Three Tier Garden

Three tier garden 2021-2022

Funded by the StimuleringFonds call This is not a simulation the Three tier garden is a more-than-human garden design project to create shared urban spaces for healing and recovery from traumatic ruptures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It builds on the rapidly growing interests among urban residents in engaging with natural environments during the period of movement restrictions.

It explores design opportunities for individual and collective post-traumatic growth by strengthening the sense of belonging and grounding, especially through what we call “mutual choreographies”:

how the garden and the gardeners, continue to shape each other’s movement
direction and quality through care-full design of the temporal (season-specific gardening activities, planting, pruning, rearranging), and socio-spatial (paths,
patches, and interactions and activities with and around them) infrastructures of the garden.

The design recognizes the criticality of negotiating the various
time scales involved in these movements and the uses of the garden and thus frames it in three temporal tiers.

The first tier considers the Temporary
elements such as seasonal plants but also casual visitors and passersby.

The second tier deals with the Semi-Permanent, spaces that can be
reconfigured based on changing publics, functions and social conditions.

The third tier examines the Permanent, those elements that are designed and
fixed, trees, paths and plot boundaries.

These three tiers will form the base for the design activities, by examining each tier against the defining relational principles of intimacy and openness.

This 18 month-project builds on participatory, playful and care-full design principles. The designers in cooperation with the integrative community garden initiative In Touch Amsterdam and the involvement of the local community will develop design guidelines and a pilot three tier design at the socio-culturally unique SET&Buurt community garden in Amsterdam.

The pilot garden and a booklet containing project documentation and design guidelines enable a wider adaptation of the three tier garden at other locations, contributing to the creation of urban sites for grounding and belonging in times of crisis and to urban instantiations of more-than-human design principles.