Group Project The Magic Hedge

The word Plate in white letters inside a red square.
  • Class

    The Magic Hedge: Baird Option Studio, fall 2017
  • Instructor

    Baird Visiting Critic Ben Nicholson
    Erin Pellegrino

There are some locations on planet Earth whose ground is so saturated with goings-on that they plead for attention. Such a place is the Montrose Magic Hedge, a man-made spit of land in Chicago that pushes out into Lake Michigan. Once a base for Nike nuclear missiles defending the megalopolis, it is now a safe haven for more than 400 species of birds on their semi-annual migration on the Mississippi flyway. The pastoral setting, crisscrossed by eager-beaver bird watchers, also makes the perfect cover for illicit love. The studio created a project for the intersection of nukes, migration, and forbidden love — when the chips fall, these are sure to be three quintessential components of the 21st century, prophetically speaking.

An "everything drawing" is created, a new form of architectural representation that combines the figurative, the technical, the textual, and the diagrammatic aspects of what a project can be. The everything drawing will show the rich interconnections between predator and prey, materials and construction, systems of camouflage, gender roles (of who-does-what), site and weather, migration patterns, and the immutable form of eggs. On one sheet, this new kind of architectural drawing will be created that demonstrates the rich interconnectivity of all that constitutes a construction, be it emotive, practical, political, or global.

Plate is a semi-annual publication series conceived on the one hand as a demonstration of a Cornell pedagogy and on the other as giving presence to the multiple voices who develop those pedagogies into a collection of unique manifestations and atmospheres.