Let's Build A Landscape

This past semester I worked with our second-year graduate students to elaborate on some of the thoughts about adventure and amateurism I started to explore on this site. We started by approaching video games as precedents for landscape architecture, created outside of professional networks but often making for more compelling and memorable places.

Work by Andy Polefrone.

We then worked backwards to explore how, like video games, we could create distinct places through emergent systems of play. The students created sets of game pieces to occupy space and rules to govern how they were situated, and then tested how they came together into distinct spaces.

zhao game
Work by Wen Zhao.

To apply this process to actual sites, we used St. Louis as a test case. With an intimidating backlog of vacant sites to care for and a vibrant history of material reuse, St. Louis seemed like a good place to explore a technique that could quickly and engagingly reprogram sites without shoehorning them into conventional development modes. We posited a training and support program that would allow local residents to reimagine vacant lands themselves, working within these gamelike systems.

site selection
Work by Sarah Coleman.

The students then brought the semester to a close by choosing their own sites, developing their own sets of rules, and forecasting how they could result in new and distinct places.

final project
Work by Jonathan Stechschulte.

(May 2019)