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Archive for the ‘AWARDS’ Category

Remnants of Spain’s early 21st century speculative urbanization pursuits. Christopher Marcinkoski, The City that Never Was.

Remnants of Spain’s early 21st century speculative urbanization pursuits. From Christopher Marcinkoski, The City That Never Was.

A few months back, we published a short appeal for more landscape architects to apply for the storied Rome Prize with the hope that the breadth of the field could be better represented. On April 23, the American Academy in Rome announced the 2015–2016 fellows, which included three new fellows in landscape architecture: Christopher Marcinkoski, Alexander Robinson, ASLA, and Thaïsa Way, ASLA.

The Rome Prize, which provides significant time, research materials, and studio space at the academy’s recently restored Villa Aurelia in Rome, has long been a coveted honor. Described as “life changing” and “transformative” by the 1997–1998 fellow Mary Margaret Jones, FASLA, it is also a way of benchmarking where and how the concerns of landscape architecture converge with currents in the arts and humanities. Along with a cohort of musicians, writers, artists, scholars, and architects, the new landscape fellows will live and work in Rome for six months to a year.

Christopher Marcinkoski is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a former senior associate at James Corner Field Operations. His project, “Rome, Empire Building, and the City That Never Was,” expands from the research in his forthcoming book, The City That Never Was, by looking at the emergence of speculative settlement and infrastructure projects. “My project in Rome intends to use the historical lens of Roman urbanization to think about ongoing projects that are being pursued in Africa,” Marcinkoski says. Using the example of megaprojects in Spain and Ireland that were begun but then abandoned during the recession, Marcinkoski says that these kinds of projects are now appearing in places such as Angola and Morocco, built by outside entities and sometimes in exchange for access to material resources. Coming off a long book project, Marcinkoski plans to use his time for more design experimentation, rather than written critique, though he notes that these speculative projects on the African continent deserve close attention. “There’s an incongruity between what is being proposed and what is needed.”

An interactive interface for the Owens Lake Dust Control Project explores the nexus of infrastructure performance and experience. Credit: Alexander Robinson

An interface for the Owens Lake Dust Control Project explores the nexus of infrastructure performance and experience. Credit: Alexander Robinson.

Alexander Robinson’s research deals with some of the major water infrastructure projects in the western United States; his work was recently featured in After the Aqueduct. He says that working on that exhibition helped him understand what he wanted to do with the Rome prize, and his project, “A Projective Picturesque: Reconciling Pictorial with Performance in Landscape Architecture,” will bring his research in infrastructure into a conversation with often-maligned picturesque aesthetics. Robinson is interested in “recognizing that there is a rift between performance and pictorial—there’s a lot more embedded in what we see than the scenic.” The project at the American Academy in Rome will take him back to his roots as a landscape painter to reconcile those aesthetics with the use of the planimetric design tools that are the mainstay of his current position as the director of the Landscape Morphologies Lab at the University of Southern California. “How do we think about the pictorial and the visual syntax of landscape architecture in the context of landscape infrastructure and performance?” he asks.

Thaïsa Way’s project, “Drawing a History of Landscape Architecture,” sounds perfectly scholarly, but it has an unexpected twist. The project will allow Way, a landscape historian, to study the relationship between drawing and landscape from its architectural origins to its current idiom as a form of professional communication. “I’m really interested in the history of drawing. It’s what makes us as a profession, makes us different. We use drawings to think, create, and communicate in a huge range of ways. How did those ways of thinking come to be?” But there’s more: “I am going to also draw—as a historian, to really understand what it is to draw, I need to draw!” she says. To do this, Way will look at the drawings of former landscape architecture fellows—the Rome Prize for landscape architecture was established in 1915, so she’ll have a deep archive to draw from—and then bring them to the sites where they were made, immersing herself in the relationships between the subject, the site, and the hand.  Way says experiencing the act of drawing will inform the way she writes about drawing. “As a historian and a critic, I read differently because I also write, and I wanted to have that same experience,” she says.

Part of why Way is excited about starting the fellowship in Rome is because of the way her work fits together with that of Marcinkoski and Alexander. All of the Rome Prize landscape projects in some way deal with issues that are in the forefront of contemporary practice, and each new fellow has pulled back and asked how history might inform these questions more fully. But they also speak to the field in other ways, tying individual research to the concerns of the field at large. Way says: “They’re all really about the profession, not just about ourselves.”

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Multihalle, Mannheim, Germany. Photo Copyright Frei Otto

Frei Otto, Mannheim Garden Festival Hall (1975), Mannheim, Germany. Photo Copyright Frei Otto.

