11/06/2012

Softness, re-calibrating coastal sites ı Scape-Landscape Architecture P.L.L.C.

I, currently, am working on two interviews, and an invitation for a guest-editing project: one already submitted, another in preparation. The third, the invitation, I will say more soon. But however I cannot say more for now, the second interview and this invitation are interconnected. But more very soon.
Today, I post a video of the landscape architecture firm I would like to interview — this second interview mentioned above.
Scape/Landscape Architecture P.L.L.C. directed by landscape architect Kate Orff developed a research titled Oyster-Tecture in 2010, a project she described as follows:
We propose to nurture an active oyster culture that engages issues of water quality, rising tides, and community based development around Brooklyn's Red Hook and Gowanus Canal. An armature for the growth of native oysters and marine life is designed for the shallow waters of the Bay Ridge Flats just south of Red Hook. This living reef is constructed from a field of piles and a woven web reef is constructed from a field of piles and a woven web of "fuzzy rope" that supports oyster and mussel growth and builds a rich three-dimensional landscape mosaic. A watery regional park for the New York Harbor emerges that prefigures the city's return to the waterfront in the next century. The reef attenuates waves and cleans millions of gallons of Harbor water through harnessing the biotic processes of oysters, mussels and eelgrass, and enables neighborhood fabrics that welcome the water to develop further inland.
This project represents a vision for the future of the harbor. A small pilot project is currently in development for the Gowanus Bay that will host new forms of marine habitat, with a focus on mussels.
She recently was quoted in an interesting article titled Protecting the City. Before next Time, by Alan Feuer for the New York Times. In this article, Kate Orff said: "The era of the big infrastructure is over" namely: this expensive, static, inert infrastructure, already built, which has been showing serious limits over years, are admittedly obsolete. Its future, its adaptation to an environment subject to a set of ecological, economic, anthropogenic constraints are under scrutiny. 
Oyster-Tecture, New York City, 2010 | © Scape/Landscape Architecture P.L.L.C.
> "Waterworld: A reef constructed from rock and shell piles to host oyster growth, as seen in a rendering for a proposal in Brooklyn. Such a structure could filter water and mitigate storm surge." [The New York Times, November 3rd, 2012]

Scape/Landscape Architecture P.L.L.C.'s proposal, Oyster-Tecture, begs a set of questions that I will summerize in two flavors: softness, and adaptation. Put it simply, a less intrusive, expensive, but, mutable, flexible infrastructure — organic, too, a sort of living infrastructure — that enables more responsiveness in face of ecological — but not only: economic, social, anthropogenic — constraints. 
The interview on which I am working will articulate these two topics, softness and adaptation, around one and basic question: how can we re-articulate sites with complex ecologies — waterborne cities?
I hope we will find time for this interview. If so, I will let you know as quick as possible…




Credit video: Scape/Landscape Architecture P.L.L.C.

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