While researching the history of Green Hall and its surrounding land for another project, I came upon reproductions of architectural drawings by Deborah Berke’s firm for the building’s 1999 redesign. I was struck by how abstract the representation of some plantings and notes were amid the specificity of the drawings’ primarily geometric forms. Though this abstraction is likely common practice—since site and landscaping are an afterthought on many urban design projects—I saw parallels with other strings of research on maps and topography, engagement with contradictions, multiplicity, and the tracking and unearthing of hidden histories.


Location of Existing seeks to subvert forms utilized in urban planning by flipping the foreground and background from the built to the grown. Through a site-specific installation, the drawings and their placement build upon aspects of the surrounding environment’s conditions and history to offer a new view into everyday urban spaces. Reframing, deconstructing, perforating, Location of Existing weaves a loose narrative between the speculative and the real, architectural and archaeological, and the growth and decay of our built environment.


    Location of Existing, installation, with Jeemin Shim, words drawn from Deborah Berke’s architectural drawings, writing by Renee Gladman, and a lecture by Maren Karlson, 2021

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