Alvarez + Francisco Polaina Luna Island for Vito Acconci Clare Fentress Island Urbanism Julian Bolleter Cenotaph for Vanished Biodiversity Jena Tegeler + James Andrew Billingsley The Darwin Initiative Erez Ezra + VidhyA Pushpanathan Brobdingnag’s Island: A Temple to Her Paul Bourel Petrificarboneyja Naomi De Barr + Tom Cubitt Sandy II Arantzazu Luzarraga Iturrioz Fiss-isle Adrian Hawker (Is)land of the Brave, Land of the Deportee Alexander Georgouras + Rachel Beck Point Nemo Christopher Gulinao ______ ____ Island Ruggero Buffo An Island Making Island Alexander Hanton Agnew Jr Hello Helio Andrea T.F. Ng + Thomas Mahon




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The Salon des Refusés exhibits a number of competition entries that caught the jury’s attention and imagination, but did not make the final cut.

1 AKA by Lin Chen. In Hawaiian, “Aka” embodies meanings of reflection, the appearance of moonlight, shades and shadows, joints and nodes, and a newly formed embryo. 2 Surround by Martti Antonio Oliva Koskela, Jose Adolfo Rey Alvarez + Francisco Polaina Luna. Industrial ruins off the coast of Malaga, Spain, are surrounded by a new structure which works as a fish farm, and creates a new view. 3 Plastipelago by Marc Miller, Jennifer Birkeland + Nicole Wagy. A process of constructing an island ecology from the flotsam and jetsam of the North Pacific Gyre.


4 Anfiteatro Azul by Bomin Park. An amphitheatershaped floating city designed to dock ships that bring in recreation and cultural services.




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1 Te Atua o Heka Atoll by Elizabeth Yarina. By harnessing natural processes of coral growth, a new ‘natural’ island allows Tuvaluans to take control over their oceanic territory in the context of sea level rise. 2 Timeland by Miriam García García. An island constantly on the move: as much mindscape as landscape, a theater of life. 3 Fiss-isle by Adrian Hawker. A complex structure suspended over an old flooded slate quarry.


4 Pilgrimage to the Wild by Yanling Deng. Upon the Erhai Lake, China, is a clear diamond on the Yungui Plateau, a sacred spiritual place for the Bai people, Dai people, and Yi people, who reside around it.



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1 Island Urbanism by Julian Bolleter. Captivated by the cultural model of the ‘melting pot,’ which is under assault in many cities of the world, this offers the model of the ‘salad bowl’ in which a city is allowed to develop islands of cultural specificity producing an overall cultural richness. 2 Brobdingnag's Island: A Temple to Her by Paul Bourel. A playful and provocative riposte to the phallic nature of contemporary architecture in Dubai.




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1 Hope by Joan Suñé Almenar. The idea of an island is rejected as being “futile;” instead a 60-meter wide path is proposed, linking the coast of Turkey to the Grecian island of Lesbos, enabling refugees to enter Europe. 2 DNALSI by Cricket Day. This negative of an island seeks to save the islands we already have by burrowing a 11,350-kilometer passage through the earth to absorb the excess water from sea level rise. 3 ______ ____ Island by Ruggero Buffo. A secret island for covert activities.


4 Petrificarboneyja by Naomi De Barr + Tom Cubitt. A research island 3D-printed from the ocean floor, designed to sequester carbon.



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1 Cenotaph for Vanished Biodiversity by Jena Tegeler + James Andrew Billingsley. This island addresses humanity’s role as the universe’s memory. It is a cenotaph: a memorial marker for all the biodiversity that has vanished from the Earth, whether before the advent of humanity or because of it. 2 Croesus by Sofia Nikolaidou + Frixos Petrou. London 2057: the conditions of late capitalism have accelerated to their absolute limit and the City of London, once an emblematic business district, has become a fortress.



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1 Estuary Services Archipelago by Marcel Wilson + Mariel Steiner. A multifunctional infrastructure in the San Francisco Bay estuary designed to remove sediment, modify water temperature, control invasive species, and offer public recreation. 2 Save our Souls Island by Julian Bolleter + Sally Appleton. A monument to a broader city-making discipline which in the face of ecological collapse has turned the role of architect as visionary to that of service provider.


