Parks are not nature. Parks are culture: man-made simulations of nature, carefully constructed to provide walkers, runners and mountain bikers with a recreational, yet confined – no wolfs & bears please! – ‘natural’ experience. As parks are merely images of nature, why not tweak the simulation a bit, while maintaining the calming qualities so highly appreciated by the human brain?
For the Storm King Art Center, artist Maya Lin created a simulation of undulating, rolling of waves using earth and grass. The waves range in height from ten to fifteen feet, with a trough-to-trough distance of approximately forty feet. Because it is executed in the same scale as an actual set of waves, the viewer’s experience is similar to that of being at sea, where one loses visual contact with adjacent waves. Compound curves allow for a complex and subtle reading of the space in the form of an environment that pulls the viewer into its interior and creates a sense of total immersion.