The Garden of Albertopolis / Experiment Road | Shaan Patel
AA - Architectural Association 2014: Intermediate 13
“Pataphysics is used to comment on a rational way of thinking through humor by an absurd use of the same rationality applied to something unusual or strange. In a similar way The Garden of Albertopolis or Experiment Road is an institution formed on the model of a series of five experiments done on different kinds of plants to reveal their consciousness. The Garden sets up scenarios that allow these strange plants to exhibit and exercise these qualities. The design for the five “experiments” are based on five theories of plant life that have been extensively researched but never been proven. The five gardens form an institution enclosed by a colonnade that is the main infrastructural piece. It acts as a theatre where the paths around the gardens at different levels are the places to view these strange worlds of plants. These worlds are the stages that have been sunken into the ground that further mystifies the activities of the gardens to the observer. This takes the model of a typical botanical garden critically subverts it to reflect the re-categorization of plants based on their emotional qualities. From plants that control a green house to plants that predict the weather, Experiment Road is this mythical institution suggesting an alternative way of exhibiting plant life.