MatterLab Conversations: Transforming the Landscape

Pragmatic Visions Ep. 22

As designers and engineers, we see endless possibilities within every project we work on, however, there are limitations and constraints we must work with—one being the landscape. But what if there was a way to physically alter the landscape and incorporate movement, such as adjustable seating, moveable trees, and plazas that form to the users needs?

LandDesign’s MatterLab grant recipient, and this year’s first-place award winner Rachael Shields, recognized the potential of kinetics in manipulating the landscape beyond plan drawings or 3D modeling. Incorporating movement and time into design, Rachel leveraged Arduino and C++ code to program a moveable and adjustable prototype of a kinetic topography that enables real-time modification. On this episode of Pragmatic Visions, we spoke with Rachael about the inspiration for her research, her experience learning to code, and aspirations for the application of this technology on projects she works on.

Learn more about Rachael’s research, here!