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“Stacked” by Practice Landscape

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Stacked by Practice Landscape. Image courtesy of Practice Landscape.

For CAB 5: This is a Rehearsal, landscape architects Practice Landscape produced a living wall, called Stacked, at CCA Academy in Lawndale. This film, by On The Reel, was a companion to the city site installation and was shown in the Chicago Cultural Center throughout the duration of CAB 5.

Stacked is an assembly of cut-offs: the waste from municipal operations that trim trees of unwanted branches. In the gardening world, this everyday act is called pruning, a practice of upkeep that is so common that it too often goes unnoticed. Stacked serves as a reminder of our relationship to plant life, as trees respond actively to disturbance by breaking, bending, snapping, or splitting their cambium: the layer of actively dividing cells below the bark that makes secondary growth possible. To prune is to take care of trees, and to value the perpetually embryonic behavior of the plants that we depend upon daily.

Practice Landscape

Cambridge, United States


Practice Landscape approaches design by paying close attention to the living environment. They are designers, researchers, and gardeners who work to reveal how existing processes are historically grounded. They approach the future through careful testing and expanding methods and believe that the most meaningful landscapes emerge from working with plants first. Founded in 2006 by Rosetta S. Elkin, Practice Landscape is a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) that prioritizes planting design, public exhibition, open access publishing, and horticultural research for nearly two decades. Practice Landscape collaborates with clients who share a deep respect for the land and a commitment to ethical land management. Recently completed projects include a landscape adaptation strategy and coastal meadow for the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (Captiva, FL), the transformation of a former farm into a regenerative landscape (Lake County, and IL), and Jardin de bord de Mer, a series of public gardens located on lots abandoned due to shoreline erosion (Ste-Flavie, Québec). In addition to their design and research work, they administer the Practice Grant through their nonprofit, the Practice Foundation (501c3). The Practice Grant opens access and expands approaches to landscape design by funding individuals and groups committed to alternative practices.

Community Christian Alternative Academy


1231 S Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60623


North Lawndale


CCA Academy is a small, private, non-denominational high school located in Chicago’s North Lawndale Community.  CCA Academy provides non-traditional students, ages 16-21, who have completed eighth grade with a second chance to earn a high school diploma through a rigorous educational program, extracurricular activities, and supportive services that prepare students with the academic, social and life skills to enroll in higher education, vocational training, or seek gainful employment.

CCA Academy is licensed by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to grant the high school diploma, a Youth Connection Charter School Campus (YCCS), and is a member of the Alternative Schools Network (ASN).

The City is the Site