Winner | Memorials for the Future Sponsored by the National Park Service, National Capital Planning Commission, Van Alen Institute
Hains Point, Washington, D.C.
The proposed memorial is a public record of rising seas, a living observatory for an unfolding process toward an unknown future.
Continually becoming, the memorial commemorates present and future conditions. Climatic changes are poignant reminders of the generational impacts of our daily actions. Spatializing this moment of uncertainty and challenge, the memorial marks today’s shoreline as a function of past actions and future choices. Both extending and contracting our human experience of the temporal, nature authors its long unfolding on the land, upon which the past, present, and future are embedded together.
Climate Chronograph is slow, offering us an opportunity to shift our current, accelerationist thinking into a longer multi-generational time frame. Locals may witness a gradual progression of rising seas, whereas out-of-town visitors may never experience the same memorial twice. Imagine a young American’s staple eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C.: one row of inundated trees. During a college protest: three flooded rows. When she returns later in life with her children: seven rows of rampikes. Transformation of the memorial mirrors transformation in the world, and bears witness to the changes wrought on a landscape over time. When our children and our children’s children visit, it becomes a legible demonstration of generational-paced change.
“Climate Chronograph is a new form of memorialization that commemorates the aftermath of the present.” Edward T . Linenthal, Professor of History, Indiana University
An embrace of indeterminacy, nature will write our story, our choices, into the landscape as we face this most vulnerable moment of uncertainty.
As waters rise across a tilted plane of land extending to the waterline, tides encroach on the land and trees die in place, row by row, becoming bare-branched rampikes delineating shorelines past.
A minimal composition of earthwork and the culturally iconic tree of Washington, D.C.. cut and fill is balanced as earth from the lower shaved plane is used to fill the ascending slope.
Humble construction techniques and materials emboldens possibility of the memorial on a landscape whose future stewardship is in question. Intended to mature through time’s decay, the memorial requires negligible upkeep beyond tree and lawn maintenance.
Inviting a multiplicity of users and uses, the memorial’s open form seeks to embrace, not displace, the local public while adding an additional cultural overlay of memorialization.
The advancing water’s edge becomes a fecund place for exploration, observation, and learning. The memorial’s contained perimeter creates a sheltered cove for discovery and research of an emergent wetland ecosystem.
As dry land yields to rising seas, a thriving wetland emerges. Marine Eel Grass (Zostera marina) pioneer habitat for species such as Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio), Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata), and the Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus).
An embrace of indeterminacy, Climate Chronograph matures as it decays and evolves with natural succession. By ceding control of the tip of an island that serves as a keystone of flood control and is maintained by a steward expressly committed to non-intervention, the memorial sacrifices itself to what will be. Its entropy makes legible in the scale of inches and feet the global effects of rising seas.
Winner | 280 Freeway Competition Sponsored by the AIA-SF and SEED Fund
San Francisco, CA
In 2013, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee initiated a public dialogue by asking, “What if the 280 freeway came down?” Newly available land in one of America’s most desirable cities calls for an act of resilience that is at once bold and modest. FIELDSHIFT speaks to the question by proposing simply to hold the public space. The design marks the freeway scar with a place for cultural flourishing and an adaptive urban ecosystem.
This project proposes to deconstruct the freeway in order to reconstitute the tons and tons of concrete into a cultural field. Only the existing pylons will remain, at once marking the scar in the landscape and filling the void with opportunities for public murals and sculpture. In addition, the array of concrete will raise the ground plane several feet, allowing for an urban waterfront and marsh ecosystem that is resilient to tidal changes and predicted sea level rise.
The field aims to prioritize affordability in its surrounding neighborhoods. A localized honest adaptation of the scar alongside an entirely normal at-grade approach to the city center via rail minimizes absorbed real estate costs. This maximizes the city’s ability to prioritize land for housing in the parcels outside the domain of our chosen site. A functional and adaptive public space is built of the freeway scar, able to speak to and mark the coming challenges of climate and society in the 21st century. With Justin Richardson.
birdseye during farmer's market
gestalt | site map
stabilized wetland ecology at mission creek
construction | recycling of freeway
axonometric of field condition.
