by Ian Quate MLA 11 Landscape Architecture and Colleen Tuite MLA 11 Landscape Architecture

The following text originally appeared in Formative & Persisting: How The Thesis Lives On.

GRNASFCK explores greenness beyond a surface treatment. We want to see how geologic and cultural forces touch down and express themselves through plants and animals.

Writing is the means of crystallizing experience, of immortalizing a first blush that can be lost in an iterative design process. We write about places that are unexplored by our field, and where landscape and culture have an isolated expression. We have solid research periods before we select locations to travel—sending each other Google Earth screenshots and news and journal articles, etc. We’re looking for a diversity of geographies and cultures, but we always have inclinations of where we want to go. Then once we dig in to a place, there is a whole world from the bedrock up.

In terms of our writing process, we’ll hash a rough structure together and then pass a draft back and forth. We try to plan our trips around building a narrative, rather than the narrative being an afterthought. Furthermore we take pains to connect with friends of friends (of friends) when we travel, to be enveloped in a genuine, and consequently unpredictable culture. And while the authentic experience of a place generates a narrative that cannot be invented, we’re less concerned with “reporting facts” than what the mise-en-scene of a place can tell us. We want to take a core sample but we’ll do some dowsing too.

Following our individual thesis work at RISD, fundamental thought processes, essentially that all ecosystems rely on the work of micro-organisms and that we should design expressively with them in mind especially in the context of urban design.

Via GRNASFCK, we’ve expanded on these thoughts, and the methods by which these ideas are communicated have grown much more robust as we are more comfortable with the tools of landscape/architectural communication, and also more confident in the professional validity of an unorthodox worldview. We see speculative and built work as fraternal twins—different expressions of a shared genetic code, and of equal importance.

While the majority of our work until this point has been research, we’re looking forward embarking on collaborative built work that responds and pushes the ideas explored through our fieldwork.

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