In recent years, the announcement of the Pritzker Prize has fueled as much debate about the prize itself and about the state of the architecture profession as it has about the merits of the winners. This year was no exception. In giving the award to Frei Otto, the German architect and engineer known for his tensile and lightweight structures, the Pritzker prize organization unintentionally broke its rule of recognizing only living architects. Otto died at 89 only days after being notified of his selection, and the prize announcement was rushed two weeks ahead of its planned date. His unfortunate passing aside, Otto was an unusual and in many ways inspired choice by the jury. He was a gifted and generous collaborator, and most of his most prominent built works were coauthored by other architects and engineers, many of whom were still emerging at the time, including Gunter Behnisch and Ted Happold, and later, Shigeru Ban. “Otto was a spark, a trigger. His ideas created opportunities for others to thrive,” said the engineer Guy Nordenson. In his tentlike Mannheim Garden Festival Hall and the soaring Munich Stadium complex for the 1972 Olympics, he created breakthrough structural ideas, which often required new technologies and models to bring Otto’s ideas into built reality. Nordenson credited Happold and others with having created the first computer-based form-finding techniques in their modeling of the Mannheim project. (more…)

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March’s issue of LAM looks at the cultural and environmental consequences of sand mining in Wisconsin to supply the fracking industry; Lola Sheppard and Mason White’s influential research-driven practice, Lateral Office, in Toronto; and three new play spaces in Oregon designed by GreenWorks and Mayer/Reed that embrace nature-based play.

In this month’s departments, Chatham University in Pittsburgh closes its landscape architecture programSiteWorks has kids help turn New York City schoolyards into community parks; the winners of a 2014 ASLA Student Award of Excellence balance landscape and architecture in a home for a wounded veteran; Joni L. Janecki, ASLA, creates a drought-tough landscape for the Packard Foundation’s new headquarters near Palo Alto, California; Jane Wolff’s illustrated flashcards make the San Francisco Bay legible in Bay Lexicon; and we have numbers, however small, on landscape design’s growing impact on the economy. All this plus our regular Now, Species, Goods, and Books columns. The full table of contents for March can be found here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be ungating March articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “Many Sand Counties,” Lonniewishart.com; “Eyes Northward,” Ashley Capp; “Go Wild, Oregon Child,” Courtesy GreenWorks, PC; “Chatham Shuts the Door,” © Chatham University 2015; “DIY, Kiddo,” The Trust for Public Land; “The Drought Will Tell,” Jeremy Bittermann; “Team Effort,” Thomas J. Manuccia; “Bay Q&A,” Jane Wolff.

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Every year since 2008 at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, we’ve hosted the Landscape Architecture Magazine Advertising Awards, aka the LAMMYs, to honor our top advertisers from the past year. It’s a competition juried by a group of landscape architects who are also specifiers, and it’s open to any advertiser who bought at least one full-page advertisement or more in the magazine during the previous year. The award categories are Best Graphic Quality, Best Message, and Most Persuasive, as well as Advertisement of the Year. There is also the  Advertising Hall of Fame, for companies whose work has been consistently strong. This year, there were more than 400 advertisers eligible for the LAMMYs.

The 2014 jury included Scott L. Howard, ASLA, of Howard-Fairbairn Site Design; Margot Jacobs, Associate ASLA, of Mia Lehrer + Associates; Jennifer Nitzky, ASLA, of Robert A. M. Stern Architects; Michael Skowlund, ASLA, of Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects; Joshua T. Tiller, ASLA, of J. K. Tiller Associates; Jeffrey A. Townsend, ASLA, of Jacobs; and James J. Wolterman, FASLA, of SWT Design.

Best Graphic Quality  was awarded to Concreteworks, Fermob, Knoll, and Maglin.

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Best Message was awarded to 3Form, Belgard by Oldcastle, DCS/Fisher & Paykel, and Sunbrella/GlenRaven.

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Most Persuasive was awarded to Berliner Seilfabrik, Columbia Green, GOALZERO/Street Charge, and Spring Meadow/Proven Winners.

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The Advertisement of the Year Award went to Victor Stanley, who was also the third advertiser since 2012 inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame.

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Congratulations to all of the 2014 LAMMY winners! You can check out the previous winners for 2013 and 2012 as well.

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"View along US 40 in Mount Vernon Canyon, Colorado" by Andreas Feininger, 1942.

“View along US 40 in Mount Vernon Canyon, Colorado” by Andreas Feininger, 1942.

