Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 34

TINY TA XONOMY

FOUND IN FRONT OF HENRY GRAY:
ON FIELDWORK, COLLECTING & DISPLACEMENT
Botanical history is at the centre of a
dialogue that informs how we structure
and encounter plant life. Measurable
classification, quantifiable data,
simplification and regularity are central
themes of scientific botany, a singular
perspective that raises awareness of what
we can do with plants, rather than what
plants are actually doing. The history
of classification and taxonomy is as old
as our collective desire to organize the
processes of life, but these ambitions
are rarely questioned for their cultural
value. Creating an altered taxonomy is
not a science; it is a design investigation,
which relates botanical traits that are
rarely amalgamated and certainly never
considered a form of design.
Tiny Taxonomy is a little garden with big
ambitions, showcasing species that are in
cultivation but rarely planted. A grouping
of plants is categorized by common traits
derived from an evolution towards feature
miniaturization, generating another form
of classification. Due to the diminutive
size of their features, these plants are
often overlooked and therefore tend to be
under-specified. It seems that as the world

around us gains complexity and intricacy,
our biological world is tending towards
monotony. As our experiences become
more and more uniform, our capacity to
apprehend transformation and beauty
diminishes. Tiny Taxonomy considers
smallness a design opportunity, offering
innumerable microcosmic considerations
of the leaf form, flower structure and
physical habitat of individual plants.
DESIGNING TAXONOMY
The three iterations of Tiny Taxonomy
question strict biological classification by
offering a designed taxonomy. Taxonomy
is no longer the science of nomenclature
that Linnaeus developed, nor is it the
study of plants in the provocative prose
of morphology, as expressed by Goethe.
Classification has rarely been offered as
an experiential science, verified by the
unrivaled force of direct observation. While
a herbaria sample can also be understood
as a live dataset or a mapping between
different global conditions and particular
classifications, so too can isolating and
displacing live specimens become a
design consideration that is critical to

ISABELLA STEWART GARDINER MUSEUM, NEW YORK.

TELESCOPING PRACTICE
The act of enlarging - of increasing
knowledge through magnification - is
saturated by terms that imply bigger
is better, and that measure performs
in escalation. In the realm of landscape
architecture, expressions of scale arise
from the regional, and now tend to include
the territorial and the planetary. The
multiple ramifications of magnification
pose a major aesthetic and experiential
question to practice, which depends on yet

LONDON: HIGHGATE CEMETERY FIELD STATION, BELGRAVE SQUARE LABORATORY.
PHOTO © GEORGE BOURET

34 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES

the establishment of experience and
observation as a means to deliberation. By
isolating a collection of individual plants,
features come into focus and exceptions
are appreciated through inspection.
Further, the act of collecting and
transplanting itself reveals a measure of
engagement with the ground, outside of
ecological and geographic scales inherited
by landscape architecture. Instead, the
act of collecting, transplanting and
displacement offers a form of ground level
research to design practice that invites the
science of botany into a purely landscape
architectural agenda.

PHOTO © RSE-LANDSCAPE



Landscapes - Spring 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2015

To Being With | Pour Commencer
The New Small | Le Microcosme Réinventé
Paula Meijerink, Guest Editor | Rédactrice invitée
EN_LP+ | Small Matters: Backgrounder
FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Writers | Collaboratuers
Je Vois Montreal
Upfront | Prologue
Forêt urbaine
Urban Braille
Find Your Pebble
Folly Forest
Parklet Experiment
Klynstra Scholarship
Prix 2014 Schwabenbauer
The Common Sense Curb Cut
Essay | Essai
Doggy Style
Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Tiny Taxonomy
Lying Down in Public
Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
A Non-Urban Approach X3
New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Opinion
Critique
The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Writers | Collaboratuers
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Je Vois Montreal
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Common Sense Curb Cut
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 14
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Essay | Essai
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Doggy Style
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 26
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 29
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Tiny Taxonomy
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 33
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 36
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Lying Down in Public
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 40
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 44
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - A Non-Urban Approach X3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 47
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 51
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Opinion
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 56
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover4
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