landscape-architecture – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Category Archives: landscape-architecture

pilot projects

In an article for the recently-launched ARPA Journal, Kate Orff describes a pair of SCAPE pilot projects in New York Harbor, both testing the viability of ecological design concepts for specific harbor-dwelling species along the edge of Brooklyn’s industrial waterfront. [The blue mussel pilot project; image by SCAPE via ARPA Journal.] The first, located near […]

landscape information modeling

[Diagram describing the "interaction between a script to generate a planting plan and data generated from the soil and salinity analyses", from Philip Belesky's research project "Processes and Processors".] I recently encountered the work of Philip Belesky, a PhD candidate at RMIT’s Spatial Information Architecture Laboratory, who is thinking very interesting thoughts about the role […]

glitches, flash crashes, and very bad futurists

Last fall, Vincent deBritto and Ozayr Saloojee invited me to come visit their Resilient Infrastructures project at the University of Minnesota; my main contribution was to deliver the lecture above, “Glitches, Flash Crashes, and Very Bad Futurists”. The lecture examines a particular class of landscape problem, which I’ve provisionally described as “glitches and flash crashes”, […]

north coast design competition

[Map of annual dredging volumes in American cities in the Great Lakes Basin, via Matthew Moffitt's project "Dredge City", which won the 2013 ASLA Student Award of Excellence in General Design.] The city of Toledo is the epicenter of dredging on the Great Lakes: of the roughly three million cubic yards of material dredged in […]

land-making machines

[The Audubon Society's micro-dredger, the John James, making new land in the Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary in South Louisiana. Karen Westphal, Audubon’s Atchafalaya Basin program manager, will be speaking about this participatory micro-dredging project at DredgeFest Louisiana's symposium, which is this Saturday and Sunday at Loyola University in New Orleans.] Tim Maly and I […]

the collision of geologic time and infrastructural control

“Before artificial levee construction, the river avulsed and a new delta was constructed every 1,000-1,500 yr: the active Plaquemines-Balize Delta began to form about 1,000 yr ago, and was for some time contemporaneous with the older Lafourche Delta, whereas diversion to the Atchafalaya River course began about 500 yr ago, but is now managed by the US Army Corps […]

dredgefest louisiana

Things have been terribly quiet here at mammoth this fall. (Assuming that by “here” we mean “here, on the blog”; they’ve been quite busy if by “here” we mean “here in Ohio and Virginia”, which is where I’ve physically been. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to recap those adventures soon — there’s been quite a […]

sediment trap and release

[The annual sediment release procedure at Xiaolangdi Dam on the Yellow River in Henan province, China. According to the Daily Mail, "this annual operation sees more than 30 million tonnes of silt sent downstream a year, with more than 390 million tonnes shifted this way over the last 13 years". It is noteworthy, from the perspective […]

very bad futurists

[Detail from a drawing by Lydia Gikas, for my Spring 2013 Houston Ship Channel studio] The Studio-X blog links a recent article in Nautilus on the incorporation of scenario planning techniques (drawn from the work of futurists) into urban ecological research, by Marina Alberti‘s urban ecology research group at the University of Washington: Alberti introduced me […]

feedback: designing the dredge cycle

[Beach replenishment on Rockaway Beach, New York (well before Hurricane Sandy); image via USACE] Fellow Dredge Research Collaborator Brett Milligan and I have a co-authored article in the latest issue of Scenario Journal (formerly Landscape Urbanism Journal), 04: Rethinking Infrastructure. The article reflects on the after effects of Hurricane Sandy, the history and future of […]

the geopolitics of subtraction

[Map of the IIRSA's Amazonian axis, connecting the Pacific to the Atlantic across the Andes; from IIRSA document "8 Ejes de Integración de la Infraestructura de América del Sur"] Keller Easterling, speculating about “a new counterintuitive economic model” of “infrastructural subtraction” in Domus last November: “What are the points of leverage, trip distances or economies […]

future baroque

The following piece was published last summer in La Tempestad; given that La Tempestad circulates primarily in Mexico and is published in Spanish, we — Brett Milligan and I, who co-authored the piece — thought that it would be worth re-publishing it on our respective sites for English-language audiences. The article builds on a pair of […]

louisiana state university

So, I should say something about what I’m doing this spring, though this is kind of the brief version. I’m very excited to be joining the faculty and students at LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture as the visiting Marie M. Bickham Chair. In addition to taking in the extremely interesting work that they’re […]

dredgefest nyc

[Beach nourishment in Monmouth, New Jersey. Photo: USACE.] A few months ago, I posted the live interview that the Dredge Research Collaborative (Stephen, Brett Milligan, Tim Maly, and myself) did with Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley at Studio-X NYC. Both at that event and in the short post I did, we promised that we’d be […]

the commonwealth approach

[The following is the text and (a slightly condensed set of) slides from the presentation that Laurel McSherry and I gave at the Drylands Design Conference in late March. The presentation walks through our highly speculative proposal for the reconfiguration of the political geography of the United States to better conform to the spatial distribution […]

the new modulated world of invisible fields

[A portion of Nicolas Rapp's map of the internet for Fortune magazine.] Writing for Quaderns, Kazys Varnelis argues for an infrastructural urbanism that not only embraces and seeks to design (or design with) infrastructure, but also imagines new infrastructures “more appropriate to network culture”: But we have not gone far enough yet. The Deleuzian modulations […]

landscape ontology

[A landscape in the process of becoming a different landscape: In late 2010, the waste reservoir of a Hungarian aluminum oxide plant burst, releasing millions and millions of gallons of caustic red sludge. The meter-high toxic mudslide quickly moved downhill through two nearby villages, burying buildings, poisoning fields and killing 10 people. The image above […]

designing novel ecosystems

[Wildfires in the southern Rockies from space, June 23; via NASA Earth Observatory.] A recent post on the current wildfires in the southern Rockies at the New York Times‘ Green blog reminded me that I had intended to excerpt an earlier editorial, also at the New York Times, which defended the notion of the Anthropocene […]

zones and extrastatecraft

[A zone: Ebene Cybercity in Mauritius. As a bonus, Ebene is also an excellent example of the capacity of the Tubes to direct urban futures, as one of its prime selling points is that it sits at a landing point for the "the SAT3/WASC/SAFE sub-marine cable which links Southern Europe, Western and Southern Africa and […]

minus extraction

[Miami's Lake Belt, the zone in which the city of Miami becomes a mirror image of itself -- reflected in blue polygons induced by the mining of the limestone rock literally used to construct the city -- before it disintegrates into the Everglades.] I’ve gotten part way through listening to the portions of last weekend’s Landscape Infrastructures […]