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FUTURE PUBLICS : PROJECTIVE ECOLOGIES

SOPHIA SARVER PRATT INSTITUTE

Central Park 2050

DP

2018 - 2019


DEGREE PROJECT. CRITIQUED BY CATHRYN DWYRE, EVAN TRIBUS, AND ALEX PIERRE DE LOOZ. IN COLLABORATION WITH CHAFIQ ENNAOUI.


DP

2018 - 2019 03


Sophia Sarver

THIS BOOKLET IS ABOUT THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE OF CENTRAL PARK, WHICH DESPARATELY REQUIRES AN UPDATE.

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This Booklet is About

Central Park was designed in the Picturesque style, a landscape approach developed in 18th century England, Scotland, and Wales. The aesthetic criteria of this style, in favoring nature that is stable, maintained, and subservient over that which resists control and categorization prompted an extensive re-work of the park's native landscape. Originally an irregular terrain of swamps and cliffs, the site of Central Park was a "Wasteland," a landscape requiring "purification" to make way for "civilized space." Its "unruly" and "disruptive" natures, perceived as derelict, primitive, and visceral were to be subdued, as the park was redesigned into a linear succession of events and clear boundaries. Condensing the landscape into a painterly diagram, out of historical inclinations of fear and disgust towards the mutable and indeterminate, Central Park's design outdatedly posits the physical, uncontrolled environment as a societal threat. For, the effects of NYC's prodigious urbanity have elicited new kinds of anxieties, made invisible and pervasive by technology, so that it is culture, rather than nature that is the source of fear. Central Park desperately requires an update, one that reconsiders its ecologies as the synthesis of nature and culture, acting as a single organism. Through an emphasis of the dynamic and changing properties of the park's communities and ecosystems, this new ecological paradigm will simulate a terrain of hyperlocal adaptation, appropriation, and flexibility, which may be guided to a state of relative stability - and only just. The focus is not to radicalize ecology, as we are not ecologists, but to revive its ability to radicalize social space as a reflexive medium. As a future, neo-picturesque interaction (picturesque constituting the way ecological material is administered), Central Park shall serve as a catalytic framework of structured heterogeneity, enabling a landscape of diverse, response-based activity.

Abstract

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

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Table of Contents

This Booklet is About p.4

Redesigning Central Park p.08

The “Wasteland� p.14

Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place p.30

Projective Ecologies p.54

A Technologically Informed Landscape p.66

Glossary p.78

Sources p.82

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THIS IS A PROPOSAL FOR THE REDESIGN OF CENTRAL PARK, GIVEN THE LA+ ICOCONOCLAST DESIGN COMPETITION'S PREMISE THAT IT WAS DEFORESTED BY ECO-TERRORISTS.

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Redesigning Central Park

PREMISE: An Eco-terrorist organization released an army of mechanical bees throughout the park, engineered to deliver toxins to trees and plants. Causing almost instant defoliation of buds and leaves, with plant death following in a matter of days, almost all plant material was destroyed by the end of the week. The Eco-terrorists meant to call attention to the fact that since the year 2,000, the world has lost more than "500,000 Central Parks worth of forest" - most of it due to economic activity that could be traced back to Wall Street. Today, the University of Pennsylvania School of Design's LA+ Journal announces an international design ideas competition to reimagine and redesign the park. Considering how "anything could be better than the original," although Central Park's romantic imagery is "unforgettable," "if Olmstead were alive today, he himself would do it differently." CONCEPT: It is important to note that Central Park is an artificial construction, carefully crafted in the Picturesque Style by Olmstead and Vaux to mimic and "improve" nature, arranged to disguise human intervention. It is a nature that looks wild, without acting wild - a fake wild. Could a "real" wildness restore Central Park through a landscape that operates independently and unpredictably, as if it were "alive?" If, according to Henry Bergson, "the role of life is to inject some indetermination into matter," then Central Park could be reimagined as a landscape of new physical and social tensions. As a collective space, it would be radicalized by the landscape's resistance, producing a NeoPicturesque renegotiation of rights between people and nature. Unlike the meek and physically static, manicured condition of today's park, Central Park would become a discursive space: public space that recognizes the unavoidable statehoods of unanimity and conflict, that recognizes the presence of confrontation as an intrinsic social factor and a productive interaction. Proposal

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STRATEGY: Central Park will be redesigned in terms of the following: as the manifestation of dynamic ecologies, as an augmented, sensor-based terrain, and in a temporal aesthetic. NYC's ecological paradigm, as an increasing hybridization of culture and nature, is that of "uneasy synergies, complex networks, and surprising collaborations (Botkin, 19)." A biosphere that "pulses and charges" through the multiple effects of human and non-human actions and events, its ecologies cannot be understood without the inclusion of people. To challenge any clean distinction between people and nature, is to acknowledge ecology as more than just the environment - it is a political, economic, and social phenomenon. It is essential to perceive ecology as dynamic, and its form and nature as the expression of interaction. As Alex Von Humboldt said, "Alles ist Wechselwirkung," meaning everything is connected, or all is interaction. The project's landscape shall be realized as an active composition of communicating parts, ecology and landscape becoming agents of creativity. Rather than designing to achieve mechanistic stability, as was done by Olmstead and Vaux in their ameliorative, stylist, and pictorial rendition of Central Park, the design strategy will focus on the "imaginative, enabling, and diversifying practices of the wild (Bergson, 59)." An organic field of open-endedness, flexibility, resilience, and adaptation, this project will employ the unlinear behavior of ecology, where disturbance is a frequent and intrinsic character. As a landscape of movement, passage, and autonomy, the notion of a fixed and rigid reality will be replaced by "propulsive life unfolding in time (Corner 26)." A knowledge of Central Park's native material processes will be required to allow for such hybrids of architecture and ecology to form that is specific to the site.

