Free Association Design

Looking at the U.S. Gulf Coast at a distance of approximately 35,000 ft from its surface reveals a labyrinth of sinuous river deltas bifurcated by a network of short-circuiting canals and roadways.  Changes in water flow patterns caused by the canals and other engineering efforts have unintentionally created one of the world’s fastest eroding landscapes – a massive geological erasure.  Coastal Louisiana alone accounts for 80 percent of all land loss in the United States.

As all this verdant, aqueous land morphs into relatively vacuous sea, a third mediating system has appeared known as marsh terracing.  Looking like archaic glyphs or infrastructure for speculative urban development (…which in many ways they are), marsh terracing is a reclamation tactic used to restore coastal wetlands by converting shallow open pools into constructed arrays of intertidal marsh.

The terraces are built with earthen material imported from somewhere else – most likely the very…

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