3 An Island Making Island by Alexander Hanton Agnew Jr. A roving dredger creates desert islands wherever it goes.




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1 Hello Helio by Andrea T.F. Ng + Thomas Mahon. An island positioned to receive constant sunlight reflected from a satellite. 2 Technofossil Cores by Sutton Parker + Katherine Jenkin. Cores are extracted from three sites that mark the critical phases of the petrochemical epoch: extraction, consumption, and transformation. 3 (Is)land of the Brave, Land of the Deportee by Alexander Georgouras + Rachel Beck. A walled city for refugees within a cartographic discrepancy along the US–Mexico border.


4 The Darwin Initiative by Erez Ezra + Vidhya Pushpanathan. Located at the former site of the Prada Marfa installation in Texas: a bed inside a seemingly ordinary house where the experience of the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep is induced acts as the primary location where the endless cycle of creating physical and behavioral perfection begins.



LA+ imagination/spring 2018 93


1 The Island that Wants Us by Alicja Maculewicz. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean there is a very small island on which sits a water turbine and a reflector. Every day it works hard to power up the battery to make the spotlight shine. The island desperately wants to be noticed. It wants to be found. It wants to exist. 2 Point Nemo by Christopher Gulinao. A metaphysical island concerned with an individual’s sense of place in relation to the infinite.




LA+ imagination/spring 2018 95


1 Sandy II by Arantzazu Luzarraga Iturrioz. A mobile pumice island for ‘out of sight’ activities. 2 One for more by Zhuocheng Gu. Massive retention structures collect sediment off the coast of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to construct new islands which can be used for a range of purposes. 3 Islands of Denial by Amy Muir, Mark Jacques + Benjamin Kronenberg. Located in a former US nuclear testing ground in the North Pacific Ocean, this design acknowledges past human interventions, which have caused disastrous ramifications for ecological systems and the human race.


4 Island for Vito Acconci by Clare Fentress. This island takes its form from Vito Acconci’s “Face of the Earth.” A field of pink scrim, strung from an oval of stakes and suspended over a shallow part of ocean, it offers total intimacy to the visitor (its material responds uniquely to every footstep) and a haunting mirage to the viewer above.


LA+ imagination/spring 2018 97

Kai Tak Island by Dominique Cheng. A proposal to make the former Hong Kong airport at Kowloon into a permanent, and inaccessible, island.

images LIAO Zhexuan + PRAKUL Reddy POttapu text Richard weller

island library

The “Island Library” is a collection of 20 archetypal islands chosen for their cultural, political, and mythological significance throughout time.

liberty island Freedom robben island incarceration nauru extraction carnac island colonialism diomede islands time Île des Peupliers death garden of eden paradise Ryōanji microcosm THE forbidden city power Temple Mount/Haram esh-Sharif sacred galapagos evolution isla nublar science utopia utopia isola bella beauty pacific trash vortex waste perdido energy kiribati deluge bikini atoll apocalypse cruise ship pleasure san serRiffe satire

F R E E DO M 0




500 ft


Originally an oyster bed nourishing the Lenni-Lenape of Mannahatta, Liberty Island in Upper New York Bay had incarnations as a quarantine station, an asylum, and a fort before becoming the site of the “Statue of Liberty” – an icon of freedom from political and economic oppression. The monument was to be a gift from France on the occasion of America’s 1876 centennial celebrations; however, it did not arrive in America until 1885, the project having been beset by funding difficulties on both sides of the Atlantic. Designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, with structural engineering by Gustave Eiffel, the statue sits on a pedestal formed by the walls of the original star-shaped fort. At the time of its unveiling in 1886, suffragettes circled the island in a boat protesting the fact that the statue, formally titled “Liberty Enlightening the World,” was female and yet women did not yet have the right to vote.







6,000 ft


Islands have always appealed as prisons and Robben Island, off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa, is one of the most infamous of them all. Small and flat, Robben Island has been used as a prison since the 17th century, most recently and notoriously by the apartheid regime. The island’s best-known prisoner was Nelson Mandela, who was incarcerated there for the first 18 years of a life sentence for sabotage against the state. Mandela broke rocks during the day and spent nights studying law in a cramped cell. As a political prisoner, he was permitted only one visit and one letter every six months. In 1990, after having served 27 years of his sentence, he was unconditionally released and immediately set about securing the right to vote for the nation’s black majority. Four years later South Africa held its first democratic elections and inaugurated Mandela as its first black president.







