Ross Altheimer and Maura Rockcastle | TEN x TEN Studio

Monday March 27, 2023 , 12:30 to 2 p.m.
Join Ross Altheimer and Maura Rockcastle for the lecture "Flows, Rushes, Slows."
Kids Fort by Brandon Stengel

As the field of landscape architecture evolves to combat the issues of our time—climate change and just futures—how we practice matters. Through design research, experimental methods of design process and ideation, and provocative questioning, TEN x TEN challenges the normative environment of professional practice through process-oriented ways of working, engaging, and seeing landscape. Our agency as landscape architects to address the issues of our time is grounded in part by our ability to challenge the critical foundation of the design process itself and to practice modes of discovery as a generative act.

Processes of exploration that reveal a tension between what we thought we knew (about a place, the context, the politics, the past, the truth) and what might be discovered create potential for innovation and imagination. Exploration for the purpose of discovery offers time and space to create a feedback loop between us and a place; between future potential and the conditions of the site itself. Committing to an unfixed and open-ended process of discovery requires that we choose to practice observing, documenting, and translating as a critical way of seeing. The act of exploring, ground truthing, and observing helps us continue to see landscape as a cultural and dynamic medium; to understand what it does and how it works.

The very premise of our work as designers and planners is entangled in capitalism and colonialism; systems of oppression that are woven deep within the fabric of the places, the communities, and civic structures from which we practice. Through running a transparent, values-driven, and process-oriented practice inspired by horizontality and the power of many voices, TEN x TEN strives toward a model of practice that thrives on trust, abundance, and generosity.

Founded in 2015, TEN x TEN is a transdisciplinary landscape architecture and urban design practice grounded by a shared curiosity and passion for experimentation, storytelling, and agency. We collaborate with visionary clients and teams to co-create immersive, resilient landscapes that adapt to social, economic, and environmental transformation. 

Capitalizing on creative alliances between fields, we operate comfortably within a shifting set of disciplinary boundaries. We listen, communicate, and trust, cultivating a design process full of community and laughter.

Our work pays careful attention to craft, beauty, and temporality inherent in any landscape. Merging art and science, our process challenges norms of the landscape architecture profession. We ask: What do we see? How can we document, investigate, and experiment to build relationships and deepen our ways of knowing? How can we apply various modes of seeing and making to discover the magic latent in a site? Our studies document change: mold, decay, growth, competition, failure, and resilience. We explore spaces, stories, materials, and ecologies at all scales, and elevate the everyday human experience through a deep respect for the authenticity of people, culture, and ecology.

This lecture is supported by the Bluford Walter Crain Centennial Endowed Lectureship.

Ross Altheimer and Maura Rockcastle
Maura Rockcastle and Ross Altheimer
Above: Kids Fort by Brandon Stengel