Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 35

TINY TA XONOMY

another form of abbreviation and control
within the animate universe. Within this
ever-expanding rhetoric, and the scalar
ambitions of the profession, plants offer
a unique unit of design that expresses the
appeal of a telescopic practice, and the
range of potential implicit in formation,
as opposed to the static order of form.
Whether supplying material, fixing carbon
dioxide, releasing energy or carving space,
plants represent the intersection of life
and matter. They are a physical force of
nature, altering surroundings in such a way
that their growth, mobility and adaption
actually modify the environments in which
they exist.
Fieldwork is an endeavour most
often associated with quantifiable data
collection, scientific observation or
site analysis. Traditionally, working "in
the field" suggests that information
gathered in-situ must be transformed
into knowledge, ex-situ. As a project
Tiny Taxonomy proposes that first-hand
experience is research, that transplanting
is a project and that displacement is a
generative form of fieldwork.
The three sites of Tiny Taxonomy
offer a varied approach to deciphering
the garden as a collection of plants, and
as an exploration of working one-to-one
(1:1) in practice. At Les Jardins de Métis,
the concept focused on dividing forest
floor plants as individuals, and expressing
their habit at eye level. The original plan
specified commercially grown stock,
which insufficiently mapped the reality of
the local plant communities. The project
resisted planning, so plants were gathered
by scouring nearby woods, roadsides and
backyards. The design practice emerged
from the daily fieldwork. The second
iteration at The Isabella Stewart Gardner
Museum (ISGM), offered an exposed
urban site, one where fieldwork had no
particular significance. Yet, the ambition
of practice was to translate first-hand
experience to the visitor. Therefore a sort

ISABELLA STEWART GARDNER MUSEUM - DETAIL
PHOTO © RSE-LANDSCAPE

Tiny Taxonomy considers smallness
a design opportunity.
of cosmopolitan collection was instigated,
where gathering of specimens was made
synthetic, from the pursuit of rare plants
breeders to lichens scraping, suggesting a
highly constructed form of specialization.
Of particular relevance to this discussion,
is the third iteration of Tiny Taxonomy,
which culminated as a practice achieved
through fieldwork, offering a new form of
research practice. The project was installed
and experienced within the highly cultural
landscape of London using Highgate
Cemetery as a field station, and Belgrave
Square as its laboratory.
Highgate Cemetery is both an ecological
singularity and an active site of burial.
The collection for Tiny Taxonomy focused
on the mostly private west side of the
bifurcated site, which is the oldest and
least disturbed. These grounds are
prospering in first succession, as newly
sprouting trees intermix with the active
naturalization of introduced horticultural
varieties, planted by visitors. At the
same time, the original planting plan

adds geometry and formality to the
irrepressible spread of the groundcovers,
wildflowers and saplings that abound.
When approached about a third
iteration of Tiny Taxonomy, the most
prominent uncertainty centred around
the acknowledgement that fieldwork
(as surveyed in Métis) and collecting (as
explored in ISGM) were both impossible to
achieve in London. The ambition to collect
rare or rarely specified understory plants in
a metropolitan centre - arguably the heart
of horticulture - seemed almost ludicrous.
The impetus to work with the notion of
displacement emerged as a reaction to
the hustle and decadence of the Chelsea
Flower Show and the overproduction
of flowers to suit an artificial climax.
While a buzzing international crowd
of horticultural tourists descends on
the city to witness this floral pageant,
it was important for this project to
acknowledge that the rest of London was
unfolding daily, in other public spaces, less
frequented and less flowery.
2015 vol. 17_no. 1 35



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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