Preparing for Owens Valley

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Our field trip was to Owens Valley. The class researched all about the valley beforehand. We looked into the dust mitigation measures that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power are currently trying to implement on the lake. We also took a first pass at how we could alter, improve, or redesign these dust control mitigation techniques. Prior to venturing out to the lake, each student used clay to model different patterns and markings that could be applied to the cells of the lakebed. To complete the exercise, we had to keep in mind the choreography of the machines that would be making these landforms. Some research was done on different types of machines from bulldozers and excavators to scrapers and trenchers. One of my models strived to create a spiral pattern that branched out using an excavator as the machine. I used a bottle opener as a tool that best emulated the scoop of an excavator machine. Imagining the machine driving down one row at a time, it scooped a series of holes and released the soil into piles adjacent to the holes. At the end of each row, I imagined the excavator reversing almost back to its start position, rotating 15 degrees, and driving forward while repeating the same process as before. After multiple rows were created, a spiral form appeared from the landscape. My other clay models imagined using a trencher that scored lines across the ground while another imagined a drill machine boring holes into the ground.


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