Groundswell: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape

This exhibition runs from February 25-May 16 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and showcases new designs for pubic spaces that reveal the artistic richness and expanded scope of the contemporary urban landscape. 23 landscape design projects are presented that reclaim and transform urban spaces many derelict and in need of rehabilitation into public parks and gardens. Groundswell features examples of the new artistic richness and critical debate in the design of public spaces, from small urban plazas to large parks for post-industrial sites to long-range plans for entire urban sectors.

In the last 20 years, the most significant new landscapes have been designed for sites that were reclaimed from conflict, degradation, or abandonment. Several projects in the exhibition highlight major projects on waterfronts, railroads, airports, and landfills no longer in use. Many of the projects’ transformations are tracked through before-and-after visuals to underscore these dramatic shifts in use and topography. Conventional modes of representation such as models, drawings, and photographs are complemented by large-scale video projections many created for the exhibition conveying the space, time, context, material and palette of each projects. The projects, located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, were selected for their outstanding design and to show a variety of scales, contexts, materials and types of spaces found in the contemporary landscape. Groundswell is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue published by the MoMA.