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Redesigning Central Park

A more flexible, response-based approach shall be used to manage human activities and design based off of that activity, through technologies that mutate ecological processes. Nina Marie-Lister speaks of inventing artificial means of augmenting environments, that work "to approximate ecological forces and structures, to "tap, borrow, and transform morphogenetic processes from all aspects of wild nature." For, if matter at all scales is understood to be programmatic, parametric, networked, and laden with intelligence, then landscapes could indeed be encoded and amplified. This means that the material and spatial feedback of the site's ecological systems would become inputs that direct the site's tangible, data-informed landscape. Encoding contextual behaviors through algorithms, such a system would simulate immersive, visceral, and participatory experiences, while processes normally considered to operate at long natural scales could instead respond instantaneously. Through linking sensor-laden physical models to the much larger and complex ecological innerworkings of Central Park, its landscape and infrastructure may be reinvented. A landscape of responsive technologies focused on the interaction between environmental phenomena and architectural space, Central Park would become a catalytic framework enabling a diversity of relationships to create, merge, network, interconnect, and differentiate. At the same time, throughout this field of structured heterogeneity, designers will become "active agents within the assemblage of biotic and abiotic agents (Cantrell, 5)." In the fusion of ecology and landscape architecture, the role of aesthetics requires reinterpretation. According to Louise Mozingo, there is a history of division between the aesthetic goals of ecologists and architects. Ecologists apparently think primarily Proposal

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in terms of functionality, "distrusting" the eye and working to acquire data that "unmasks the guises of the eye *Cook, 234)." The language of landscape architecture on the other hand is essentially a spatial language, "linked closely with the eye "and the translation of its perceptions into new spatial configurations. It is necessary to combine the two, to create a design that is functionally competent, while relating to the visual and spatial criteria of the site's cultures and program. The dichotmous association between the properties of materials and systems and how they relate to the larger aesthetic trends that inform architectural shape is an essential problem to be addressed in this project. A localized material understanding of the various geographic regions throughout Central Park is needed, to allow for them to act as variables of unique organizational and formal implication on the design of architecture. Sean Lally describes the potential of an architecture that is highly contextual, a shape that is not predetermined solely by the eye, but spatially bounded in an abstract envelope produced by the environment. To allow for an architecture of such "fluctuation," a relatively high resolution of tolerance in geometry as it relates to solid-state construction will be required. Architecture will not constitute singular, sellable images, like the follies currently occupying the site, which demand a tight specification of control for their social activities and are not associated with the formal behavior of their surroundings. A landscape capable of a more free kind of program, it is important to avoid the passive aspects of designing that begins by defining activities and then constructing boundaries to facilitate them. Rather, an architecture of "gradient intensities" shall be generated out of the landscape, that may take better advantage of the site as a fluid thing.

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Redesigning Central Park

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Sophia Sarver

THE “WASTELAND” ECOLOGY MEETS ITS VOCABULARY PARALLEL IN COLLAGE, AS A CULTIVATION OF SYSTEMATIC BEWILDERING.

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The “Wasteland�

Wastelands are a category of landscape characterized by the kinds of emotions and reactions they inspire. Described in terms of aesthetic disgust by the Picturesque Style, they are unwilling to be tamed and categorized, and require removal from "civilized space" as a means of purification. The bog, for example, with its "trembling marshes" and "unfaithful ground" is a significant Wasteland typology. Neither purely water nor dirt, it makes for an unsettling composition: "When earth and water mixed and mingled, they corrupted one another: the earth became 'muddy and spewing,' the water became 'superfluous and venomous,' resulting in 'bogginesse, myrinesse, rushes, flags, and other filth' (De Palma, 107)." The swampy Fen district of Eastern England, for example was condemned for its muddy waters, putrid flora, and slimy fauna, and was effectively cleared. Doomed by its qualities of indeterminacy and wildness, to be a Wasteland was to await reclamation through improvement or removal. Collage possesses a similar personality of "indeterminacy, inclusivity, overlay, rupture, simultaneity, stochastic event, instability, association, collusion..." It exploits the "fortuitous meeting of two distant realities on an innappropriate plane (Lister, 59)."

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The “Wasteland”

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Topographic Underlay ^Durante

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The “Wasteland”

Mire Overlay

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DANK SPACES IN ARCHITECTURE LACK VIRTUE, ACCORDING TO LAUGIER AND LE CORBUSIER.

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The “Wasteland� Dank Spaces

Laugier viewed the dank space of the cave as an inferior space of early habitation for "primitive man" - "The darkness and foul air make his stay unbearable (Gissen, 30)." He said that it was the flight from the cave that led to the construction of the first form of architecture, the "primitive dwelling." This positions architecture as an opposition to dank space. Le Corbusier had a similar view, declaring the cellar as a type of "dark, wet, unhygienic, and outmoded space" that emerged from masonry bearing-wall construction. "..Thus were created cellars, mediocre spaces, dark or poorly lit and generally damp (Gissen, 32)." In his Five Points of Architecture, he would banish the cellar and attic from architecture as a an act of purification. Bachelard, however saw potential in dank spaces: "Our images of home are situated precisely between the two spaces banished by Le Corbusier: the cellar and the attic... "When we dream there (cellar), we are in harmony with the irrationality of its depths (Gissen, 35)." Recognizing its intrinsic linkage to the atmosphere of the home, he also admired dank spaces' role in connecting architecture to its context of "primordial waters and other underground subnatures (Gissen, 35)."

