My work in Rome is part of a forthcoming book, co-authored with Keith VanDerSys, titled Dynamic Patterns: Visualizing Landscapes in a Digital Age (Routledge). Our book explores projects and techniques that enable a multivalent, multilayered understanding of pattern as both expression and shaping influence of environmental processes. More specifically, we examine the centrality of pattern with respect to two predominant paradigms that characterize our age: ecology (i.e.: landscape processes and functions) and information (the way these processes are conveyed conceptually, materially, and perceptually). The book is organized in three sections that address this affiliation in distinct ways: “Computational Patterns;” “Behavioral Patterns;” and “Ornamental Patterns.” Inherent to these topics is the role of recent media (e.g. the expansion of digital software and the accessibility of geospatial technologies) in facilitating new forms of pattern. Utilizing a selection of work from varied design practices, including our own, Dynamic Patterns examines how these tools and techniques have facilitated new ways of seeing and designing and, therefore, new ways of understanding landscapes and our place within them. Patterns – which are formal, material, and temporal recurrences – are essential to perception and can contribute to this understanding. 

A drawing that visualizes various water flow patterns developed using Grasshopper and Rhino software. Inkjet plot on Mylar.
Landform and infiltration trench study model developed with parametric software. The model is a computer-numerically controlled direct-milled plaster model.
A parametric, digital “hachure” model that combines the quantitative accuracy of contour drawing with the qualitative effects of shading relief. Computer modeling with Rhino and Grasshopper software; physical modeling with plastic via computer-numerically controlled laser cutters.
Custom geo-cells for stormwater infiltration trench designed using digital modeling and computer-controlled laser cutters, built partially with corn-based plastics. Geo-cell assembly (left); on-site installation (right).
Growth patterns created with laser-cut geo-textile (subsurface weed control fabric) installed on a vacant lot in Philadelphia.

All images courtesy of PEG office of landscape + architecture

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