Frances Whitehead

Mapping the Lake in the Great Garden, 2004
Chicago, IL
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.

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