Finalist for the Situated Technologies commission
sponsored by The Architectural League of New York (New York, USA)

collaboration with Thom Faulders

Image: Rickenberg / Falders

No facet of Manhattan could provide a better habitat for our Weeds than the city's sidewalks. Because they span the city in a relatively consistent manner, sidewalks offer a benchmark against which to assess the impact of factors, such as architectural typology or density on our Weeds' propagation. Likewise, sidewalks provide a means to register the effects of social factors since, in Manhattan, a broad range of social conventions take form in this context. But the most compelling reason that we have found for deploying our Weeds in this niche is because sidewalks serve as a dynamic and often contested border between the public and the private realm — an interstice where social and material codes are frequently misaligned.

In a formal sense, this project will span the month of May in 2009. We will distribute our Weeds at five sites on the first day of the month and then return four weeks later to clean-up whatever remnants remain. But we expect the project to last for substantially longer than this month. As low-cost entities that adhere to the built environment, our Weeds are designed to be tenacious. And as a system that we will deploy across Manhattan — and that will continue to be deployed in an ongoing and decentralized manner by those people who find an interest — the project is expansive. Once our Weeds have been deployed, we may never know when the project is over.

We have selected five specific locations in lower Manhattan at which we will deploy our Weeds when the project commences — these sites were selected on the basis of a broad assessment of local conditions, and the degree to which such conditions appear to be suitable for colonization — but we expect the weeds to migrate to different parts of the borough over the course of time.

Image: Rickenberg / Faulders