NEW GROWTH/STRATUM MODEL, 2009
New Growth: Stratum Model reflects a merging of the natural and the built environment. Designed to operate at once as landscape and architecture, the schematic of stacked planes seen from a bird’s eye view toggles between topography map and building in plan. There is an illusion from this vantage point that the form has been compressed into a single plane. But viewed in elevation or perspective these horizontal levels decompress and expand to suggest accessible spaces.
As in previous work I am interested in the notion of how a scale model with an unspoken ratio might operate. That is, the model might represent at once a microscopic landscape made large to allow human scale spelunking and an imagined sprawling cityscape shrunken to miniature size.
The notion of growth refers both to the way that biological models have informed the design of the individual forms in the sculpture and the way in which the edges of these stacked planes create a kind of provisional boundary. It is a model for a built environment where edges converse with the particulars of a natural site - rivers, extreme changes in elevation, encroaching marshland. Urban growth can be developed from the top down with leveling, grid planning and other kinds of imposed schematics. But such growth also occurs from the inside out, directed in a manner more akin to cellular organization in response to environment.
New Growth: Stratum Model was created for Suyama Space in Seattle, Washington, an alternative space for experimental sculptural projects created by curator Beth Sellers with the support of architect George Suyama, and located in the architectural firm of Suyama Peterson Deguchi.