Category urban voids

Future Baroque

The following piece was published last summer in La Tempestad; given that La Tempestad circulates primarily in Mexico and is published in Spanish, we — Rob Holmes and I, who co-authored the piece — thought that it would be worth re-publishing it on our respective sites for English-language audiences. The article builds on a pair of […]

Staring at Goats IX: the Para-normal

[Lyn Cassady, former secret U.S. military psychic soldier (…or was he?) tests his interrogative prowess by attempting to stare a goat to death.  His successful attempt is authentically recorded by the video camera at his side.  We, as viewer, see this as filtered through memories created prior to Cassady’s transformative ‘Jedi’ training, in which his […]

Owning Space + POPS Urbanism

[DSGN AGNC‘s mappings of privately owned public space (POPS) in Manhattan: “What happens as more and more land in the city is owned by private entities?  Will we all be welcome?  To what extent will these spaces remain public?  What avenues will the public have through which to request changes?”] #whOWNSpace maps are featured in […]

Occupied in Portland

[Occupy Portland, seen on November 11th] Like other islands within the urban archipelago of the Occupied movement, Occupy Portland arrived at a critical juncture and was subsequently dismantled this past weekend.  The occupy movement has consistently demonstrated how quickly it learns and adapts.  Mistakes and improvisation seem integral to its shifting and malleable design.  And […]

Staring at Goats VIII: the In-situ Field Guide

[Anonymous text at the Belmont field, as we saw it just prior to the return of the goats.  We are fond of this sign’s shrewd use of materials consisting of a plastic 3 ring binder with the back ripped off and its binder clips retooled as clasps.  Delivered without punctuation, it has a wonderfully ambiguous […]

Staring at Goats VII: Feral and Very Urban

[Canadian Thistle, Cirsium arvense, up close (above) and in its urban habitat (below).  Along with Bull Thistle, this plant likely made its accidental introduction to North America from Eurasia and North Africa through contaminated seeds or hay.  Extremely difficult to eradicate, Canadian Thistle was one of the first plants listed on the U.S. Government’s noxious […]

Staring at Goats VI (Version 2.0)

[Click the bottom image for a much larger view] As of yesterday, the Goats on Belmont project is now in its second trial run, merging urban ecology experimentation with land management strategy and urban event.  If you are wondering what we are talking about and/or missed our series of posts that ran concurrently with our […]

Circuits Beneath the Freeway

[flow lines of ramps, berms, drops and various home-spun earth retaining systems beneath the I-5 freeway] While in Seattle this past weekend I had the chance to make a brief stop by the city’s Colonnade Park.  Given it’s size, I managed to cover about half of the accentuated terrain (on foot) built into the underbelly […]

Crop Circles and Urban Meadows

[Above: structures and asphalt were recently removed from this lot for planned, yet subsequently stalled construction of park space.  Exploring this interim surface, circular seedings of perennial grasses and forbs were implanted into the rubble.  These ‘crop circles’ emerged as whimsical garden tropes while functioning as test plots meant to interact with weeds spontaneously colonizing […]

Staring at Goats V: Ruminant Urbanism

[Opportunities in the void: locations of vacant land (orange) in central Portland, OR.  The circled 2-acre lot is the location of the now complete Goats on Belmont experiment.  The unassisted, free-growing vegetation on this single field was able to sustain a variable-sized herd of goats for nearly four weeks.] Having completed our ‘work‘ at the […]