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Black Box
A festival of the arts as gold mine remediation strategy
LCLA + RMIT Master of Landscape Architecture Design Research Studio
Big Bell, Western Australia
Role: Project Author (student)

Black Box is a proposal for a festival of the arts at Big Bell, an gold-mining ghost town in central Western Australia. This was a speculative design project which interrogated the notion of the Landscape Architect as an expert generalist. It was conducted as a 2 week intensve design research studio.

The proposal offers a remediation strategy for a post-mining landscape executed through the establishment of an annual festival. Retired aircraft are to be flown to the site and re-purposed as groundwater monitoring stations and festival infrastructure.

Each year the positioning of additional aircraft determines a new location for the festival around the perimeter of the open-cut mine. Iron filing Permeable Reactive Barriers are installed simultaneously to mitigate Acid Mine Drainage, and festival activity is concentrated on tailings deposits in an effort to compact the material therein and stifle the flow of toxic groundwater. The festival has an acquisitional component - each year large scale installation remain on site and register the presence of toxic groundwater through decay.


After the conclusion of each festival Centre Pivot Irrigation infrastructure pumps and distributes ground water in circular fields, registering the changing toxicity of ground water in the emergence of various species of vegetation. Over time, the whole perimeter of the mine will be composed of a string of these discrete infrastructural compositions, restricting  the flow of acidic ground water in all directions away from the pit.

View full project document below.


Black Box:

On Aerial Lifespan

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