The Process: Vertical Landscapes

Huy Bui's Working Drawings, CityWILD.

On August 8, Huy Bui exhibited his new project, Vertical Landscapes, a collection of experimental planter designs exploring the potential for developing grid-based modular ecosystems in the Anthropocene – the current geological age, the first such era defined primarily by the influence of man. The following are drawings from his development stages and notes from his presentation.

The Workspace experience is particularly unique, where the relationship between creator and client/patron is elevated ... Taking “locally made” to the the absolute limit. To be designing and building a project that is less than 30 ft from the site is a rare opportunity.

1) First phase: design of the building block module — which has stayed true to a dimension of 12” in length, but can work with dimensions that are by divisible 1.5”. These units can stack with other works, like the Plant-In MINI, Geological Frames. Like a lego brick, these dimensions have stayed unchanged since the inception of Plant-in City. Within these building blocks, there's the idea of the GRID, which is the most efficient and pervasive urban design systems.

Topography represents the wild and a subtle function of moving water through a grade / slope. Inside the grid framework is an opportunity for plant-life. Each module, landscaped terrariums.

2) Second phase: to work the building blocks into a larger context, VERTICAL LANDSCAPES. ... They can be stacked, staggered and suspended in space. Design decisions are based on flow of water, and potentially sediment, which are geological elements that would be the next steps that create earth and land strata. In the larger system, terrariums are modular watersheds, channeling water from one vessel to another.

This installation is an open system (the fundamental nature of ecosystems), which can be augmented and can adapt through different cycles. I look to add other elements, such as irrigation systems that can be activated with pre-programmed environmental sensors, etc. With this framework, one could create an entirely new ecology, where water is more pervasive and a landscape filled with ferns, moss and rolling fog, supported with water filtration systems and solar powered pumps. Or a desert full of cacti succulents suited for a New York Lifestyle ... Maybe for 2.0 or 3.0.

Download Buy's entire publication hereImages courtesy Paul Barbera and Huy Bui.

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