about the project
The next stop is Jamaica Bay… explores ecological sustainability, public space, and urban architecture through the fictional module of the Jamaica Bay train station.
My interest in NYC ecology began during the summer when I discovered the vital ecosystems existing within the boundaries of the city. A majority of these ecosystems (including Marine Park, Floyd Bennett Field, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Conservancy, and Fort Tilden), however, are spatially and culturally separate from most people’s conception of urbanity and NYC lifestyle. They are often located beyond the reaches of convenient transportation and feel strangely non urban, evoking sensations of otherness, mystique, and oasis. In this way they occupy a cultural limbo; within a city, yet not of a city.
While such categorical ambiguity may be romantic, the implications of environmental neglect are unavoidable. While these parks are far from the dense street plans of Manhattan, they are still at a sensitive proximity, threatening the flora, fauna, and salt marshes that characterize the south of Brooklyn and Queens. While they are close enough to be impacted by human disruption, they are often far enough to resemble pastoral oases, and prone to an “out of sight, out of mind” mindset.
I believe that as long as these parks are within the city of New York, they should be thought of as such. The idea to appropriate mass transit architecture is an allusion to the elusiveness of parks located beyond the reaches of the MTA subway system. In doing so, I’m forcing viewers to imagine the urban development of an area that houses wildflowers, raptors, and diamondback terrapins. I’m using subway columns, maps, and benches to anchor the “wild side” of the city, creating a spatial cohesiveness that exudes mutual responsibility. By evoking urbanity in sites otherwise characterized by ecological sensitivity, the installation serves as an urgent reminder that city dwellers need to work to preserve and maintain local nature in a manner that is unique and sensitive to the region.