testing groundmississippi river basin | usa
Imagined in an America Post-Trump Administration, “Testing Ground” is a kit to investigate pollution in the Mississippi River Basin. Hinging on the need for trans-boundary communication between politicians, corporations, and consumers, Testing Ground uses guerrilla architecture tactics to foster discussion.
research & report
The first month of a semester-long examination of watersheds resulted in a 270 page document produced by the studio. The “trans-boundary report” systematically analyzes 3 river basins - Rhine, Mississippi, and Mekong – through the lens of the prefix “trans.” Students then developed individual proposals with an understanding of watersheds from "source to mouth".
Following the research and report findings, students were prompted to design a “trans-boundary negotiation forum” – a speculative space to engage people in a discussion of the state of watersheds.
To tackle the prompt, I developed a systematic, rather than purely spatial, approach, which involved researching a series of prototypical sites and typologies, and understanding how one system of architecture could be applied to capture the multiplicities of my assigned river – the Mississippi.
The content was bound into a book including the sites, typologies, and a narrative.
The final form of the speculation is a deployable scaffolding system which attaches to various “Americana” typologies to monitor a range of environmental conditions from soil health to air quality. The scaffolding fits into a single shipping crate ("the box") floating down the Mississippi river until a call for deployment.
With a small team, deployment can happen over night, marking that typology as a site for ecological study. The public is engaged through geocaching; when deployed, the public is invited to the site to learn about the ecological impacts of the typology in question.
To create an active experience of the drawing while making a suggestion about the form of the intervention, hybrid methods of sewing and drawing were employed. By sewing a section, the conceptual drawing explores the potential for elasticity in the form of Testing Ground and portrays a key value of the project: participation.