Mind & Matter


Novel Terrains

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Material Landscapes exhibition at the Sheldon Art Gallery in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Melissa Kaseman.


A growing fascination with the intersection between new material technologies and landscapes has inspired two recent exhibitions.

“Material Landscapes” is on display at the Sheldon Art Gallery in St. Louis. Curated by Liane Hancock from Louisiana Tech University, the show features projects that exhibit innovative uses of materials and digital-fabrication techniques, located primarily in urban settings. Of note are works by D.I.R.T. Studio, ESKYIU, PEG, and Wanted Landscape.

A few states to the west, we find “Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices, and Architectural Inventions,” curated by Geoff Manaugh at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno. This show takes intellectual liberties with the idea of landscape, with installations ranging from metallic clouds to kinetic marble runs. Participants include the Living, Lateral Office, Smout Allen, and David Gissen.

Combined, the exhibitions illustrate the extent to which new material technologies and applications are transforming both the theory and practice of landscape design.




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About the Blogger

Blaine Brownell

thumbnail image Minnesota-based architect and author Blaine Brownell, AIA, is a self-defined materials researcher and sustainable building adviser. His "Product of the Week" emails and three volumes of Transmaterial (2006, 2008, 2010) provide designers with a steady flow of inspiration—a 21st-century Grammar of Ornament. Blaine has practiced architecture in Japan and the U.S. and has been published in more than 40 design, business, and science publications. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for 2006–07, he researched contemporary Japanese material innovations at the Tokyo University of Science. He currently teaches architecture and co-directs the M.S. in Sustainable Design program at the University of Minnesota. His book Matter in the Floating World was published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2011.