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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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Tuesday
Dec022008

Step I: Manual Botanical Augmentation

Previously discussed here at D.U.S. was the concept of designing spaces with trees equipped with walkable robotic technologies, or Solar Seeking Botanical Augmentation, drastically transforming the dynamicity of such a space.  Dezeen pointed us to a project which possesses the beginning qualities of the conception.

NL Architects created a "Moving Forest" by placing 100 trees in 100 shopping carts for the Urban Play event in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  The idea was based on a children's book in which a forest moves at night so people trapped in it can never escape!

I need to track down this book, an interesting concept to teach children, that the forest is a scary, alive place which could potentially hold you captive for life.  Nevertheless, the architects envisioned the mobile trees individually finding their way through the urban fabric, wheeled about by the homeless or late night bar hoppers, who in my experience are inherently attracted to rogue shopping carts.

Although yet to be robotic, and I stress YET, and provided the trees are able to survive and flourish within the confinements of a shopping cart (which their sure to not), the mobility of the trees does create an entirely new process of human interaction with spaces.  The perfect reading spot, created by a tree blocking the summer afternoon sun could be there one day and gone the next, or altered throughout the day to ensure ultimate spatial comfort.

In this manner, depending how the idea becomes manifested, the designers become more programmers and the visitors become the designers, modifying their surroundings for pleasure, boredom, or necessity.

{All Images via: Dezeen}

 

Related:  Solar Seeking Botanical Augmentation

Reader Comments (1)

This the most innovative and democratic idea for a public space I've seen lately. I LOVE it! There's a delicate balance to strike between imposing a rigid program and leaving everything so "flexible" that there are no commitments, and I think that unhinging something like tree plantings from the fixed form of the landscape has so much potential. For instance, a design where a landscape architect (or other designer) set up the circulation, the program, and all the low plantings, but then left the canopy as adjustable could create a fascinating visual feedback process on how public space is used. Also, borrowing again from shopping carts, there are some that use a technology where the wheels just electronically (maybe magnetically) lock past a certain predefined point, negating the need for wheel-stop style blocks on the paving like those pictured on the space above. Seems like a completely transferable technology for mobile planters. The only caveat I would add to this is that I'm pretty sure the vibration and jostling the trees would undergo over an extended period of time would compact the soil in the pit and stress the tree out, thereby shortening their lifespan. Surely there's a way to design a solution to that, though.

Anyway, thanks for finding this and posting it.
December 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteradrianhayes

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