John Deere Pavilion Entry Façade 

Completion: 2009, Proposal

Location: Moline, IL

Description: Celebrating the 175th anniversary of John Deere, the nation’s leading agricultural equipment company, this concept proposes a temporary installation of a vertical grass wall at the entry façade of the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Illinois. Introducing a new, living material to the language of environmental graphic design, the wall of grass energizes the entrance of the visitor center and reinterprets the contemporary notion of architectural surface as communication medium. Eschewing digitally-based methods of creating dynamically changing façades, this approach relies on the natural growth process of live grass to form the basis of its changing surface. Making use of the clear demarcation of color and texture that results from freshly cut or mowed grass, the pavilion’s façade becomes an expansive writing surface to dramatically present the John Deere brand name, anniversary milestones, and slogans used throughout the company’s 175 years in the form of monumental text. Over time each new text presentation dissipates as the grass grows back in, naturally preparing another “blank canvas” for more words. Giving John Deere’s familiar green and yellow color scheme a new and direct material context, the vertical grass wall makes a strong brand statement as well as represents a gesture towards a more sustainable architecture.