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THE BOG IS A VERY UNPICTURESQUE LANDSCAPE TYPOLOGY, EPITOMIZING THE “WASTELAND” OF DANK SPACE.

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The “Wasteland�

N

1 km

Mineral Soil

Transitional Soil

Peripheral Lobes

Reticulate Pattern

Central Reservoir

Parrallel Pattern

Lakes and Pools

Concentric Bog

Bog Mesotopography ^ Huttunen

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Landscape Mosaic 1.1.

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The “Wasteland”

Landscape Mosaic 1.2.

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Landscape Mosaic 1.3.

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The “Wasteland”

Landscape Mosaic 1.4.

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CENTRAL PARK WAS ONCE AN IRREGULAR TERRAIN OF SWAMPS AND BLUFFS, PUNCTUATED BY ROCKY OUTCROPPINGS.

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Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place Central Park was Once

"Mannahatta," is a 17th century Native American word meaning "Island of many hills." This is indicative of the native geological condition of Central Park, an ice-molded terrain of prehistoric, metamorphic rock . The Wisconsin Ice Sheet (the last of many glacial advances that grew after the start of the Pleistocene Era about 1.5 million years ago which stretched from eastern Canada to NYC) left a considerable mark on the site. When the Ice Sheet retreated between 20 and 17 thousand years ago, it would expose the glacially-polished and stream-lined rock surfaces of Central Park. After the glacier melted, the large amounts of gravel, pebbles, and sand left behind were forced to adjust as moving boulders plowed up topsoil, leveled the earth, and filled in depressed areas with glacial till. Water from the melted glacier pooled into the landscape's indentations and would overtime fill with biological matter. After a process of eutrophication (the slow aging process during which a body of water is choked by abundant plant life due to higher levels of nitritive compounds) the pools throughout the site would evolve into swamps. This information is courtesy of NYC Parks. The following image depicts the original geological condition of Central Park.

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View in Central Park. June, 1858. (Before Construction) ^Durante 32


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place Central Park was Once

Southward from the Arsenal 5th Ave & 64th St. 33


Sophia Sarver

THROUGH INSTRUMENTALIZING THE MATERIAL PROCESSING OF PLACE, ARCHITECTURE AND ECOLOGY MAY HYBRIDIZE TO FORM A NEW TERRITORY FOR CENTRAL PARK.

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Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place

In studying what is natural about the artificial construction of Central Park, it is important to understand its site as the result of a deep, geological interaction. Through an analysis of this system, its "material processing," may be instrumentalized, to merge architecture and ecology into "new hybrid territories (Yoon, 73)." A prioritized understanding of the site's phenomenology, framework, and performance will allow for the existence of Projective Ecologies as a design concept - being defined as the guiding and steering of flows of matter and information. The following drawings depict Central Park's underlying geological structure.

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Projective Geology ^Taterka 36


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place

Projective Geology ^Taterka 37


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Projective Geology 1.1 ^Taterka 38


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place

Projective Geology 1.2 ^Taterka 39


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Projective Geology 1.3 ^Taterka 40


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place

Projected Sectional Stratification ^Taterka 41


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Geological Map of Central Park 1/4 ^Taterka 42


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place

Geological Map of Central Park 2/4 ^Taterka 43


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Geological Map of Central Park 3/4 ^Taterka 44


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place

Geological Map of Central Park 4/4 ^Taterka 45


Sophia Sarver

THE AESTHETIC CRITERIA OF THE PICTURESQUE STYLE HAS SUPRESSED CENTRAL PARK’S DYNAMIC LANDSCAPE INTO A PAINTERLY DIAGRAM.

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Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place The Aesthetic Criteria of the Picturesque Stye

In 1856 NYC purchased the site's 750 acres of rocky and swampy land (later expanded to 843 acres) for a public park that would replace the gridiron pattern of streets established by Manhattan's 1811 masterplan. The Central Park Commission held a competition for its design, and Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux' entry, the Greensward Plan, based on European models (the Bois de Boulogne in Paris and Birkenhead Park in Liverpool) would win. For the project's construction, after Seneca Village's 1,600 inhabitants were removed, heavy grading and draining was initiated. According to historians Elizabeth Blackmar and Roy Rosenzweigmore, the effort took more gunpowder than was later fired at the Battle of Gettysburg to move nearly 3 million cubic yards of soil. Through Central Park's subjection to "corrective" measures of restoration, it was reduced to dimensions of environmental problem solving and aesthetic appearance. This is an example of diminishing the potential creativity of nature and culture to a "dull equation of utility, production, commodity, and consumption (Lister, 48)." As said by James Corner, to percieve nature as merely a resource neutralizes the "wonders of creation," severing the subject (man) from the object (nature).

