In order to explore some of the practical aspects of building in New Orleans for our studio project this semester, I propose to research how constructed wetlands can be incorporated into building structure. Specific aspects of constructed wetlands I would like to focus on include what different types of wetlands might be needed under different soil and building conditions. Where are constructed wetlands and rain gardens successful at recharging groundwater tables? Is this possible in New Orleans, and if not, then what else can constructed wetlands provide for the urban landscape?
I also am interested in exploring soil typologies and how they change when the systems that produce them are cut off or altered in some way. For instance, it might be interesting to visually/systematically explore the process that forms and compacts the land in New Orleans, construct the resulting process when the formation process is cut off, and then try to identify other control points in the system that cause soil compaction and subsidence. Perhaps this could lead to an analysis of “response materials” that might suggest a new method of building on a land that is undergoing the type of shifts that New Orleans experiences.