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Ephemeral Fronts

Curating Traces of WWI on the Fields in Flanders

War and its aftermath have had significant physical and ecological impacts on the Westhoek landscape of Flanders; from the flatlands through the bombarded fields and farmlands. This Stoss project makes the territories of war legible, if fleetingly; crafting evolving itineraries of remembrance.

Shifting Fronts and Aligned Itineraries

Re-orienting paths along the war’s parallel fronts, the park’s organization echoes the way the war played out, drawing attention to the new ecologies and occupations spawned by the war. In the north, interpretative moments recall islands formed during the war-time flooding and, in the south, itineraries re-trace the shifting fronts, approaching the hilltop encampments craved-out by shelling and mining.  Throughout, the site is a multivalent, multi-lingual experience. Non-visible, site-and-user-specific networks of information layer upon the existing physical landscape to foreground the precedents, histories, and ecologies of the Flanders Fields.

Multivalent, Multi-lingual Memorials

Strategies include proximity sensing, using mobile gps and equivalent technologies to deliver information as visitors traverse landmark borders. Spatial techniques and itineraries, in the north, include bermed pathways following the wartime rails. They play off the diking techniques utilized across contemporary plodders, guiding visitors through the northern territory. In the south, , volunteer groves that have sprouted around crater-sites will be doubly enhanced and overplanted. And between, timed to the centennial anniversary of allied and axis positions, floral fields are ephemeral over-plantings of agricultural crop-lands. They bring to light, if only temporarily, the territories of war.

Team

Developed during her time at Stoss, Meg Studer was a designer on Ephemeral Fronts. The larger Stoss team included Scott Bishop, Jill Desimini, Andrew Tenbrink, Eric Prince, and Kimberly Garza. Partnering with Stoss as lead, collaborators included Kristine Vander Mijnsbrugge, Foundu Landscape Architecture, Project Projects, Buro II, and Ney & Partners.

Exposure
  • 2010, Shortlisted, Herrinerings Competition
  • 2012, Boston Architectural Society Planning Award
Tools
  • rhino/gis – site analysis and design
  • excel – budgets
  • psd/ai/inD – graphics and style standards
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Remnant Armatures & Artifacts


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