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Central Park, the Drive, 1862. ^Currier 48


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place The Aesthetic Criteria of the Picturesque Stye

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Central Park, 1863 ^Bachmann 50


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place The Aesthetic Criteria of the Picturesque Stye

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Stereoviews. Top: The Ramble. Below: View towards Bow Bridge.1870s. ^American 52


Instrumentalizing the Material Processing of Place The Aesthetic Criteria of the Picturesque Stye

Stereoviews. Top: The Mall. Below: Bird Cage on the Mall, 1870s. ^American 53


Sophia Sarver

THE CURRENT DESIGN OF CENTRAL PARK REQUIRES HYPERMAINTENANCE, WHICH INHIBITS ITS ECOLOGIES' ABILITY TO ADAPT, APPROPRIATE, AND GENERATE.

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Projective Ecologies The Hypermaintenance of Central Park

Today, the manicured scape of Central Park depends majorly on humans for daily maintenance. When the park underwent a ten-year period of neglect in the 1980s, Central Park became a dangerous and "lawless ruin" to be "avoided at all costs." The park was covered in garbage and graffiti, the meadows were barren dust-bowls, the playground equipment and benches were in decay, and the one-hundred-year-old infrastructure was crumbling. To restore the park, the Central Park Conservancy was established, and it now dedicates a sizeable taskforce to maintaining the park daily. The park is divided into seven sections and 49 zones, each section having a supervisor, and each zone having a full-time gardener. Conservancy crews care for 250 acres of lawns, 150 acres of lakes and streams, 80 acres of woodlands, and approximately 20,000 trees. The Conservancy’s staff installs hundreds of thousands of plantings annually, including bulbs, shrubs, flowers, and trees. They maintain 9,000 benches, 26 ballfields, and 21 playgrounds and are responsible for the preservation of 55 sculptures and monuments, and 36 bridges. Conservancy crews remove graffiti within 24 hours and collect more than 2,000 tons of trash a year. This information is courtesy of Central Park's Concservancy.

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Great Lawn Unmaintained, 1980s. ^Thrastadottir 56


Projective Ecologies The Hypermaintenance of Central Park

The Great Lawn, present day. ^Thrastadottir 57


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Eutrophication of Bank Rock Bay, 1980s. ^Thrastadottir 58


Projective Ecologies The Hypermaintenance of Central Park

Bank Rock Bay, present day. ^Thrastadottir 59


Sophia Sarver

THE NEW PARADIGM OF ECOLOGY EMPHASIZES THE DYNAMIC AND CHANGING NATURE OF COMMUNITIES AND ECOSYSTEMS.

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Projective Ecologies

The old paradigm of ecology understands ecology as a closed, self-regulating system which, in its most mature state is in a condition of balance or equilibrium. Forces of nature causing change or disturbance are considered external to the system, and "degrade" it to an earlier developmental, less efficient state. Through a process called succession, a sequence of predictable stages are supposed to restore it to its original condition. This paradigm excludes humans from the natural world, positioning them agents of disturbance. The new paradigm understands ecology as unbound, its boundaries being too complex and difficult to define, and its composition open to change by factors outside the system. Disturbance is recognized as a frequent, intrinsic characteristic of ecosystems. Formerly considered a highly predictable process of regeneration, succession may actually display multiple pathways and end states, if an end state is ever reached. Humans must be considered part of the system, as a recognition of the overwhelming influence of human culture on all natural systems.

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THE ECOSYSTEMS OF CENTRAL PARK COMPRISE THE FOLLOWING, IN SIMPLIFICATION.

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Projective Ecologies

Bacteria - Cyanobacteria (produces oxygen through photosynthesis; water-living; blue-green in color) /a1 and Rhyzobacteria (root-colonizing bacteria; symbiotic relationship with many plants; used in biofertilizer) /a2. Protists - Protozoans (single-celled microorganism including AMOEBA which derives nutrients from other organisms; free living - abundant in water, soil, and moss; parasitic - inhabits host organism) /b1

and Algae (Aquatic; produces oxygen through photosynthesis; lacks structure that is characteristic of land plants) /b2. Plants - Mosses (growth in dense green clumps or mats; often in damp or shady locations; individually composed of one-cell thick leaves attached

, Ferns

to a stem; peat fuel resource, efficient insulator, extremely water absorbant) /c1 (vascular tissue conducts water and nutrients; wide variety of habitats; stem, leaf, and root

, Gymnosperns &

structure; biofertilizer, can remediate contaminated soil) /c2

Conifers (produces naked, open seeds; lives in all climate zones; includes PINE, CYPRESS) /c3, Angiosperms (flowering plants; abundunt in springtime; seeds surrounded by

carpels or plant tissue; produces oxygen through photosynthesis; WISTERIA, FORSYTHIA, LILAC,

and Trees

DAFFODIL, WINTER HONEYSUCKLE, AZALEA, HYACINTH) /c4, (CHERRY, OAK, MAPLE, ELM, CRABAPPLE, STEWARTIA, MAGNOLIA, HICKORY, TUPELO, DOGWOOD,