The Pacific island of Nauru is largely made up of phosphate rock, a non-renewable resource highly valued as a fertilizer to boost crop yields. In the late-20th century as the “green revolution” in agriculture gained momentum worldwide, Nauru enthusiastically extracted and exported its surficial phosphate. As a result, for some years Nauru had the highest per-capita GDP in the world, but this wealth has since been squandered through mismanagement. By 2011 the island was stripped of resources and 90% of its population of around 10,000 people was unemployed. Originally a healthy fishing and subsistence gardening culture, Nauruans have become accustomed to leading sedentary lives and are reliant on imported, processed foods. As a result, Nauru now has the world’s highest rates of obesity and diabetes. In a desperate attempt to boost its hapless economy, Nauru became home to a refugee processing facility for the Australian government’s highly controversial offshore refugee detention program.





2,000 ft


A few miles off the coast of Western Australia, lies snake-infested Carnac Island, a former prison for indigenous Australians exiled from the fledgling British colony. The island’s most famous prisoner was Yagan, a celebrated tribal warrior arrested for the retaliatory murder of a white colonist. After escaping from Carnac, Yagan was shot by a colonist who claimed the bounty with Yagan’s decapitated head. The head was later shipped to London and exhibited as a curiosity. In 1997, after years of negotiation by the Noongar indigenous community, Yagan’s skull was repatriated to Australia and ceremoniously buried. Within a week of its return, a sculpture of the warrior was decapitated by a British loyalist.

T I M E 0




20,000 ft


The Diomede Islands lie in the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia. Although under 4 km apart, the two islands are bifurcated by the international date line, therefore occupying different time zones. Big Diomede (Ratmanov) is almost a full day ahead of Little Diomede (Ignaluk), meaning that to look from one to the other is to literally see into the future (or the past). Indeed, from a boat with both islands in view, one can see both the future and the past in the present: something once only thought possible at the speed of light.





40 ft


The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau died while visiting friends at Ermenonville, France, in July 1778. He was buried on a small island of poplars in the lake of the estate gardens, inspired by the new English style that had become synonymous with the romantic spirit and enlightenment thinking that Rousseau personified. The English landscape style has various subtle denominations, but in general it can be understood as a form of landscape design that closely approximates natural scenery. In this way, the English landscape garden is a rebuke to the Baroque ostentation, Euclidean geometry, and Cartesian dualism associated with formal French landscape designs such as Versailles. Similarly rejecting the pretensions and strictures of French society around him, it is said, allegorically, that Rousseau stripped off his wig, his sword, and his watch and instead of the city, immersed himself in the natural and agrarian landscape. His poetic and political explorations in this regard served as a vital counterpoint to a scientific and mechanistic world view, but so too it began modernity’s long and contradictory love affair with ‘nature.’




Just as islands are other to the mainland, paradise is other to reality. Stemming from the age of exploration where paradise was hoped for over the horizon, and reinforced by today’s global culture of tourism, islands and the paradisiacal have a long association. In the case of the Abrahamic religions, paradise is the archetypal setting for the original sin, when the allegorical figures of Adam and Eve transgress God’s law and seek knowledge for themselves. Consequently, humanity is evicted from the garden and the unity of nature, humanity, and God is rent asunder. Whether the Garden of Eden is a metaphor for the whole world or an inaccessible island within it is a debate that has continued for centuries.

M I C R O CO S M 0




40 ft


Both islands and gardens can be thought of as little worlds, microcosms of the whole. Nowhere is this more true, nor rendered more succinctly, than the 15th-century Zen Buddhist garden of Ryoanji in Kyoto, Japan. The garden comprises 15 stones arranged in groups, set within in a plane of white gravel against the backdrop of a blank clay wall. The gravel is raked to suggest wave patterns in water so that the stones become islands in the ocean. This intentional ambiguity of scale is assisted by there being no plants in the garden, except some small areas of moss at the base of some of the stones. The garden was designed to be viewed and contemplated by Zen monks from the verandah of the adjacent monastery; but no matter where one sits, the 15 stones can never be seen together.





2,000 ft


In many of the cities of antiquity in both the east and the west, there was a mini-city or “citadel” within the city. The citadel was devoted specifically to the activities and rituals of the society’s political and spiritual elite. Starkly delineated from its surroundings by walls and moats and other high-security fortifications, the citadel is a form of urban island, and none more so than the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing, China. The Forbidden City functioned as the court of the Chinese emperor from 1420 to 1912 and like most citadels, manifests in its built form alignments between heaven and earth as the literal embodiment of the Emperor’s divine powers. Drawing down on the heavens, the Emperor’s power then radiated outwards across the land, binding the nation together in unequivocal unity. Today, the axis of the Forbidden City spills into the vast empty space of Tiananmen Square from where the ruling Chinese Communist Party has turned the idea of the citadel inside out.





