The Fieldstation Series is designed to engage public understanding of local environments. Intent on building alertness to the fluid processes of change embedded in the landscape.  Our research explores how to engage the public through material processes and moments of encounter.


Fieldstudy Station

A public commission, this station is installed at the trailhead on a forested hiking path behind Villa Montalvo. The station invites visitors to assemble, curate and share objects, observations and encounters discovered along hiking pathways. Consisting of a redwood structure, with display shelves, nooks and collection jars, the station provides a place to document discoveries and display objects of interest. A chalkboard backdrop and supplies at the site offer the opportunity for adding personal reflections.  Signage encourages participants to add an exhibition title, curator/s and date, as well as contextual notes, labels, questions and comments. Tear-off information sheets, provide instructions and offer ideas for different kinds of exploratory walks (i.e. color walks, time walks) to inspire hikers. The station encourages school groups, families and individuals to engage curiosity, tune into the landscape, create an exhibit, take a photo and post it to #fieldstudystation. Redwood construction 6.8’ x 6’ x 1.10’ (roof)



Colorfield Station

Designed for the Botanica Poetica exhibiton at the Montalvo Project Space Gallery. The station offered an opportunity for the public to contribute to a collaborative depiction of Montalvo’s color palette, capturing nuances of seasonal shifts across several months. Using watercolor paints and paper, participants created color samples of elements within landscape - from a blade of grass, or piece of bark, to a patch of sky. Each color sample added to the station display contributed to the chromatic array of color in the landscape, representing a varied spectrum of participant perspectives and interpretations. Consisting of redwood planks with 96 embedded pegs holding individual color swatches, the station served as a community data collection system.  4' wide x 5.5 ' tall.

Wonder Commons Stations

For Montalvo’s 2016 summer festival, we installed dozens of small stations around the grounds, providing a platform for a collective investigation of the intersections of nature and culture across the landscape. The stations provided basic instructions, along with labels, pencils and prompts. Visitors were invited to explore, locate places and objects of interest and affix a label with their observations, comments or questions for passersby to discover and ponder. More than five different languages were marked in this landscape. Some of the messages placed in landscape shown here say:  

  • Love - what is it like to live with and love one person for 66 years?
  • Thinking about Adam and Eve - how did biting an apple change this blissful love? 
  • Tread lightly, leave no trace, be at peace. 
  • Love you - we'll get better... 
  • The sounds of the trickling stream - will be hear it in this place again next year? 
  • You are more broken than you think, but you are more loved than you hope.

Forest Station

Installed as a temporary way station along the Montalvo forest trails, local hikers and walkers of all ages engaged with us in exploring and marking their questions, ideas and thoughts in the landscape. The station consisted of small tables, a few camp chairs and supplies. As people passed by, we invited them to join us in finding, labeling and discussing questions, interests and concerns relative to the past, present and future of this forest environment. The station provided three opportunities to explore the landscape:

  • Tagging - paper tags that could be written on and hung along the forest path to engage the community in a conversation about the meaning of this place;
  • Color Matching - a table with watercolor paints and small strips of paper that invited participants to color match what they found in the landscape; and
  • Transitional Fieldware - an opportunity to gather small forest items and make a necklace that could be worn to enable a close examination of nature's shifting characteristics and meanings over time. Participants were encouraged to email us information about the changes they saw in their Fieldware as the days progressed.