"Experimental Landscapes: Alexander Felson on Ecology and Design
March 27, 2013
Ecology, by definition, is about interactions; it’s the study of the relationships among organisms, and between organisms and their environment. When we consider the work of ecologists in urban contexts, we often think of protecting natural systems against the harm wrought by development. Alexander Felson, an assistant professor at Yale in both the School of Foresty & Environmental Studies and the School of Architecture, is a different kind of urban ecologist. In his research and his design work, he calls for an ecological practice that moves from analyzing nature to shaping it, embedding scientific experiments into the design process. The framework he’s established for this synthesis, Designed Experiments, offers to yield scientific data as well as influence the physical form of built projects.”
Photo: Researchers tracking survival, growth, pest damage, photosynthetic capacity, drought stress, and seedling recruitment of woody vegetation to determine how incoming vegetation competes with natives for the Million Trees Project. All images courtesy of Alexander Felson and Timothy Terway.