Wurster Hall | Berkeley, CA
An immersive piece that explores the spatial isolation of offshore sailing in large seas. The work was conceived as the gestalt of losing the horizon in an offshore gale at night. Reliant upon only a practiced craftfor survival, successful sailing relies upon a harmonic interplay between the larger cosmic and meteorologic spheres against the tectonic of ones built work. The stars are the map.
The Cenotaph is allowed to move in 3 dimensions using block and tackle, engaging both participants in the dynamism and creation of the work.
The cenotaph lowered over a participant, anchored in place.
Cenotaph Interior | Static
Cenotaph Interior | Motion
Long exposure near the Farallones Islands, CA
Delta Farmer's Almanac
Published | GroundUP Journal, 2015
who : Erik Jensen
California balances upon its water. The choices made to respond to coming crises frame the politics of the state in the 21st century. Those with the privilege to make decisions in the planning of our state’s water control lives and livelihood across the state. Sea level rise will almost certainly compromise the delta, risking its agricultural landscape and what might remain of the cultural fabric of the rural. Today’s designer does well to remember the legacy of urban renewal -- when we “knew” what must be done to fix our cities and nearly destroyed them in the process -- and proceed with caution. Our agency must reinvent itself away from practicing clean slate fiat in favor of the stewardship of an uncertain plurality of futures. The practice of design has the potential to speak truth to power. Insisting on the importance of cultural practice is the point of departure here.
The San Francisco Estuary is the intricately braided web of California’s water challenge. The largest terminal watershed in the state, also robbed and shunted to the South, it balances outgoing water from the sierra against the continual processes of salt water intrusion from the bay. It is the working livelihood for a plurality of farming operations. Some large, many small. The city dweller may see it as peri-urban supply infrastructure, but the rural is an existent cultural fabric. Can we adapt the agrarian tradition in California in a way that might allow it to perdure, even as subsumed farmlands become flooded by sea level rise, or will we instead allow it to be subsumed as some strange objectified techno-infrastructural apparatus made to serve the powerful of our state?
The Petaluma watershed is a microcosm for the larger San Francisco Estuary it is parcel to. HERE: (1) farmland is heavily subsumed due to overuse of the underlying aquifer, (2) levees are collapsing and structurally compromised, (3) saline intrusion into the watershed has limited the productive capability of the land such that it is no longer a viable facility for crops other than alfalfa and grasses, (4) sea level rise will destroy what remains of existing marshland (fig 1).
The proposal is an advocacy for the redirection of state carbon tax funds, set to enter the market in 2018. The monies garnered from the emission of carbon dioxide should be spent on the introduction of a new agricultural subsidy -- salt water subsidence remediative farming (fig 2, 3, and 4). The existing condition of levees is such that they could be breached in series and opened to the larger watershed (fig 5). The farmers already living on these lands have begun the process of jacking, raising, and filling under their homes. This is a tried and true floodplain technique thatwould allow the continual presence of resident farming families in these areas (fig 7). The farmer becomes an onsite caretaker, a steward to a remediative marsh ecology. The emission of carbon funds the capture of carbon as land mass -- opening the potential for subsistence mitigation along with the emergence of the delta farmer as such. This technique, once demonstrated in Petaluma, would be expanded to the entire delta in order to refuse the collapse of both our states complex water system and the cultural fabric of the Californian rural condition. The resolution of the Delta is not an act of design fiat, but a careful process of stewardship through the assemblage of farmers who live and rely upon it.
Adaptation masterplan, Petaluma Watershed
Site Axonometric: three regimes of irrigation diagrammed on site. 1) tile water (irrigated from the freshwater watershed above the site), 2) tide water (levees breached to estuarine sea levels), 3) tail water (estuarine sea levels controlled by inflated dam infrastructure for most heavily-subsided lands).
Compression of tidal prism through inflatable dam structure at mouth of tail water system.
Rates of accretion easily exceed all projected rates of sea level rise
Successionary accretive plantings can be native and adapt with rising tides
Section-Elevation through farmland illustrating agrarian regrading, elevation of existing structures, and context.
Plan Detail: repurposing of existing marina for tail water entry.