The Great Salt Lake Desert is America’s backyard collecting land uses, building programs, and material history expelled from other parts of the country. The Great Salt Lake is the bottom and most remote portion of this desert—our nation’s entropic sink. As a fundamentally inhospitable landscape—no fish live there—it holds unique and extreme architectural challenges for even temporary occupation. The Great Salt Lake Exploration Platform (GSLEP) will allow visual and performative research to occur within the vastly under explored landscape of the Great Salt Lake. It will enable people to spend periods of time on the lake to examine issues as broadly as environmental indicators, perceptual limits, diverse land use, and cultural history from a unique and untapped perspective. The GSLEP hinges on the potency of primary research—first person ground truthing—being paramount for architects, artists, and culture workers operating in the complex realities of the built environment.

The floating Great Salt Lake Exploration Platform (GSLEP) enables people to remain upon the Great Salt Lake for specific durations of time, with necessary life support and research infrastructure (shade, fresh water, food and waste storage, solar power, communications, and evacuation provisions), and is designed to maximize potential uses for research as a modular, agile and flexibly deployable.

GSLEP is a collaboration by artist Steve Badgett and architect Chris Taylor and was built for the Center for Land Use Interpretation with support from the Graham Foundation and Texas Tech University.

In 2019 GSLEP was rebranded as the Terminal Lake Exploration Platform for participation in Desert X 19.