Sunday, September 21, 2008

Post-Successional Landscapes

This week came to a close with another Park(ing) Day, a phenomenon created by San Fran group REBAR a few years back. It was evidently a success around the world via blog posts, and from the few examples I saw around Portland, it was evident that there was a lot of interest and support... It's good to see these projects and to see the media attention not just for the works but for the concept as well.

:: image via Treehugger

While making a statement for a day is laudable, there's something disappointing about engaging this public space, then having to pull it all up at the end of the day. What would be interesting to see is if Park(ing) Day - or any day for that matter - to literally plant the seeds of making greener cities. Similar to the bike-powered Bloom, A couple of interesting examples of this - in the realm of Guerilla Gardening or Urban Culture Jamming that we should regularly sprinkle (literally) seeds in our day-to-day lives.

One example is the literal use of Seed Bombs, creating solid by easily decomposable ammunition, which can be directed towards a blighted target - filled with wildflower and other seeds. I often think this would be an interesting way of quickly vegetating ecoroofs - making bombs of seeds and succulant cuttings that would colonize areas slowly and subversively - particularly with the ballasted rooftops.

:: image via Dwell

A more interesting and artful variation on the Seed Bomb is the use of biodegradable Gnome Balloons by Studio TX that fall to the ground and disseminate on open ground. Not limited to Gnomes either - take your artistic license. Via Inhabitat: "The piece originally appeared at Temporary Garden, a roving event that takes over a new abandoned space every year in the first weekend of July. Aachen, Germany hosted the premier of the balloon bombs this year. Each balloon is made of PLA plastic and painted with 100% water-based chalk. The balloons take 4-6 months to decompose and leave a burst of color in their wake. Finally, a lawn ornament suitable for all those barren, abandoned lots."

:: image via Treehugger

And the result, if we can see the traces of our residue. As postulated by Design Under Sky, in regards to the deterioration Abkhazia, a victim of the conflict between Georgia and Russion, which has taken it's toll on the grandiose architecture - letting the pioneering species (i.e. the plants) take over ... "It would make for interesting Landscape Architectural experiment, in close coordination with Architecture, to design a system that intentionally allows this natural process of The World Without Us landscape succession to occur. The deliberate “overgrowth” could eventually become means of structural support and a by allowing the wild in, creating a true interconnection between ecosystem and architecture."

:: image via Design Under Sky

And in the end, our modes of habitation, vegetation, product and usage will evolve along with our immersion in the final stable successional change of vegetative bliss... well, at least until the next disturbance :) Check out the entire strip of the 'de-evolution' of the office by heading to Centennial Society - then clicking on Business Reply Pamphlet at the top right...

:: images via Centennial Society

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