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Design Under Sky discusses landscape architecture, the utilitarian but leaning towards the conceptual, thinking on modern occurrences and peripheral boundaries.  

DUS is the blog and personal design studio of Adam E. Anderson, a designer based out of the East Coast, currently a Critic at the Rhode Island School of Design, and a designer at Landworks Studio.

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Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell

With the announcement of the release of their much anticipated movie Christmas on Mars, the set shots and further examination of band artwork had me pondering, what if The Flaming Lips were Landscape Architects?

Imagine if you will rather then an album track title from the Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots album, Ego Tripping at the Gates of Hell represents the chosen name of an Urban Park designed by chief Landscape Architect Wayne Coyne and his firm The Flaming Lips. How would the surreal scale of misplaced oddities affect the psychology of space?

Based on the phantasmagoric quality of show production, artwork, and even their music, the spatial abstractions The Lips could create has the potential of challenging the parameters of unconventional design, forming spaces of surreal intuitiveness, or simply scaring the living shit out of us.

If they could somehow manifest the emotional journey of the music into reality would or could these become successfully experienced landscapes for many, or would their design capabilities be limited to more ephemeral Christo-like land art contructs?

The experimental success of the Zaireeka project, designed to unify one sound from 300 different components, hints at possibilities which could be somehow used to create urban spaces based on dynamic human connectivity and interaction.

What about other artists? How would the musical eccentricities of the likes of Bjork, Tom Waits, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, or Explosions in the Sky transcend Landscape Architecture?

A concept briefly discussed in my short-lived band days, whose members featured fellow landscape architectural students, we questioned whether we could design landscapes based on music and vice versa? The harmonies and sequences of a well-designed space have the potential to drive design to form similar emotions experienced through song. But can the two vastly different mediums even be translated to one and the other?

If this correlation does exist then we’d have to ask ourselves does the music we listen to while designing affect its outcome. Am I constraining my capabilities of designing a passive/healing space if my headphones are blasting Do the Evolution?

{All images and artwork via The Flaming Lips}

Reader Comments (1)

This is an excellent question! I love it. I've never considered casting Wayne as my landscape architectural muse, even though he is my hero. I'm going to have to take this idea into the studio, even if it is just during conceptual stages. I'm writing a thesis right now that touches on what we can borrow from other artistic disciplines to expand our creative approach to designing enhanced somatic landscape experiences. Wayne is perfect. Have you seen his "compound"?

Thanks for the post
October 21, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie Barnes

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