1,000 ft


The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, known to Muslims as Haram esh-Sharif, is a sacred island in the sea of urbanity and politics surrounding it. A place where the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity meet, it is perhaps the most contentious religious site on the planet. A site of spiritual significance from at least the 11th century BCE, the first Jewish temple on the site was built by King Solomon in 957 BCE to house the Ark of the Covenant. Destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, the temple was rebuilt by Herod in 516 BCE, and destroyed again by the Romans in 70 CE. In 637 the Muslims pushed back the Byzantines, and constructed the Dome of the Rock on the site, marking the place from which Muhammed is believed to have ascended to heaven. In 1099 at the hands of the crusaders it became a Christian church, only to be retaken in 1516 by the Ottomans. Today, the modern state of Israel controls the surrounding city of Jerusalem, but Jews are restricted from entering the Temple Mount precinct for religious and political reasons and the site remains a place of Muslim worship.







Darwin famously arrived in the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador in 1835. The unusual fauna that he observed there strengthened his fledgling theory that life’s diversity is shaped by the dynamic interplay between organism and environment. His observations and analysis of the differentiation of species across the islands helped form what would later become his theory of natural selection. Contradicting the theological orthodoxy that God had made all living things immutable, the evidence of life adapting to its circumstance without direction or design was as compelling as it was frightening. Today, surrounded by 70,000 km2 of marine reserve, 97% of the Galapagos is National Park. But try as we might to retain its original ecology, the Galapagos are now riven with weeds and feral domesticates, all competing to survive and, in so doing, evolve into new forms.

S C I E N C E 0




40,000 ft


By resurrecting dinosaurs through traces of DNA, Jurassic Park, set on the fictional island of Isla Nublar and based on the novel by Michael Crichton, focuses on the ethics of scientific manipulation of living organisms. From within the laboratory of the island’s zoo the created turns on the creator and chaos ensues. Drawing parallels with scientific interest in rewilding landscapes with once extinct species, the film’s message is essentially that we cannot recreate what has been, and nor can we control the world around us. The film concludes with the island’s chief scientist telling us we should simply leave the dinosaurs on the island alone. In other words, the wild is best contained in high security parks and nature will self-correct if left to its own processes, free of human interference. As a mirror of the Anthropocene, this dystopian reiteration of scientific hubris seems prescient, but it also presents an ethical dilemma that can only be resolved through recourse to a reactionary subdivision of nature and culture.





2000 ft


Derived from a combination of eutopos (good place) and outopos (no place), the neologism “utopia” was coined by Sir Thomas More in 1516. A fictional island, More’s Utopia was a critique of 16th-century English society and a practical blueprint for an improved, agrarian civilization. The island was included in the world’s first Atlas, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius in 1570. Utopia has its roots in Plato’s Republic, a militant but theoretically perfect society ruled by philosopher-kings. During the 18th and 19th centuries, utopian thought sought primarily to harness the power of machines to bring about the ‘good life,’ but as the industrial revolution wreaked its havoc it was John Stuart Mill who, in 1868, coined the term “dystopia,” utopia’s alter ego. Whilst useful as critiques of the status quo, as history attests, when utopias become real they tend inexorably toward fascist states, for it is only through such absolute power that utopia’s planned perfection can be maintained.

B E AU T Y 0




1,000 ft


With their dark waters surrounded by distant snow-capped mountains, the lakes of northern Italy have attracted the European aristocracy for centuries. Any island situated in such surrounds would be considered beautiful, but Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore is such by both name and design. Beginning construction in 1632 on an originally flat island surface, Isola Bella is famed for its terraced gardens organized to provide for a series of open-air rooms that frame spectacular views across the lake in all directions. Replete with peacocks, gaudy sculpture, and highly decorative planting, Isola Bella is a decadent, dream-like destination. Local legend has it that the ladies of the region’s ruling House of Borromeo petitioned Carlo III to build on the island so they could escape the screams of prisoners in the dungeons of his mainland palazzo – a reminder that beauty can also be wicked.





