Saline Dreams 4*: Ecoinfrastructural Architecture (in an extraurban context)
This studio involves the engineered ecology and resultant aesthetic implications of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Dust Mitigation Project at Owens Lake, a large site in eastern California of major environmental, historical, political, and infrastructural significance. Until very recently the largest single source of dust pollution in the U.S., the studio examines control methods developed by LADWP to manage this difficult landscape: a complex synthesis of fields, pools, plants, animals, microorganisms, chemicals, minerals, roads, berms, dams, plumbing, power lines, grading, gravel, roads, sensors, and salt that is only partially visible to the human eye. The effects of these reworkings of the landscape are striking, inevitably aesthetic in their expression. Our work imagines a near-future evolution of this infrastructure toward strange new landscapes, turning radically empirical environmental engineering techniques toward a more expansive, aesthetic dimension.