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  THE HIGH LINE- Plotting NYC  
 

 

 

In January 2001, the Design Trust for Public Space and Friends of the High Line undertook a comprehensive planning study for the reuse potential of the High Line, the disused elevated railroad track that runs along Manhattan's West Side from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street. The Design Trust awarded two fellowships: one to Casey Jones, who led a comprehensive planning study resulting in the publication Reclaiming the High Line, and one to Keller Easterling, who created this website. Jones' study proposes specific, feasible recommendations and strategies for reusing the High Line as public open space, while this website comprises four purely speculative environments. Because Easterling's project is not limited to attainable possibilities, its conjectural environments provide a counterpoint to Jones's fact-based study.

This website experiments with alternative documents to those master plans and perspectives typically used by planners in conveying "vision" for the city. Assuming that vision might be stored in other dimensions and other specific species of information, the site communicates explicit ingredients and instructions for spaces and programs, but it argues that, in the city, these must always enter into a skeletal and somewhat less predictable mix than the planner had hoped. Whatever the fate of the High Line, this site is a machine for generating spatial scenarios and narratives about a specific portion of this city.

Entering the High Line site is like entering a story, a highly integrated story that quickly shifts between several environments. Adventure stories, glamorous spy thrillers or murder mysteries often propel the story by continually causing it to exit itself. The character leaves one system or environment and is deposited into another. Information or motive from one system causes changes in another. Finally the pleasure is in linking the environments after the fact through a series of events rather than expositions.

 

   
  A project of the Design Trust with Friends of the High Line    
  Full Academic Text Available    
  CREDITS:    
  Design Fellow- Keller Easterling    
  Website Team- Keller Easterling, Phu Hoang, Seiichi Saito    
  Special Thanks to Casey Jones (Design Fellow, Design Trust for Public Space), Robert Hammond and Joshua David (Friends of the High Line).    
 

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