The staff of Landscape Architecture Magazine is off to beautiful Denver, Colorado, for the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO. You can find us in our dedicated space in the EXPO Hall. Look for the LAM logo in the ASLA Commons. Drop by and say hello, or you can find us at any one of the many events and sessions we’re participating in. Here are just a few:

Art Director Chris McGee and Associate Editor Jennifer Reut will be on a panel titled Fit for Print: Landscape Architecture Photos That Work (FRI-C08) at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, 11/21.

Editor Brad McKee is moderating a panel, Design 2034: Our Resilient Tomorrow (FRI-D10), at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, 11/21.

The staff will be in attendance at the Landscape Architecture Magazine Advertising Awards (LAMMYs) on Friday, 11/21 and the ASLA Student and Professional Awards Ceremony on Monday, 11/24.

LAM editors will be on hand for Meet the Editors on Saturday and Sunday.

We’re all really looking forward to the Edible Landscapes Celebration on Saturday, 11/20.

Throughout the meeting the LAM staff will be on the floor in the EXPO hall as well as helping out in sessions and events. Follow us on Twitter @landarchmag throughout the meeting, or stop by the LAM booth, or just introduce yourself—we love to meet readers and hear what they think about the magazine and the blog.

Credit: FSA/OWI collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540.

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Close-up view of a moveable climate station.

Close-up view of a movable climate station.

From the November 2014 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Reid Fellenbaum

Reid Fellenbaum, Student Affiliate ASLA

It’s 2080, a world deep in the throes of a changing climate where a landscape’s fertility is analyzed by mammoth structures that roam the Great Plains. It may seem like a scene from a sci-fi novel, but it is actually the basis for Reid Fellenbaum’s “Meridian of Fertility,” winner of the 2014 ASLA Student Award of Excellence in Analysis and Planning, which examines historical practices, climate models, projected precipitation, temperature, and current soil quality of the Great Plains region and suggests that the “Meridian of Fertility,” a geographical dividing line between prairie lands to the west and areas suitable for agricultural practices to the east, is steadily moving eastward. The project proposes a series of shelterbelts to slow this migration, as well as a return to dry-farming practices (a no-irrigation method that relies on the conservation of soil moisture) informed by structures called climate stations that use “hyperlocal climate predictions” to determine the best site for farmers to plant their crops. We talked with Fellenbaum about his project, and how he sees it as a focus on resiliency in a changing world.

(more…)

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The 272-page November issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine is the biggest of the year, if not the past five. Why the extra muscle? Perhaps abundance is in the air: This year’s ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Denver is looking to be one of our biggest ever.

This year, the ASLA Award of Excellence in General Design went to Gustafson Guthrie Nichol for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle. Despite the difficulties the central Seattle site provides, the site’s landscape design echoes its past as a bog, and its present as a centrifuge of global and local ethics. In “Fire, Rain, Beetles, and Us,” Carol Becker looks at the interconnected catastrophes recently visited on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. “Fluid Boundaries” finds the Colorado River reflow (“A Spring Flush on the Colorado,” April 24, 2014) is just one of several transnational projects to kick-start the riparian wetland along the Colorado River. Jayson DeGeeter, ASLA, talks to Guy Sternberg, the oak guru, about the species and his calling at Starhill Forest Arboreteum. “Detroit from the Ground Up” finds that landscape architecture is playing a major role in Detroit’s revitalization. And the photographer Alex MacLean and the journalist Daniel Grossman investigate the beginning and the end of the transborder tar sands oil trade.

Departments deliver this month as well: NOW has Editor Brad McKee’s perspective on the Rosa Barba Prize, updates on Changing Course, and elementary ag in NYC; Interview talks to Reid Fellenbaum, winner of the ASLA 2014 Student Award of Excellence in Analysis and Planning about his spooky-brilliant project, “Meridian of Fertility”; House Call features residential design in Arcadia National Park by Matthew Cunningham Landscape Architecture; and the Back has a portfolio of The Cultural Landscape Foundation‘s annual Landslide campaign, this year directed at saving site-specific artworks. All this and the usual rich offerings in Species, Goods, and Books. The full table of contents for November can be read here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be ungating November articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: Gates Foundation, Tim Hursley; Pine Beetle, Paul Milner; Hunters Hole, Fred Phillips, ASLA; Guy Sternberg, Noppadol Paothong; Detroit, Detroit Future City; Alberta Refinery, Alex MacLean; Arturo Toscanini School, WORKac; Microtopographic Section Model, Reid Fellenbaum, Student Affiliate ASLA; Opus 40, © Thomas Hahn, 2014, Courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

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