Erin Kelly, Associate ASLA, was giving me the side eye. We were sitting in a Salvadorean restaurant on Livernois, wolfing down hot food after a bleak circular tour of blighted neighborhoods that ring Detroit’s revitalizing downtown core. I had been talking about DesignInquiry, the group of designers I’d come to town with to check out the city and try to understand what design’s role might be here. Kelly thinks she’s seen quite enough of our type in the short time she’s been working in Detroit: parachuting in from thriving cities, Instagramming ruin-porn pictures shot from the safety of rental cars, and hopping back on the plane after a few days.
Archive for the ‘IDEAS’ Category
Posted in CITIES, IDEAS, LAM MAGAZINE, PLANNING, tagged Data Driven Detroit, Detroit, Detroit Future City, Detroit Future City Strategic Framework, Gibbs Planning Group, Hamilton Anderson Associates, Kresge Foundation, LivingLAB, Loveland Technologies, Michigan ASLA, Motor City Mapping, People for Palmer Park, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Toni Griffin on December 22, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Posted in CITIES, COMPETITIONS, HISTORY, IDEAS, MINDS, PRESERVATION, tagged AAR, American Academy in Rome, art, design, fellowship, Landscape Architecture, Rome Prize, Villa Aurelia on October 10, 2014 | 1 Comment »
It’s always been a bit of a mystery why more landscape architects don’t apply for the Rome Prize. It isn’t because it’s obscure: The fellowship is one of the best-known and most prestigious awards for designers and humanities scholars, the kind of résumé bell ringer that’s recognized across the professions. At its center is an 11-month (on average) residency at the American Academy in Rome’s Villa Aurelia among a diverse group of scholars, musicians, and artists, and the rich community working in and around the academy. But while the architecture fellowship has always been highly enrolled, perhaps because of the academy’s early association with the architect Charles Follen McKim of McKim, Mead, and White, the two (on average) fellowships for landscape architecture do not receive nearly the same amount of applications. And that’s a shame: “This is an opportunity not to be passed up,” says Mary Margaret Jones, FASLA, a principal at Hargreaves Associates.
Jones was a Rome Prize fellow in 1997–98, and she describes her fellowship year, when she made topographic models of Renaissance gardens, with unabashed enthusiasm as “life changing” and “transformative.” She now chairs the board of trustees, the first woman and the first landscape architect to do so, and she’d like to see more landscape architects throw their portfolios in the ring.
Despite its lofty origins and association with classical studies, the academy supports a wide range of new work from emerging artists and designers, and the city of Rome is so rich that there are many ways to develop project proposals that overlap with contemporary research and practice. Jones suggests those applying should focus on the portfolio—the body of work is paramount—and that those at any point in their career should apply. “Juries are looking for people for whom it will be game changing,” says Jones. “It really is a time to take time to really look and see things.”
The current Rome Prize fellows in landscape architecture are Kim Karlsrud and Daniel Phillips of Commonstudio and Adam Kuby, an environmental designer from Portland, Oregon. Recent past landscape architecture fellows have included Bradley E. Cantrell and Elizabeth Fain LaBombard, and Walter Hood, ASLA, Thomas Oslund, Peter Walker, FASLA, and Eric Reid Fulford have also been fellows. Applications for the next year’s Rome Prize are due November 1, 2014, and carry a small fee of $30 per application. Late applications will be accepted until November 15 with a fee of $60 per application. More info about the fellowship as well as eligibility and requirements can be found on the AAR’s website.
Posted in BROWNFIELDS, CITIES, CLIMATE, COMPETITIONS, CONSTRUCTION, EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, IDEAS, LAM BLOG, PEOPLE, SAN FRANCISCO, TRANSPORTATION, Uncategorized, tagged audit, Baltimore, Bus Stop, Choiseul Bay, crosswalk, Delft, Denver, Great Park, Green Peace, Kew Gardens, LANDSCAPE, Lines and Nodes, London, man-made leaf, Netherlands, OLIN, photosynthetic material, Presidio, Reggie Watts, senior citizens, Solomon Islands, Treetop walk, Water History Conference on August 26, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
A monthly roundup of the news, dispatches, and marginalia that caught our eye.
In this month’s issue of the Queue, the staff reads up on the grand opening of Dilworth Plaza in Philadelphia by OLIN, wonders at the possibilities of a man-made leaf, and gets down with Greenpeace and Reggie Watts on climate change.
CATCHING UP WITH…
- Dilworth Plaza’s makeover by OLIN (“Follow the Lines,” LAM, January 2014) opens on September 4 in Philadelphia with new transit access, a fountain (and in winter, an ice rink), art, and Cuban food in what had been a desolate sunken plaza.
- Harsh contentions arise in a current forensic audit on Great Park, designed by Ken Smith in Irvine, California (General Design Honor Award, LAM, August 2009). According to the L.A. Times, the audit finds that more than $200 million has been spent on the project, yet the park has little to show for it.
- Dezeen reports on Julian Melchiorri, a graduate of the Royal College of Art in the UK, who thinks he’s got long-distance space travel figured out with his new invention—the world’s supposedly first photosynthetic material that absorbs water and carbon dioxide to create oxygen.
- Looking at climate change and rising sea levels, the township of Choiseul Bay, 6.6 feet above sea level in the Solomon Islands, is moving to where it will be a little less wet in the future.
- Brad Buchanan is a rancher. He’s also an architect and Denver’s new head city planner.
- Think pedestrian crosswalk time limits are too short? Planners in Singapore thought so, too, which is why they recently expanded their Green Man Plus program, a system that allows the elderly and disabled to activate extra time for street crossing with the use of a special card.
