Monday, August 31, 2009

Urban Pastoral

"The Garden of Machines (Dwell)" by Nathan Freise, from Unseen Realities

Strange what grips my imagination sometimes. Since I've seen the Nathan Freise prints over at BLDGBLOG (via Landscape Urbanism), I've just not been able to get them out of my head. I keep returning to look at them. Admittedly, they remind me of the situationist surrealism we used to conjure up in our dreamy photoshop years in grad school, but they keep reminding me of the pastoral possibilities presented by the leftover spaces of urban infrastructure. There are a lot of places of pastoral idyll in the city that we don't take advantage of. I've contemplated how to appreciate and use these underutilized spaces before. Architects tend to think we need to populate these non-places with aid of landscaping and programs that make sense. But what if the program is just creating a place to lie in the savannah grass? Meanwhile, a lot of our uber-programmed, ultra-terraformed and mowed parks and recreation areas remain eerily empty.

The West Bay Street canal and shipping yard overpass in Savannah needs a kind of Freise Brother Pastoral treatment. Pastoral Liminal Crossways.... The light in the imagine department is blinking, folks...

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