Students Anna Mccuan and Jamieson Pye shortlisted in the Land Art Generator Initiative

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Rising juniors in the Bachelor of Science in Architecture program, Anna McCuan and Jamieson Pye, were selected among the top 25 teams shorted listed for the 2018 Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) competition. Their project, Sentinel: Marking Energetic Flows Through Time, will be featured in the 2018 LAGI exhibition in Melbourne, Australia and will later be featured in this year’s LAGI book, Energy Overlays.

Fred Pearsall served as the faculty advisor for their project, which was also supported by School of Architecture lecturer, Jason Brown, and Evan Mallen, research assistant in the School of City and Regional Planning’s Urban Climate Lab.

Pearsall said, “For sophomores or anyone else to be one of the 25 short-listed teams among hundreds of entries, many of them by larger professional teams, is pretty remarkable in itself.”

The competition asked, “What does renewable energy infrastructure look like when it is woven into the fabric of the city?” With the assigned site set in Melbourne, McCuan and Pye explored ideas for a “clean energy landscape for a post-carbon world,” set in 2020, 2100, and 2200.

McCuan described land art as “…art that typically uses a grandiose scale. Often, land artists gravitate towards earthworks or other massive elements.” She continued, “...huge installation pieces in the middle of nowhere which use the landscape as the backdrop or an element of the object itself.”

“Something that was different from previous LAGI competitions is the fact that they placed the assignment inside an urban setting this time,” Pye added. “With the project being inside Melbourne, it was like an urban studio where, instead of focusing on a single site, it focused on the entire city. We faced a unique set of challenges to try to bring land art to the urban scale.”

The site for the project was located near Port Phillip Bay. With sea level rise in mind, McCuan and Pye began researching sustainable design elements to incorporate into their design.

“We found that we could reduce the carbon content in water by letting it react with limestone through a process called enhanced weathering,” McCuan said. “We began by making a large, cone-shaped incision that would both help control the rain water runoff in the short-term and in the long-term would allow some leeway between what was flooded and what was not. In addition, the cone’s surface would be what we came to call the ‘surface of entropy.’ As it was inundated and began to erode, it would help reduce carbon dioxide levels in the water of Port Phillip Bay.”

McCuan and Pye’s work will be featured at the Land Art Generator Initiative exhibition, opening October 11, 2017 at Fed Square in Melbourne.


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