Mapping the Lake in the Great Garden, 2004
The schema for the Lincoln Park Great Garden explores and updates Leo Marx’s concept of The Machine in the Garden, as a key metaphor for our relation to the natural world. The flower beds will be carpet-bedded to data-map the ecology of Lake Michigan. Each quadrant of this Victorian, four-part symmetrical plan represents one of four groups of digitally generated data about the lake: physical characteristics, biota, water quality, and water use. The graphic renderings of conventional and spatial data are translated into bloom and foliage using a VIBGYOR palette. Like the white surround of a paper map, these images will be set against a planted silver background. Digitally produced garden signage will interpret the data for the public and literalize the machine in the garden.