More work from "THE FLAT FILES" - the deep cuts from our archive. TEXTEX is a proposal for the  TEXTEX is a collaboration with Banned Practice of Columbus, Ohio.  
Ecological restoration is an interspecies affair.

TEXTEX is an ecological armature constructed from commercially available environmental restoration materials techniques: geo-textiles, erosion control mats, coir logs, and live stakes of native Texas plant species. For the Field Constructs competition in Texas, we proposed installing three prototypes of TEXTEX in three disturbed areas within the Circle Acres Nature Preserve: the low-lying wetlands, the eroding gully, and the open area of the former landfill. Aesthetically, TEXTEX references the architectural fiber art of the late 20th century created by Sheila Hicks and Francoise Grossen.


Typical ecological restoration practices aim to minimize and eventually “naturalize” the artifices involved in ecological restoration. But unlike typical restoration installations, TEXTEX refuses to blend into the landscape. TEXTEX is Texan: high-profile, unapologetic, and original. TEXTEX draws attention to how living systems perform in tandem with manufactured materials to restore ecological health and improve site aesthetics by amplifying, hacking, and foregrounding the aesthetic qualities of ecological restoration materials.

Beyoncé Knowles and Lady Bird Johnson.

TEXTEX draws inspiration from two icons of Texas Style: Lady Bird Johnson and Beyoncé Knowles. Lady Bird for her legacy promoting the beauty of Texas highway landscapes, and Beyoncé for embracing artifice in the service of image and aesthetic beauty.

As Lady Bird Johnson’s big vision transformed Texas landscapes, so will TEXTEX. We see future iterations of TEXTEX installed in various disturbed conditions along eroded gullies, at road cuts, for sediment capture, and in post-mining landscapes. 

TEXTEX is experienced as a series of gardens. Each prototype is the locus of visual intensity, composition, and handiwork within the existing landscape matrix. The materials and species palette is specific to the conditions of each site: low and wet, sloped and shaded, sunny and dry. The siting of these prototypes brings attention to the range of disturbed conditions within the Circle Acres Nature Preserve. 

Each TEXTEX prototype is 1000 square feet. The triptych of TEXTEX prototypes marks the different conditions at the Circle Acres Nature Preserve:

  • TEXTEX: Wet includes species that thrive in wetland conditions

  • TEXTEX: Slope is engineered to slow erosion

  • TEXTEX: Xeric features drought-tolerant species.

Each installation site includes an interpretive panel displaying information about the materials and species used to construct TEXTEX and renderings of the proposed landscape-scale deployment of the prototype. 

TEXTEX modules will be fabricated off-site, and TEXTEX modules will be rolled and delivered to the site on a stake bed truck. Hydroseeding will take place in situ.

As materials are designed to biodegrade as plants establish and expand root systems, TEXTEX can be left-on site. If de-installation is necessary, all materials can be shredded and composted locally. 

TEXTEX is a production of Banned Practice, a collaboration between Sarah Cowles and Maritt Vaessin.

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