40,000 ft


Kiribati has become an icon of climate change as its population of over 100,000 people become the somewhat innocent victims of rising seas, ocean acidification, and drought caused by the first-world’s carbon emissions. Staunchly Christian, many in Kiribati believe God, having created their lands, will not now abandon them to environmental oblivion. Faith notwithstanding, under the aegis of a program titled “Migration with Dignity� the government of Kiribati has purchased a tract of higher land in Fiji as insurance. Clinging to land that is in fact the tip of ancient volcanoes, those choosing to stay in Kiribati are building seawalls, planting mangroves, and praying.





80,000 ft


Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands had been inhabited for over 3,000 years until the US government chose it as a site for testing its nuclear weapons. Between 1946 and 1958, 23 such tests were conducted, the largest of which was the “Baker explosion,” 1,000 times stronger than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during WWII. In 1972, following years of near-starvation on nearby islands ill-equipped for sustaining human life, the Atoll’s customary owners returned. Just six years later, French scientists concluded that the area was not safe for habitation and the population was relocated once more. To this day, Bikini Atoll is uninhabited and littered with the remains of the experiments conducted there.





400 ft


Advertised as sun-drenched destinations in azure waters, islands are often synonymous with escapism and pleasure. As many stories attest, however, islands are equally the setting for misery and depredation. The appropriation of all that is desirable in the trope of the remote island, yet replete with all mod-cons, gives rise to the late-20th century invention of the cruise ship. Not to be confused with ocean liners which, prior to the phenomenon of cheap air travel, primarily facilitated the efficient transportation of people and goods, the cruise ship is a floating hotel, a moveable island utterly devoted to the hedonism of its guests. The cruise ship’s genius is that it seamlessly combines three otherwise incompatible idylls: the island, the city, and the endless journey – each cancelling out the others possible negativity. And yet, by combining these three impossible desires the cruise ship is also a dream from which one cannot, for as long as the journey takes, awake.

S; SAT I R E 0



300,000 400,000ft


On April 1, 1977, The Guardian newspaper published a seven-page supplement commemorating the 10th anniversary of independence from Britain of the small island nation of San Serriffe. The supplement featured economic and political reports, tourist itineraries, and advertisements. It described the indigenous tribes of “Flong” people who practiced a ritual called the “Dance of the Pied Slugs”; referred to minority groups, the “colons” and “semi-colons”; and advertised a white Guinness beer with black froth, reportedly the result of the island’s farmers planting barley seeds upside down. Despite such telltale signs, many readers were fooled by the April Fool’s Day hoax and for some time thereafter, travel agents were forced to deal with irate tourists who refused to believe that the island nation of San Serriffe did not in fact exist.

IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF TIME is ticking. That’s what it does. Or at least that’s how we represent what we don’t understand. For physics, time is a byproduct of so called spacetime, elastic goo created at the very moment that something came from nothing; the moment eternity stopped and the universe began. For geology, time is 4.5 billion years of compression and catastrophe. For biology time is 3.5 billion years of diversification and now the urgency of the sixth extinction. For anthropology time is 150 thousand years since mitochondrial Eve walked out of the rift valley in Ethiopia. For historians, time begins with Herodotus (484 BC) and ends, or rather doesn’t, with Fukuyama’s The End of History. For architecture time is ruination. For landscape architecture time is ephemerality, entropy, and growth. For all of us time is running out.

Tim Ingold Erle Ellis Steward Pickett Mark Kingwell James Nisbet Daniel Rosenberg noël van dooren Emma Sheppard-Simms Fiona Harrison + Marian Macken Mark Raggatt Ann Marie Schneider Jock Gilbert Casey Brown sonja duempelmann christophe girot kathryn gleason raffaella fabiani giannetto David Escudero + Rodrigo de la O Mark Eischeid Valerio Morabito

OUT fall 2018

wild spring 2015

pleasure fall 2015

tyranny spring 2016



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Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture

imagination Spring 2018

TIME fall 2018



LA+ (Landscape Architecture Plus) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design

is the first truly interdisciplinary journal of landscape architecture. Within its pages you will hear not only from designers, but also from historians, artists, philosophers, psychologists, geographers, sociologists, planners, scientists, and others. Our aim is to reveal connections and build collaborations between landscape architecture and other disciplines by exploring each issue’s theme from multiple perspectives.

LA+ brings you a rich collection of contemporary thinkers and designers in two issues each year. To subscribe follow the links at www.laplusjournal.com.

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