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labyrinth at Sather Gate
Getting through Sather Gate is a bit more complicated. (Bonnie Powell photos)

Landscape architecture class turns campus into art

 Balloons line Strawberry Creek.
Balloons line Strawberry Creek.
 Plastic banners sway on Sproul.
Plastic banners sway on Sproul.

– Wondering what all those red balloons are doing dancing in the breeze along Strawberry Creek? Why those blank plastic banners are stretching across Sproul Plaza? How about that leafy labyrinth at Sather Gate?

Thank the Landscape Architecture 101 class. The "Revealing the Landscape" projects are the first physical installments by the students.

"The idea was to see if students would slow down, to show the way we use this space," said Natalie Pollard, a first-year graduate student in landscape architecture who started building her labyrinth at 2 a.m. As she spoke, a few people did take the time to walk the labyrinth, while others carefully stepped over the lines made up of leaves and other natural material. One man even carried his bike across the labyrinth to avoid stirring the leaves.

Just a few yards away, other students cutting across Strawberry Creek were checking out the balloons. Builder Andrew Sundling, a third-year undergraduate student in landscape architecture, said his project was meant to get the attention of students who only "hear" the creek since it's set below eye level.

"I wanted it to show the curvature and the elegance and the topography of the creek," Sundling said. The strings attached to the balloons are all the same length, so their respective heights indicate the varying depths of the creek's bank. "There's a lot going on that I think is taken for granted. If I can bring a bit of that to life, I'll be happy."