. Fungi - Ascomycetes /d1,

GUM, SASSAFRAS, BIRCH; approx, 174 species) /c5

Basidiomyces (GILLED MUSHROOM, BOLETES, POLYPORES, CRUST FUNGI, JELLY FUNGI, PUFFBALL, STINKHORN FUNGUS; Approx. 500 Species) /d2, Lichens (a symbiotic association between algae and fungus; 25 Species) /d3, and Soil Fungi (important decomposers in the soil, stabilizes soil and increases water filtration; approx. 17,000 species) d/4. Animals - Invertebrates (lacking backbone; SNAIL, ARTHROPOD, MOLLUSK) / e1 and Aquatic Species (CRAYFISH, FRESHWATER JELLYFISH) /e2. Insects - Hymenoptera (major pollinators of flowering plants , parasites of destructive insects; BEE, WASP, ANT, BUTTERFLY, DRAGONFLY) /f1, Spider & Mite /f2. Fish - Siluriformes (ray-finned fish; inhabit shallow, running water; sound communication; LARGEMOUTH BASS, GOLDFISH, CATFISH) /g1, Amphibians (begin life on water, live on land as adults; FROG, SALAMANDER, NEWT) /g2, and Reptiles (coldblooded; SNAKE, TURTLE) /g3. Birds (ROCK PIGEON, HOUSE SPARROW, EUROPEAN STARLING, RINGBILLED GULL, MANDARIN DUCK, EGRET, NIGHT HERON, COOPER'S HAWK, OWL, WOODPECK-

. Mammals - Placental (some hibernate; BAT, CHIPMUNK, RABBIT, MOLE, MUSKRAT, OPPOSSUM, RAT, SHREW, SQUIRREL) /j1. ER, HUMMINGBIRD; 250 various species) /h1

Site-Specific Taxonomy 63


Sophia Sarver

Bacteria - Cyanobacteria (produces oxygen through photosynthesis; water-living; blue-green in color) /a1 and Rhyzobacteria (root-colonizing bacteria; symbiotic relationship with many plants; used in biofertilizer) /a2. Protists - Protozoans (single-celled microorganism including AMOEBA which derives nutrients from other organisms; free living - abundant in water, soil, and moss; parasitic - inhabits host organism) /b1

and Algae (Aquatic; produces oxygen through photosynthesis; lacks structure that is characteristic of land plants) /b2. Plants - Mosses (growth in dense green clumps or mats; often in damp or shady locations; individually composed of one-cell thick leaves attached

, Ferns

to a stem; peat fuel resource, efficient insulator, extremely water absorbant) /c1 (vascular tissue conducts water and nutrients; wide variety of habitats; stem, leaf, and root

, Gymnosperns &

structure; biofertilizer, can remediate contaminated soil) /c2

Conifers (produces naked, open seeds; lives in all climate zones; includes PINE, CYPRESS) /c3, Angiosperms (flowering plants; abundunt in springtime; seeds surrounded by

carpels or plant tissue; produces oxygen through photosynthesis; WISTERIA, FORSYTHIA, LILAC,

and Trees

DAFFODIL, WINTER HONEYSUCKLE, AZALEA, HYACINTH) /c4, (CHERRY, OAK, MAPLE, ELM, CRABAPPLE, STEWARTIA, MAGNOLIA, HICKORY, TUPELO, DOGWOOD,

. Fungi - Ascomycetes /d1,

GUM, SASSAFRAS, BIRCH; approx, 174 species) /c5

Basidiomyces (GILLED MUSHROOM, BOLETES, POLYPORES, CRUST FUNGI, JELLY FUNGI, PUFFBALL, STINKHORN FUNGUS; Approx. 500 Species) /d2, Lichens (a symbiotic association between algae and fungus; 25 Species) /d3, and Soil Fungi (important decomposers in the soil, stabilizes soil and increases water filtration; approx. 17,000 species) d/4. Animals - Invertebrates (lacking backbone; SNAIL, ARTHROPOD, MOLLUSK) / e1 and Aquatic Species (CRAYFISH, FRESHWATER JELLYFISH) /e2. Insects - Hymenoptera (major pollinators of flowering plants , parasites of destructive insects; BEE, WASP, ANT, BUTTERFLY, DRAGONFLY) /f1, Spider & Mite /f2. Fish - Siluriformes (ray-finned fish; inhabit shallow, running water; sound communication; LARGEMOUTH BASS, GOLDFISH, CATFISH) /g1, Amphibians (begin life on water, live on land as adults; FROG, SALAMANDER, NEWT) /g2, and Reptiles (coldblooded; SNAKE, TURTLE) /g3. Birds (ROCK PIGEON, HOUSE SPARROW, EUROPEAN STARLING, RINGBILLED GULL, MANDARIN DUCK, EGRET, NIGHT HERON, COOPER'S HAWK, OWL, WOODPECK-

. Mammals - Placental (some hibernate; BAT, CHIPMUNK, RABBIT, MOLE, MUSKRAT, OPPOSSUM, RAT, SHREW, SQUIRREL) /j1. ER, HUMMINGBIRD; 250 various species) /h1

Selected Landscape Informants as Ecotools 64


Projective Ecologies

Bacteria - Cyanobacteria (produces oxygen through photosynthesis; water-living; blue-green in color) /a1 and Rhyzobacteria (root-colonizing bacteria; symbiotic relationship with many plants; used in biofertilizer) /a2. Protists - Protozoans (single-celled microorganism including AMOEBA which derives nutrients from other organisms; free living - abundant in water, soil, and moss; parasitic - inhabits host organism) /b1

and Algae (Aquatic; produces oxygen through photosynthesis; lacks structure that is characteristic of land plants) /b2. Plants - Mosses (growth in dense green clumps or mats; often in damp or shady locations; individually composed of one-cell thick leaves attached

, Ferns

to a stem; peat fuel resource, efficient insulator, extremely water absorbant) /c1 (vascular tissue conducts water and nutrients; wide variety of habitats; stem, leaf, and root

