SPOTLIGHT mini-series: Transitional Landscapes & Tactical Mycelium

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Transitional Landscapes: Temporary Places with Permanent Impacts

‘Transitional landscape’ often refers to a median space between two main spaces, but what if we evaluated the concept of ‘transitional’ differently? What if transitional landscape referred to a timeline? Whether it is due to social, economic, or natural issues, many individuals often find themselves in transitional living situations - voluntarily or otherwise - such as camps, shelters, prisons, and temporary housing, to name a few. Most individuals who seek these temporary and transitional living circumstances have experienced trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder; however, the landscape and shared spaces of these places are far from serene, beautiful, and considerate of the physical and psychological needs of these individuals. The question that this research seeks to answer is how can landscape help improve the lives of those already suffering from trauma and unfortunate circumstances, through specific research on needs of individuals suffering PTSD, and designing a landscape in response to those needs in a local context.

Tactical Mycelium: An Exploration of Wastewater Treatment Byproducts as Ephemeral Building Material

There is a growing movement of designers rethinking supposed waste products in urban industries. Within the current urban wastewater treatment process, one specific byproduct presents a unique opportunity for research into sustainable reuse: mycelium. These fine fibers of fungi serve as vast communication networks between plants and emerge on the soil’s surface as mushrooms. While ecologists and scientists research mycelium’s medicinal potential, designers are investigating its capacity as a new building material in a post-carbon future.

Tactical Mycelium explores this capacity in a 6-month Perkins+Will research grant framed by the pop-up approach and ephemeral nature of tactical urbanism initiatives, investigating the growth and optimized building potential of this fungus. The installation itself tests a singular catenary arch as the most effective way to grow the material into a self-supporting structure, use as little formwork as possible, and provide shelter and space for human occupation. Ultimately, the research aims to augment the tactical urbanist’s material palette and support future projects that reimagine our relationship with mycelium.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Healthcare & Therapeutic Design
Horticulture / Plants
Housing & Community Design
Site Planning
Sustainable Development & Design
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
Transitional Landscapes: Temporary Places with Permanent Impacts

1. Within the context of environmental psychology, understanding the significance and importance of landscape architecture to the psychological wellbeing of individuals.
2. Study & analysis of case studies of transitional/temporary housing landscapes, their challenges, and opportunities.
3. Design strategies and elements to use in transitional landscapes.

Tactical Mycelium: An Exploration of Wastewater Treatment Byproducts as Ephemeral Building Material

1. Gain an understanding of the relationship between mushrooms and urban wastewater treatment, and how this untapped byproduct might be cultivated for future use.
2. Learn about the properties of mycelium and the process of growing it into structures for short and long-term applications.
3. Learn about the methodologies and challenges of growing mycelium into a singular, self-supporting form.
Elyana Javaheri, Associate ASLA; Bridget Ayers Looby, Associate ASLA, SITES AP
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American Society of Landscape Architects

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