Landscape vs. Infrastructure

Cliffs, deserts, lakes, and other natural features remain undeveloped because they are too difficult to be built upon. In other cases, land that has once been developed can be abandoned and slowly, it becomes reclaimed. Sometimes, bits of undeveloped land can be found within cities, towns and neighborhoods. In extreme cases,  undeveloped land is surrounded by streets and quarantined off by neighborhoods. I find myself fascinated by the juxtaposition of land and infrastructure.

A view of the Mission Valley Freeway, San Diego

A view of the Mission Valley Freeway, San Diego

During my time in San Diego, I have become attune to the way architecture is built into the land. In simple scenarios, a plot of land is flattened, and a foundation is poured. It is easiest to build when the land has been planed. However, in more complex natural terrains where flattening is impossible, the architecture of a structure must be adapted to conform to the land. This same system can be applied to entire communities. When a neighborhood is built high up on an uneven mesa, the landscape must be edited to accommodate houses and streets. When a railroad is built in the desert, gravel must be laid to create a flat and durable railroad bed. I am interested in the different tactics used to build. Foundations, stilts, retaining walls and ramps are all architectural elements that manipulate the natural landscape to make it more beneficial for our society. 

What is the history of land? How has man, over generations, used land to his advantage? What has he built and what has he destroyed? Upon surveying a plot of land, what historical evidence of man's working does it display? Can evidence of the past, present, and perhaps even the future be found? What information is the land hiding? Are there remnants of the past buried just under the surface of the ground? 

A trail built into a cliff in Bryce Canyon

A trail built into a cliff in Bryce Canyon

"Government Property" sign viewed in Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego.

"Government Property" sign viewed in Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego.

I enjoy spending time getting to know a specific plot of land. I feel a sense of gratification becoming acquainted with a space's subtleties.  I observe the uses a land serves. I look for evidence of it's past lives. I study the land's proximity to human civilization. 

I am interested in furniture's ability to portray the peculiarities that occur when land meets infrastructure. Furniture, like land, is both object and surface. It can exist alone and it can support other objects. A plate on a table is not unlike a house built on the desert. I would like to explore these concepts in various ways in my next few projects.