, Gymnosperns &

structure; biofertilizer, can remediate contaminated soil) /c2

Conifers (produces naked, open seeds; lives in all climate zones; includes PINE, CYPRESS) /c3, Angiosperms (flowering plants; abundunt in springtime; seeds surrounded by

carpels or plant tissue; produces oxygen through photosynthesis; WISTERIA, FORSYTHIA, LILAC,

and Trees

DAFFODIL, WINTER HONEYSUCKLE, AZALEA, HYACINTH) /c4, (CHERRY, OAK, MAPLE, ELM, CRABAPPLE, STEWARTIA, MAGNOLIA, HICKORY, TUPELO, DOGWOOD,

. Fungi - Ascomycetes /d1,

GUM, SASSAFRAS, BIRCH; approx, 174 species) /c5

Basidiomyces (GILLED MUSHROOM, BOLETES, POLYPORES, CRUST FUNGI, JELLY FUNGI, PUFFBALL, STINKHORN FUNGUS; Approx. 500 Species) /d2, Lichens (a symbiotic association between algae and fungus; 25 Species) /d3, and Soil Fungi (important decomposers in the soil, stabilizes soil and increases water filtration; approx. 17,000 species) d/4. Animals - Invertebrates (lacking backbone; SNAIL, ARTHROPOD, MOLLUSK) / e1 and Aquatic Species (CRAYFISH, FRESHWATER JELLYFISH) /e2. Insects - Hymenoptera (major pollinators of flowering plants , parasites of destructive insects; BEE, WASP, ANT, BUTTERFLY, DRAGONFLY) /f1, Spider & Mite /f2. Fish - Siluriformes (ray-finned fish; inhabit shallow, running water; sound communication; LARGEMOUTH BASS, GOLDFISH, CATFISH) /g1, Amphibians (begin life on water, live on land as adults; FROG, SALAMANDER, NEWT) /g2, and Reptiles (coldblooded; SNAKE, TURTLE) /g3. Birds (ROCK PIGEON, HOUSE SPARROW, EUROPEAN STARLING, RINGBILLED GULL, MANDARIN DUCK, EGRET, NIGHT HERON, COOPER'S HAWK, OWL, WOODPECK-

. Mammals - Placental (some hibernate; BAT, CHIPMUNK, RABBIT, MOLE, MUSKRAT, OPPOSSUM, RAT, SHREW, SQUIRREL) /j1. ER, HUMMINGBIRD; 250 various species) /h1

Root-Colonizing vs. Other (Pollinators, Parasites, Aquatic Photosynthesizers) 65


Sophia Sarver

A TECHNOLOGICALLYINFORMED LANDSCAPE MAY REINSTATE DYNAMISM THROUGH THE MUTATION OF ECOLOGICAL PROCESSES, WHICH INTERACTS BOTH WITH THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE USER.

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A Technologically-Informed Landscape

Advances in technology and productivity has not led to an equivalent growth in landscape architectural design. Through a technologically-informed landscape, a more cultural and materially relevant interaction may be created, made possible through the reinterpretation of "matter at all scales" as "programmatic, parametric, networked, and laden with intelligence (Cantrell, 5)." A landscape able to be encoded and amplified, ecological forces and structures may be reapproximated through technology, re-encoding Central Park's contextual behaviors through algorithms to simulate immersive, visceral, and participatory experience. A responsive landscape of interactive, sensor-based response , such a framework would be able to convert data collected through the monitoring of human activity and environmental change to generate design decision and action. The following experiments by Chafiq Ennaoui (collaborator) link sensor-laden physical models to much larger and complex ecological simulations, potentially impacting landscape and infrastructural scale explorations.

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Agent Based - B1 68


A Technologically-Informed Landscape

Agent Based - B2 69


Sophia Sarver

Field Based - A1 70


A Technologically-Informed Landscape

Field Based - A2 71


Sophia Sarver

A NEW AESTHETIC (SCIENTIFICALLY-GROUNDED) WILL ACCEPT CHANGE AND ACKNOWLEDGE TEMPORALITY IN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN.

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A Technologically-Informed Landscape A Scientifically-Grounded Aesthetic

Louise Mozingo calls for the infusion of a new aesthetic into ecological design. She describes traditional ecological design as often leading to dull, unexciting landscapes: "the lack of aesthetic value of most ecological design lends it a ploddingness that is neither applealing to us as designers, nor as humans. It creates a landscape hairshirt that may make some feel holy but sends too many of us running o the nearest Italian garden (Lister, 231)." She describes landscape architects, on the other hand as ignoring the element of temporality in their work, a characteristic qualified by the universally acid perception of facilities managers towards architects: "They design it and move on to the next one. They've paid their fee and don't want to know." She proposes a new, scientifically-grounded aesthetic that combines the mathematical, time-based operations of ecologists with the spatial and visual procedures of landscape architects. Instead of prizing a "static vision imposed upon the land," that percieves landscape change not as a "vital, imaginative force but as a frightening or disappointing one," the acceptance of change, of "moving beyond the fixed vision of the landscape is ecologically necessary (Lister, 234).�

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Material Study /Soft - A1 74


