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Milligan’s design work speculates with fluctuation and emergence beyond the landscape’s ecological systems through a series of proposed public occupations. He sites temporary festivals and events carnivals during drier months, provides for temporary shelters for homeless or migrant workers passing through, and areas for conventional riverside activities such as fishing, walking and sitting. He does not deny that the political border exists, as he provides various access points and roads for the border patrol, but they constantly shift with the changes in the landscape. There is both a convergence of site, politics and landscape ephemera and a divergence in the strict delineation of the border. The border is recognized as a thickness that recedes and expands because of a variety of forces. It is celebrated as indeterminate and its own potential space.
This project encourages us to see that the border is not merely a line on a map or a political boundary. It is a unique, spatial entity. Brett uses a somewhat conventional approach or perhaps better stated he presents a very landscape-architectural exploration of the possibilities of border spaces. His work is situated well within contemporary design examinations of open systems and dynamic processes. And while it may be reminiscent of James Corner’s and Field Operation’s proposals for the Fresh Kills Landfill site just outside New York City or Downsview Park in Toronto, Canada, he positions the political border as paramount not subservient to the landscape operations. It is an intertwining of systems, a palimpsest which engages the physical landscape context and the economic phenomena of border cities. There is a dense weaving of ecological programmes, public events culture, urban and environmental infrastructure, public space, border security and surveillance coming together and converging here. His work invests in and celebrates the possibilities of a border condition.