Uncovering Site and Process in the Landscape: Assemblies, Gradients and Frameworks

Foundation Design Studio I (2020-21)

Related Staff : Ivan Valin

This foundation studio explores the act of revealing the dynamic landscape as an essential skill of the landscape architect. Through drawing, rigorous observation, and design experimentation, students documented ephemeral or hidden processes in the natural landscape and illuminated the impacts of urban standards and constraints on the public realm. In representing landscape in this way, students were challenged to consider alternatives to more traditional drawing methods–favouring ‘gradient’ over ‘boundary’, ‘networks’ over ‘objects’, and ‘parameters’ over ‘dimensions’. In the first project ‘Sample/Code/Diverge’, students examined the essential components that negotiate Hong Kong’s steep topography: stairs, ramps, and reinforced slopes. From their selected case studies, students extracted and then drew an ‘essential code’ for their element. This project explored the generation of specificity and the limits of the ‘typical’ in the landscape. These ‘essential codes’ were then used as the basis for a series of iterative design explorations that generated new and hybrid landscape conditions. The second project took on the design of a landscape intervention on Lung Fu Shan’s Pinewood Batter. Students produced a set of generative maps that traced the dynamics of water and sunlight in combination with soil, slope, aspect, and vegetation. These drawings, together with their expanded toolkit of walls, steps, and ramps from project 1 became the basis for a design intervention that aimed to reveal and engage in the dynamic natural processes on the site.

Enlarge Photo: Site plan with habitat mapping. By LAU Fong Yui.Enlarge Photo: Landscape 'Monster' hybrid stair/ slope study. By TSIM Yuen Ting Jessica.Enlarge Photo: Site intervention model. By CHAN Ching Yin.Enlarge Photo: Perspective. By CHAN Ching Yin.