Dendrochronology Parkitecture

Investigating this site, I was quickly captivated by the story told in the chronological line of trees expanding across the courtyard, planted by previous graduating classes of UBC. I immediately decided to focus on this as the primary aspect (historical events), eventually developing a design additionally attempting to impact the emotional responses and experience of visitors and passersby. Thinking about the trees in the courtyard, I made a connection to dendrochronology, the scientific method of dating a tree by measuring its growth rings. My installation plays off this by mimicking the growth rings of a tree and forming an entirely new experience for the site’s inhabitants. The three rings of the installation (one for each decade of trees in the courtyard) are large steel sheets, the sheer size of them dwarfing its viewers, and furthermore emphasizing the importance of the trees to the site. Laser cut through the outermost layer, between each entryway, is the silhouette of a tree, allowing light and airflow in while contributing to the aesthetic value of the area. On the inside walls hang pictures of UBC graduating classes through the years, starting from most recent, growing older moving inward through the rings. Finally, in the shell of the innermost layer, is a single photo hanging: that of the very first UBC graduating class. This ties the whole piece inwards and acts as a reminder that the very site in which this installation sits was once the center of what we know as our modern day UBC campus. Conclusively, this installation emphasizes the history and personal story of UBC and the courtyard, while adding new emotion and nostalgia to how inhabitants interact with and view the site.

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