Ground Up Journal Issue 5: Delineations



Oakland, CA, USA | Erica Althans-Schmidt, Student ASLA; Cristina Bejarano, Student ASLA; Wesley Cogan, Student ASLA; Michelle Hook, Student ASLA; Dave Koo, Student ASLA; Kate Lenahan, Student ASLA; Yang Liu, Student ASLA; Wan-chi Luo, Associate ASLA; Kathleen O’Leary, Student ASLA; Gene Stroman, Student ASLA; Story Wiggins, Student ASLA | Graduate | Faculty Advisor: Karl Kullmann
University of California, Berkeley


GROUND UP: Is the student journal of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley is an annual print and web publication intended to stimulate thought, discussion, visual exploration and substantive speculation about emerging landscape issues affecting contemporary praxis. IS an examination of a critical theme arising from the tension between contemporary landscape architecture, ecology and pressing cultural issues. IS intended as a discursive platform to explore concepts grounded in local issues with global relevance.


Euclid understood lines as ‘breadthless lengths,’ defined by two points and stretching on into infinity. But delineations can also be as small and simple as a flick of the wrist; the mind moving out of the hand into a gesture. Vassily Kandinsky believed lines to be ‘created by movement – specifically through the destruction of the intense self-contained repose of the point.’ Process is suggested; moments emerge from the continuity to form a rhythm. When the abstract becomes physical, delineations unite and exclude. Sociologist T.K. Oommen sees ‘the very story of human civilization’ in shifting and overlapping boundaries of all kinds.

For our fifth issue, we called for contributors to explore the notion of delineation as it relates to our process and practice as shapers of space. Delineation, ‘the action of describing or portraying something precisely; indicating the exact position of a border or boundary,’ is at the very core of what we do. From the moment the pen touches trace, to the physical manifestation of the lines we draw, instantaneous action often carries consequences farther than we anticipate.

Lines forge design. We demarcate space in order to shape our world, to define systems from the microscopic to the celestial, to understand scale. Yet defining a line, a most basic human endeavor, can be exceptionally complicated. Static marks are often rendered transitory in an ever-shifting world, subject as they are to geological, political, social or biological sabotage. Whether blurred or accentuated, representational or manifest, intentional or happenstance, delineations in the landscape are consequential. They have a story to tell.

In exploring the ideas, designs and stories posed by the contributions to this issue, we were as struck by the range of lines conceived as by their common threads. In the journal, you will find borders--remembered, forgotten and imagined. Questions arise when static boundaries collide with amorphous spaces. The winds of change create novel trajectories for all beings. And, in the end, when we are mindful enough to see, we can find answers in the relation of our own bodies to these contours.

In bringing together these voices, we sought to investigate one of the most fundamental tools at our disposal, hoping to shed light on the ways we alter space from the ground up. Though ostensibly simple, drawing the line is anything but. We hope Issue 05 | DELINEATIONS will inspire the reader to redefine the line.

GROUND UP is guided by the interests of our readers and collaborators. We operate on an open call with invited entries from academics, practitioners, students, designers, scientists and activists.

“What I like about this publication is that it crosses the line between professionals and students, which doesn’t always happen. Great! The articles were short, the graphics strong, and the topics interesting and provocative.”

- 2016 Awards Jury


Additional Project Credits:

  • Andrew Cumine, Master Of Landscape Architecture
  • Daniel Dominguez, Master Of Landscape Architecture
  • Stephanie Lin, Master Of Landscape Architecture
  • Sophie Muschel-Horton, Master Of Landscape Architecture