Marsh Arabs, or Mad’an, in Iraq
Gowanus has a rich history. Originally a large marshy wetland the area was the site of early Dutch settlement, important Revolutionary War battles, and industry that includes the energy and construction sectors. Planners envision the area as a new site for large residential development, a controversial proposal in the face of climate change projections. In this context, working closely with local community organizations, government agencies, and elected officials, dlandstudio initiated and designed a new kind of public open space, a Sponge Park™. Through an unconventional, unprecedented process, dlandstudio raised all of the design and construction funding for the project from the New York State Council on the Arts, United States Congress, New York City Council, the New England Water Pollution Control Commission, the State Department of Environmental Conservation (Environmental Justice Grant), and the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.
The Sponge Park™ design equally values the aesthetic, programmatic, and productive importance of treating contaminated water flowing into the Gowanus Canal, an EPA Superfund site. The park is designed as a working landscape that improves the environment of the canal over time. This innovative plan proposes strategies to divert excess storm water run-off for use in the public park along the canal, reducing the input of rain water into the sewer system. The plants and engineered soils included in our design draw heavy metals and biological toxins out of contaminated water. Proposed floating remediation wetlands incorporate a mixture of aquatic organisms that absorb or break down organic toxins, heavy metals, and biological contaminants from sewage.
Raising Islands, Chris Knight
The atoll environment is one of the most challenging ‘human ecology’ scenarios on earth; despite this, the people of the Marshall Islands have occupied their atolls for millenia. This project investigates the traditional cultural practices which enabled the ancestors of the Marshallese people to flourish, and pairs it with modern technologies in order to synthesize a proposal which could empower contemporary Marshall Islanders to transform their landscape and develop sustainable livelihoods in this extreme environment.
Elusive and Nebulous Geographies, Liz Lessig
Territories of nowhere, is a material artifact of society’s excess consumption, of perceived infinite natural resources, resulting in the conditions of invisible danger. These territories are products of a destructive capitalist systems, are not only the symptoms of the problem but through an analysis of their effects provide opportunities for solutions to complex ecological issues. An example, utilized in the article, of the nowhere conditions described is the nebulous territory of nuclear energy. Through the measuring, testing, and monitoring of invisible elements of risk, new transient geographies emerge that transcend geographic and political boundaries. These geographies provide opportunity for architectural speculation.
The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, by David McQueen, is a re-presentation of the surface of the ocean. At once startlingly mechanical and natural, the 400+ motor driven cams work sequentially to undulate the tiled surface creating rolling swells and ideally calling to mind the same meditative qualities of the ocean itself.
Frontier Mythology (2007) by ecoarttech.
“Frontier Mythology is a mobile, solar-powered environmental digital video and FM radio installation made of recycled shipping pallets. Three portable multimedia players inhabit a primitive, lean-to structure displaying videos of diverse contemporary environments while a transistor radio picks up a pirate radio transmission reciting quotations from classical works of U.S. literature that comment on the frontier myth informing American constructions of land, nature, and wilderness. Originally designed to be located along a remote section of the Appalachian Trail” - ecoarttech