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

Category Archives: landscape-architecture

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 […]

unknown unknowns

0. Everyone’s favorite Donald Rumsfeld quotation: “[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.” (As evidence […]

eight-bit baroque

Via BLDGBLOG, Timo Arnall’s “Robot Readable World”, “an experiment in found machine-vision footage, exploring the aesthetics of the robot eye”: This video is rather obviously fantastic, but I do think it’s worth calling attention to a perceptive comment left on the Vimeo page. Arnall describes the video as exploring the questions “how do robots see […]

signs for naturalized areas

[“Signs for Naturalized Areas”, from Windsor, Ontario’s Broken City Lab; the signs were installed in the summer of 2009, after a city workers’ strike left various vacant lots unmowed and teeming with accidental plant communities.  The emergent flora were apparently commonly viewed negatively, as a symbol of the political conflict surrounding the workers’ strike; the […]

road ecologies

A nice slideshow by Laura Tepper on Places looks at the intersection of “wildlife habitat and highway design”, from “the six massive wildlife overpasses lining the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park” to HNTB and Michael Van Valkenburgh’s winning entry to the recent ARC competition for Vail Pass, “Hypar-nature” (pictured above) and across the Atlantic […]

quilian riano interviews chris reed

Quilian Riano interviews Chris Reed (Stoss Landscape Urbanism) for Places; the interview touches on a broad range of topics, including Stoss’s recent work, the importance of an expanded field for landscape architecture, and possibilities for inventing flexible alliances between design teams and collaborators in “related fields such as engineering, ecology, economics, etc.”: “Within this expanded […]


We recently wrote a brief piece, “Appeal”, for the excellent architecture journal Quaderns in response to their most recent issue, “Parainfrastructures”. We used this response as an opportunity to consider why we are so drawn to infrastructural landscapes like Blue Plains — not just as sites of logistical and technological operations, but aesthetically as well: […]


To wrap up this week of fecal matters, I want to talk briefly about Bret Betnar’s “Shitscape: Mumbai’s Landscape In-Between”, a brilliant project done while Betnar was at the University of Pennsylvania. 1 If you haven’t already read it, be sure to check out Peter Nunns’ post from Tuesday on “fecal politics”, which deals with exactly […]

de-damming the dutch delta

[The Haringvliet Dam] In recent years, as they seek to rethink the flood control infrastructures and climate defense systems of the Mississippi Delta, American politicians, engineers, planners, and designers have, with good reason, looked to the Netherlands for inspiration and expertise. This is entirely natural, as the Netherlands has long been the world’s most sophisticated […]

restoring the land-making machine

[The fluctuating terrain of the lower Mississippi River Delta, from the USGS’s map of “land area change in coastal Louisiana from 1932 to 2010”.  Loss is in red; accumulation is in green.  The map is seen via Free Association Design, where you can see the map in more detail, including the rapidly accreting area of […]

dike field

[A dike field in the Mississippi River near Greenfield, Mississippi; via bing maps.] In the Mississippi River, dike fields are constructed in order to direct the river’s flow to a central channel, scouring it and reducing the need for dredging.  Though their primary purpose is to thus maintain navigability for shipping, dike fields tend, as […]

urban field manuals

[Photographs from Christoph Engel’s series “Exterieur”, which explores the sort of cryptoforested terrain vague which the urban field manual might excel in operating in.] Issue 14 of the Magazine On New Urbanisms, “Editing Urbanism”, is out.  Brian Davis, Brett Milligan, and I co-wrote a piece in that issue, “Urban Field Manuals”, which argues that the […]

predictive gis and geospatial intelligence

A recent article at Live Science looks at the work of Robert Cheetham, “one of two landscape architects… hired to start a Crime Analysis and Mapping Unit for the Philadelphia Police Department” fourteen years ago, and today the founder of a consulting company that provides “geospatial analysis services to enhance decision-making”, including developing a software […]

colonnade park

[Colonnade Park, photographed by Brett Milligan.] Free Association Design reports from Seattle’s Colonnade Park, an “urban mountain bike skills park” constructed by volunteers from the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance: It hard not to be enamored by the successful and improvised gestalt of the whole thing, in both program and materials. Much of what it is […]

in and out of the terrain of water

[The Dixon Land Imprinter, described by the Out of Water project.] This is probably a bit late to be truly timely, but there are a pair of interdisciplinary-but-architecturally-oriented conferences this weekend (1 and 2 April) hosted by the Universities of Pennsylvania and Toronto, which may be of interest to mammoth readers who are in or […]

infrastructure without architects

[Photo of Global III, by Alan Berger via NAi Publishers] Approximately seventy-five miles due west of the gleaming towers of Chicago’s Loop, Union Pacific Railroad, the United States’ largest railroad company, operates the Rochelle Global III Intermodal Facility, twelve-hundred acres of switching yards, train tracks, loading facilities, and container-sized parking spaces.  Rochelle, a small Midwestern […]

kongjian yu and the conscientizacao of the landscape

FASLANYC posts an interview with pioneering Chinese landscape architect Kongjian Yu, who I’ve heard speak a couple times and always been impressed by.  They talk about the origins of Yu’s firm’s name (Turenscape), how Yu worked to convince Chinese officials that landscape architecture was a useful discipline, what defines a productive landscape, and the relationship […]