Beautifully planted landscapes can transform the way we experience the world in which we live. From glowing, ground-piercing lilies to broad-crowned trees, the material and structural properties of plants can be combined in an infinite variety of ways to develop tonal, atmospheric, tactile, spatial, and chromatic environments that entrance and empower.
This course explored how the material qualities of plants can enter into affective associations with humans. Specific plant properties were used to generate designed landscapes rather than simply decorate them. How many types of shade are there, and how can the height and breadth of a tree, the size and thickness of its leaves, and their spatial arrangements be gathered into living architecture?
Students investigated the aesthetic agency of plants by studying them as individual specimens as well as within their natural communities. Particular attention was paid to the special continuum of growth and change the plant world offers human consciousness through the design of plant–human assemblages that emphasize spatial, textural, and chromatic plant attributes.
“A Garden in the Park” was designed for individual sites within Forest Park. “Suburbia Transformed” involved a garden design for a public/private location near each student’s home. Three-dimensional drawings—developed from plant materials gathered from the sites—became the basis of students’ first designs, while the second designs were generated from a mood board created using views of the suburban context in which students live.