The Toxic Garden:
The Toxic Garden is a speculation on the by-products of an industry that lies behind the scenes of modern living, existing on the periphery of our experience of the world.
The project infiltrates the iron ore supply chain in Western Australia, which exists in its most extreme at Port Hedland. The main by-product of the iron ore industry is the fine dust that coats the surrounding townscape.
Instead of a solution to this toxicity, The Toxic Garden speculates how we can reconcile two opposing values - the economic value of the mineral terrain and the cultural value of Australia's ancient and sacred landscapes.
The physical properties of the dust collected directly from the site are examined in scale stage sets. The conventional drawing is transformed into a machine where dust is moved by electrostatics and the dancing pulses of electricity.
The designing of atmospheres is just as critical as that of physical objects. the architect becomes a choreographer of effects and phenomena, rather than discreet built objects. Live simulations are the tools in creating these atmospheres as a way of investigating the role of the architect.
The shifting planes garden creates drawings in the earth, which are new stories in landscape. Influenced by indigenous aboriginal dream-time stories, these new mythological landscapes are the cultural warning signs to our modern lives.
The project explores the way landscape has been demystified by industry but then how it can be remystified through new technological insertions.
In the Electro Orchard the industrial wasteland in the heart of the port facilities come alive in a dance of electricity. The peaking voltages break in a show of light and sound as the static fuzz rages through the body.
The handling of dust within the port facilities is the cause for the red skin, which covers the whole town. At the points in the port works where dust loads in the air reach their peaks dust is collected to create new topographies in the landscape.
Over decades the collection plates attract & deposit the by-product to this thriving industry. The new topographies become monuments to the lost sacred material on its journey to distant lands.