A Technologically-Informed Landscape A Scientifically-Grounded Aesthetic

Material Study /Soft - A1 75


Sophia Sarver

Material Study / Rigid - A2 76


A Technologically-Informed Landscape A Scientifically-Grounded Aesthetic

Material Study / Rigid - A2 77


Sophia Sarver

GLOSSARY

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Glossary

Absolution: A conceptual fallacy in architecture. It is a great simplification to perceive architectural use as a frozen relationship between space and event, absent of time. Bewilderment: A prerequisite for another form of seeing, to bring forth something new. Collage: The cultivation of a systematic bewildering, through the "exploitation of the fortuitous meeting of two distant realities on an inappropriate plane," as put by Henry Bergson. Dank Space: A space of atmospheric moisture, historically viewed as lacking virtue by many architects (from Laugier to Le Corbusier). Newer perceptions recognize the dank space’s significance as an intrinsic link between architecture and its context. Discursive Space: Public space that recognizes the unavoidable statehoods of unanimity and conflict, that recognizes the presence of confrontation as an intrinsic social factor and a productive interaction. Disgust: A unique emotion, combining instinctual, reactive response with a highly developed, culturally and socially influenced tool of discrimination and moral judgement. Disgust was in fact a key motor of the “civilizing� process in 18th century Europe, in terms of design. Ecology: The synthesis of nature and culture, as a single organism. As Robert Cook puts it, it is the "thin film of life covering the earth as the biosphere, the sum of all organisms and communities."

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Landschaft: The perception of landscape as a working plane, unlike the concept of "Landskipp," which means scape, or set image. Nature: Physical phenomena produced by the earth and not by people, to include flora, fauna, and landscape features. A New Aesthetic: A scientifically-grounded landscape aesthetic that accepts change and moves beyond the fixed vision of the landscape, as opposed to conventional design which percieves change not as a vital, imaginative force but as a frightening or disappointing one. The New Paradigm of Ecology: A more recent ecological understanding which emphasizes the dynamic and changing nature of communities and ecosystems. This is unlike the older paradigm, which is characterized by its equilibrium. Oekology: The comprehensive science of the relationship of an organism to its environment. As Gregory Bateson claims: "We are not outside the ecology for which we plan, we are always and inevitably a part of it. Herein lies the charm and terror of ecology." Picturesque: The way ecological substance is administered in landscape architectural design. The picturesque style is a specific approach within this discipline. Picturesque Style: A landscape architectural style developed in 18th century England, Scotland, and Wales that interprets landscapes as environmental problems to be solved through static, aesthetic visualization.

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Projective Ecologies: A new landscape perception which values processes of becoming, frameworks over form, and performance. It focuses on the guiding and steering of flows of matter and information, rather than determining and predicting outcomes. Structured Heterogeneity: A structure of design processes, strategies, agencies, and scaffoldings - catalytic frameworks that may enable a diversity of relationships to create, merge, network, interconnect, and differentiate. Technology: Synthetic, man-made systems that allow various inputs of data to be converted into tools that allow for the manipulation of data. Wasteland: As described by Vittoria de Palma, it’s a landscape deemed primitive, visceral, and derelict by the criteria of the Picturesque Style due to its unwillingness to be tamed and resistance to categorization. Bogs, for example are landscapes to be removed and "cleaned" out of "civilized" space. Wildness: An entity that is self-willed, independent, and indifferent to human dictation and judgements. “It is not 'ours' - it is the one thing that can never be ours. An entity with the quality of wildness is its own, and no others,� as said by Neil Guernden.

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ANNOTATED WORKS CITED

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Sources

De Palma, Vittoria. Wasteland: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. Print. De Palma investigates the conception of the Wasteland - a hostile territory characterized by its triggering of visceral response. Defined in negative terms, it is identified primarily by what it is not, by its inability to be inhabited by humans and lack of resources. It is described as a land not yet modified by civilization, of ecological "wildness," which may be arid and barren, or overgrown with dense woods or a tangle of thorns and brambles. Such a landscape is held only to sustain primitive and hostile life forms, and is associated with the haunting of demons and supernatural creatures. The concept of Wasteland is not actually a universal idea, particularly specific to a convergence of beliefs, technologies, institutions, and individuals in 18th century England, Scotland, and Wales. Yet, Western attitudes towards landscaping would be heavily and broadly influenced, and the identities of landscapes, intimately related to the character of their nation and citizens would be subjected to top-down evaluations, insensitive to local physical and cultural value. Constituting the antithesis, the "absolute other" of civilization, the Wasteland's place in culture is questioned as contemporary perceptions towards humanity's interaction with nature alters with technology. Lynn, Greg. "Body Matters" in Folds, Bodies, Blobs: Collected Essays. Ed. Michele Lachowsky & Joel Benzakin. Brussels: La Lettre vole e. 1998. Greg Lynn describes the classical notion of a symmetrical, perfectly divisible architecture as unproductive, as material that discounts localities and their ability to "contribute to the

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composition of bodies" in a bottom-up, or in-out manner. He says that unity as a design concept needs to be re-thought in a way that recognizes the "compositional sensibilities" created out of dynamic, diverse systems. Parasites, which "for too long" have been viewed as outside attackers on an already existing host, are described to actually possess the ability to create their own internal networks. This discounts the fact that the host is not a host until the parasite chooses it and decides to give it an interior. Through proposing a more heterogeneous structure in design, Lynn suggests that a more diverse value hierarchy may be formed out of a "process of continuous differentiation." Instead of a system that is predictable and linear, it may be of free, gestural motion, able to operate at different pressures, absent of the inhibition of composed modularity. Yoon, Meejin. "Programming Scenarios: R & Sie." in Praxis: Writing + Building; Issue 8. Boston: Praxis, inc. 2006. 73-75. Print. R & Sie focus their practice on "instrumentalizing" the materiality of place, allowing for hybrids of architecture and ecology to form. Each building acts as a process, a sort of science experiment that is ever-evolving through the advancement of technology and an increased understanding of biological systems. Describing their work as "post-digital, post-human, post-activist, post-democratic...androgynous, carnal, disturbing, disenchanted, pornographic, and transient..," they refer to architecture's ability to trigger confusion and "gut reactions." R & Sie aim to manifest the misunderstandings and "psychological and physiological fragments" of society, to create architecture that is as paradoxical, uncertain, and paranoid as people and nature. According to them, contemporary architectural space is naive

