• Miscellaneous

Ungrounding

    Situ was taked with thinking about a future for the village of P'sagot in the West Bank when and if Israeli Settlers were to vacate existing structures. As an alternative to ta totalizing urban agenda, a bottum-up approach was developed that projected the augmentation of the site over time and by forces beyond those controlled by the designer.  A rule set based approach to the transformation of landscape was developed and played out over a projected time frame that is presented here as a strategy for thinking about the future of this site as a series of possibilities as opposed to any single outcome.

Collaborators

  • Decolonizing Architecture

The un-grounding sequence occurs when a kit of tools and attendant parameters are allowed to "grow" on the site in a play between agency and indeterminate natural processes.  The land is re-imagined as a field of intensities, the variability of which present an unlimited number of outcomes.

Intensity visualizations for Ungrounding sequence.

 

This effort to establish a set of rules that play themselves out over time is also an effort to defer the intervention that would prematurely resolve the ground.  It favors a patchwork development, a bottom-up approach that frustrates a totalizing urban agenda.

CNC milled physical models representing four stages of the Ungrounding sequence

 

In the first stages controlled erosion deteriorates the existing roads, lots, parking, and sidewalks.  The passage of time and the natural and unnatural results of neglect are allowed to overtake the land, while at the same time preserving certain features for potential reutilization.  This suspension of decay occurs at sites of intersecting streets where the asphalt is preserved and refigured in the service of an eventual connectivity to the adjacent town of Al Bireh.  As the surrounding ground is alternately eroded and buried, a series of new conditions emerge - terraces of arable land re-form the western hill replacing the strategic importance of the hillside with new visual and infrastructural linkages to Ramallah.  In other areas of the settlement, zones of new terrain emerge implying various types of development, forming an archipelago of parcels guided by a new logic of land ownership and distribution.

 

Intensity fields and corresponding topographies 

 

Whether thought of as parameters or as contingencies, the intrinsic variability of this process must be understood as indeterminate in outcome - its ultimate resolution subject to the negotiations, localized planning, and apportionment over time that will, no doubt, accompany a re-inhabitation of the site.