My intention for site observation 0.006 is to document the decreasing hierarchy of Desoto Park. From May to October, there is consistent circle of water stage change, this phenomenon directly influence the ecosystem and human activities on site.

As my diagram shows, I will take notes and photos in these three period changing areas, compare and contrast their characters and diagram potential approach to interact with this seasonal circle.

“A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that is under it or drains off of it goes into the same place “(EPA).

If you wondering how the Mississippi river and our site watersheds look exactly like, these maps explain it pretty well. Click to see the large version.

The reason why I want to make this ridiculous pinball-like model is that I believe the watershed is more than geological shape and boundary. What’s more important is the relationship between drainage basin and watercourse, they consistently interacting with each other and formatting the watershed we have now. the different character of river basin constrains the velocity and direction even the deposition load of river; at the same time, the water and the energy it carries shape the basin and built landform such as levee, bayou. This is hardly to interpret on a graphic design. In the diagram I made below shows what I want to demonstrate in the “pinball model”.

Different watershed character result in different watercourse, these characters decide the Past, Present, and Future of the Mississippi river watershed.

How pinball interprets the Mississippi river watershed

Shooter gauge —- Source (Upper Mississippi: northern Minnesota)

The shooter decides the momentum of the magnetic ball as the precipitation of upper Mississippi decides the capacity of water.

Rail —- Stable watercourse —- Transition (Middle Mississippi)

Water go through the meander “rail” and carrying mass deposition from upper land, also scour the watershed.

Bumper —- Elements that change the watershed

Bumper not only changes the velocity but also changes the direction, although the effect is much less strong than flipper. However, in real life, it is still the firstly force that consistently influences the watershed. Numerous elements contribute to the watershed change of Mississippi, such as human activities, land erosion, land deposition; all of them alter the drainage basin and watershed divide in some degree. These “bumpers” align along the Mississippi and its tributaries. Here are some examples of “bumper”. < >

Flipper —- Manmade interference to “hit” the “Target”

Turning point of “course”, in the Mississippi river case, old river control structure is the “flipper”, here is a diagram shows how this “flipper” change the watercourse as well as the water shed.

Target —-Mouth (Mississippi River Delta: the Gulf of Mexico)

In this case, usually the target is to drainage the water into the Gulf of Mexico in order to prevent potential avulsion that may happen at Atchafalaya River. However, during the flood season, the adjustment of “flipper” is extremely important to keep the water stage in Baton Rouge stable.

How to make a pinball, the trial part is awesome!

Ok Go This Too Shall Pass ,I always love to watch those broken TV behind;D

I believe the micro-scale observation is a reflection of surrounding larger scale temporal change. Everything is related to sun, air, water and human intervention. For example, the abandoned plastic bottle and the footprint of pedestrian shows the macro site circulation. The muddy path and rotten log shows the water stage change and rainfall amount. Hardly anything is isolated or random, even a bird fly over could intrigued by a train whistle. The whole system elements are interacting with each others.

The recording interval directly affects the observation of events cycle. Some cycle need a relatively long period to notice, such as the egret fly path and train operation. Some not only has a long-term cycle but also including temporal cycle, such as light and shadow. If the interval is one hour, it’s hardly to notice the leaf is floating, however, if the interval is five minutes, the light change is imperceptible.


The final five teams are AECOM, Aedas Architects, James Corner Field Operations, and the Xavier Vendrell Studio,!melk. Zaha.hadid and Rem koolhaas got cut off. Eventually, the winner goes to James Corner Field Operations. Here are some link of their project presentations, Bjarke Ingels from B.I.G did the presentation for AECOM, he reminds me of our review presentation, after watch this, I won’t feel nervous about presentation any more. LOL;)


Xavier Vendrell Studio

James Corner Field Operations

Bonus:Bjarke Ingels

Opps…the “screen” is kind of awkward …