OUT AND ABOUT
- Lines and Nodes, a symposium and film festival that will take on media, infrastructure, and aesthetics, will take place September 19–21 in New York.
DISTRACT ME FROM MY DEADLINE DEPT.
- You’ve seen London from the skyline, but have you seen it from the treetops?
- Reggie Watts raps for the future of our planet for Greenpeace.
- If you can’t find this bus stop in Baltimore, then you’re not looking hard enough.
- World’s first “unstealable” bike calls to mind claims made by a certain “unsinkable” ship.
Posted in AWARDS, CITIES, COMPETITIONS, ECONOMICS, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES, HISTORIC LANDSCAPES, IDEAS, REGULATIONS, SANDY, tagged Abandoned Landscapes, Design Competition, Post-Katrina New Orleans, Urban Vacancy, Vacant Lands, Van Alen Instiitute on August 12, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
This week, the Van Alen Institute announced Future Ground, a new, open, and international competition to develop ideas and policies for dealing with New Orleans’s nearly 30,000 vacant lots and abandoned buildings. Nearly 10 years post-Katrina, New Orleans has thousands of idle urban spaces that the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority, which owns more than 2,000 of them and is a cosponsor of the competition, wants to see turned into community resources.
The Future Ground RFQ stresses the need to develop workable policies for these vacant spaces as well as design solutions. It states that competitors should be multidisciplinary teams of “individuals and firms with expertise in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning, graphic design, policy, engineering, finance, real estate, community development, and other fields.” Competing teams need to include local partners. Winning teams, the brief says, will receive $15,000 to work on small projects that can have broader applications and also generate policies that can sustain the program for the next several decades.
This is not Van Alen’s first foray into vacant land—it sponsored the Urban Voids competition back in 2005 for Philadelphia, and this competition is part of the multiyear, multiproject Elsewhere: Escape and the Urban Landscape initiative.
The timeline is short: The deadline for applications is September 29, 2014, and teams will kick off in New Orleans in October 2014 and wrap up by the spring of 2015. You can find the RFQ and more information, including a list of advisers, local sponsors, and jury members, on the Van Alen Institute site.
Tell us in the comments if you decide to submit, and what intrigues you about this opportunity.
Posted in CITIES, COMPETITIONS, IDEAS, LAM BLOG, PARKS, PLANNING, PRESERVATION, RECREATION, REGION, RESEARCH, REUSE, RIVER RESTORATION, SOIL, WATER, tagged Design Competition, Dredge, Great Lakes, Industrial Landscapes, Port of Toledo on June 23, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
This winter, we wrote about the inaugural outing of the North Coast Design Competition (NCDC), Designing Dredge: Re-Envisioning the Toledo Waterfront, and now the winners have been announced. The entrants were asked to envision a useful waterfront space that combined existing and future outdoor developments with dredged materials, and also to provide the placement and design of a research site for the testing and experimentation of dredge material among other possible uses. Garrett Rock’s winning proposal, Re-Frame Toledo, would use Toledo’s dredge material to create sites for the public while also suggesting a phytoremediation step in the dredging cycle to process the sediment for future land use and better water quality. Sean Burkholder, an assistant professor of landscape and urban design at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the founder of NCDC, said that each of the 21 entries showed a thorough understanding of the subject. Some dealt with the excess sediment associated with dredging by creating riverside parks and recreation; others sought to create new ways of dealing with this material.
Earth, air, fire, and water—the National Building Museum’s Design for Disaster exhibit, which opened on May 12, separates out the forces of destruction. The toll of earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods is shown in photos and artifacts such as twisted street signs. But the focus is on mitigation. “Design can save lives,” said Chase W. Rynd, Honorary ASLA, the executive director of the museum, during a press preview on May 8. Rynd and Chrysanthe Broikos, the curator of the exhibit, say it’s one of the most important exhibits the museum has done.
It’s as much the story of seismic engineers, researchers, architects, planners, and landscape architects as it is about the disasters themselves, given that the goal is blunting the destructive impacts of disasters (there’s a companion blog and outreach program called Mitigation Nation). The Earth room has cracked walls that recall the aftermath of earthquakes, but just behind them is a buckling restrained brace, or BRB, as an example of what could be done to protect those walls, and around the doorway is a special moment frame, which holds firm against lateral loads during a quake to protect the rest of a structure. (more…)
Posted in CITIES, CLIMATE, COMPETITIONS, IDEAS, LAM BLOG, LAM MAGAZINE, NEW YORK CITY, OCEANS, RESILIENCE, SANDY, tagged Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, Institute for Public Knowledge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on April 8, 2014 | Leave a Comment »
Back in November, we wrote about the early stages of the Rebuild by Design competition, just after the first teams of finalists presented their ideas to the public. The challenge, which is driven by the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, will make substantial funding available for the winners from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as the private sector. We also reported on the Institute for Public Knowledge (“Backstage at Rebuild by Design,” November 2013,) the think tank that has helped shape the public discussions for the Rebuild Challenge.
Last week, the 10 finalist teams, BIG TEAM; HR&A Advisors, Inc. with Cooper, Robertson & Partners; Interboro Team; MIT CAU + ZUS + URBANISTEN; OMA; PennDesign/OLIN; Sasaki/Rutgers/Arup; SCAPE / Landscape Architecture; WB unabridged with Yale ARCADIS; and WXY/West 8, gathered to unveil the latest iteration of the designs in public meetings in New York and New Jersey. The teams have been collaborating with individual communities along the shoreline, and their proposals now reflect the input and specific conditions of particular places.
We weren’t able to get there in person, but you should read Justin Davidson’s write-up in New York magazine, accompanied by a handy slide show of the proposals, to see the latest work from the competition. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will announce the winning proposals later this spring.