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Sources

and illusionistic, characterized by unquestioned comfort and safety that ignores nature's behavioral truths. The historical domination and suppression of animate bodies must be criticized, having become a redundant and irrelevant attitude towards nature. A new stance towards ecological material must be developed, to allow for a generative, confrontational re-engagement with nature. Deutsche, Rosalyn. E ​ victions: "Agoraphobia" in A ​ rt and Spatial Politics. ​Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996. Print. Deutsche associates democracy with the disappearance of certainty, created out processes of generalization and avoidance of conflict. She reminds that the unavoidable statehoods of unanimity and conflict are essential to the structure of political conversation, that it cannot exist without the presence of the “other” that brings one's own identity into question. Likewise, public space is not "ruined" by conflict: "the perception of a coherent space cannot be separated from a sense of what it would like to exclude." Deutsche says that public space possesses the ability to operate as a discursive weapon (against private greed,) and to do so must be structured heterogeneously to include the localized social groups excluded from larger, abstract social orders. Tschumi, Bernard. Notations: Diagrams and Sequences. London: Artifice Books on Architecture, 2014. 153-168. Print. Tschumi explains that in any architectural sequence, there exists an internal relation (method of work), that communicates with two external relations (one dealing with the juxtaposition of spaces, the other with program). This sequence becomes generative through the invention and deployment of path-

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determining points along a sequence. Many architects, however favor the "certainty of a well-defined axis" over the "passionate uncertainties of thought, idealizing the finished product, and holding little regard for the messy process of its making. That messiness better encaptures how people truly inhabit space - often, fixed spatial sequences are superimposed by incidents that follow ulterior orders, that suggest "secret maps and impossible fictions." Tschumi proposes the element of time as a tool for measuring such experience, saying that architecture would benefit from being understood as evolving, biological matter. Absolution is a fallacy in architecture, as it is a great simplification to perceive architectural use as a frozen relationship between space and event.

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WORKS CITED

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Sources

Allen, Stan. “From Object to Field: Field Conditions in Architecture and Urbanism" in Practice: Architecture, Technique, and Representation. London: Routledge, 2009. 24-31. Print. Blackmar, Elizabeth; Rosenzweig, Roy. The Park and the People: A History of Central Park. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992. 4-15. Print. Cantrell, Bradley, & Holzman, Justine. Responsive Landscapes. London: Routledge; 1 edition, 2015. Print. Corbin, Allen. The Foul and the Fragrant: Odor and the French Social Imagination. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986. Print. De Palma, Vittoria. Wasteland: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014. Print. Deutsche, Rosalyn. ​Evictions: “​Agoraphobia” in ​Art and Spatial Politics. ​ Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996. Print. Gissen, David. "Dankness" in Subnature: Architecture’s Other Environments. Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition, 2009. 30-43. Print. Lister, Nina-Marie, & Reed, Chris. Projective Ecologies. Cambridge: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2014. Print. Lynn, Greg. “Body Matters” in Folds, Bodies, Blobs: Collected Essays. Ed. Michele Lachowsky & Joel Benzakin. Brussels: La Lettre vole e., 1998. 135-156. Print Tschumi, Bernard. Notations: Diagrams and Sequences. London: Artifice Books on Architecture, 2014. 153-168. Print. Yoon, Meejin. "Programming Scenarios: R & Sie." in Praxis: Writing + Building; Issue 8. Boston: Praxis, inc. 2006. 73-75. Print.

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IMAGE SOURCES

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American Views. E. & H. T. New York, New York: Anthony & Co., Emporium of American and Foreign Stereoscopic Views, Chromos, Albums, Magic Lanterns and Slide, 1860. Stereoscopic Prints. Bachmann, John. Central Park. Map Illustration. The New York Public Library: Heppenheimer, Frederick, 1863. Print. Currier, Nathaniel, & Ives, Merrit. Central Park, the Drive. New York, New York: Currier & Ives, 1862. Lithograph Poster Print. Durante, Dianne. “Central Park: The Early Years, images, 1861-1865.” Dianne L. Durante. 2018. http://diannedurantewriter.com/centralpark-the-early-years-images-1861-1865. Huttunen, Antti, & Laitinen, Jarmo, & Rehell, Sakari. "Vegetation-Related Hydrotopographic and Hydrologic Classification for Aapa Mires (Hirvisuo, Finland)". Ann. Bot. Fenicci. 42: 107-121 (2005). 114. Print. Taterka, Bruce. “Bedrock Geology of Central Park, New York City.” Department of Geology and Geography, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Contribution No. 61 (1987). 3, 85-89. Print. Thrastadottir, Asta."Pictures Show How Central Park Has Drastically Changed Since The 1980s." Business Insider. 2015.https://www.businessinsider.com/what-central-park-looked-like-in-the-1980s-2015-1.

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DP

2018 - 2019

Profile for Sophia Sarver

Projective Ecologies - Degree Project Research  

Projective Ecologies - Degree Project Research  

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