Archive for September, 2012


Landscape Structures’ booth at the ASLA EXPO in Phoenix

A jungle in the middle of the desert is surprising enough, but it’s even more startling when it’s in the middle of the Phoenix Convention Center. Landscape Structures wowed the crowd at the ASLA EXPO today with its plant-themed play structure, complete with climbing elements and slides.

The ASLA EXPO is the only show where every one of the exhibitors is relevant to landscape architects, and the attendees of the 2012 Annual Meeting are making the most of the opportunity to check out products they can use in their work. If you’re at the meeting, don’t miss the chance to see what’s here. And if you can’t make it, keep an eye on LAM’s Goods column to see some of what you missed.

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The ASLA Annual Meeting has brought thousands of landscape architects to Phoenix this weekend. Only a dozen or so showed up for a session on the ACE Mentor Program yesterday, but it was quite a lively event nonetheless.  ACE is a program that works with professional designers, engineers, and construction workers to reach out to high school students interested in those fields. The grassroots program varies a little from city to city, but the basic idea is to have the students select a project and then work through the entire design process. Sometimes, they even get to build what they design.

Joseph M. Cole went through the program ten years ago, at the suggestion of his drafting teacher.  ACE helped him realize that being an architect was an obtainable goal, he told the audience. Today he works for Thomas, Miller & Partners and he is a mentor himself. “It’s an awesome opportunity to network with other mentors,” he says.

Nationwide, the program engages about 8,000 students and 5,000 mentors per year. Two-thirds of those students are minorities and a third are young women. One group they haven’t been reaching so well, however, is landscape architects.

Robert J. Golde, ASLA, a landscape architect at Towers|Golde, thinks that’s a shame. He told the audience being a mentor has helped him to enlighten other professionals about the skills he has as a landscape architect.  And it is inspiring as well: “It really gives you a fresh look on things,” he says, “which is always good as a designer.”

The organization has a booth at the ASLA Expo. If you are here in Phoenix, and you are interested in getting involved, you can visit them today or tomorrow. Or you can check out their website.

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Do you have a project you’d like to pitch to Landscape Architecture Magazine? Are you interested in writing for us? Landscape architecture professionals attending the ASLA Annual Meeting & Expo in Phoenix next weekend can sign up to meet LAM’s editors and share their work. Meetings are 15 minutes long and should be limited to three projects. We hope to see you there!

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Petrochemical America, an absorbing and at times shocking book by the photographer Richard Misrach and the landscape architect Kate Orff, explores the industrial corridor of lower Louisiana. LAM featured Orff and her work behind the book in a story by Melanie Rehak in the May 2012 issue. The book is due out October 31 and is available to order through Amazon and through its publisher, Aperture (the list price is $80). This Friday, September 21, the authors hold a reception and book signing at Aperture’s gallery and bookstore in New York, where there is also an exhibition about the project. On Tuesday, September 25, Aperture hosts a talk by Orff with Mike Schade of the Center for Health, Environment & Justice and Wilma Subra of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. Both events are free; if you can’t make it to either one, read this conversation with Misrach and Orff at the Aperture Foundation’s web site.


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In case you missed this, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York will cost around $60 million per year to operate, according to the foundation that manages it. The number was first reported by the Associated Press (AP) on Monday. The Foundation did not reply to a request to break down this number, but the AP reports that $12 million per year will be spent on security and $4.5 to $5 million per year will go toward operating the giant water features that mark the footprints of the Twin Towers.

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Courtesy Binome

If there’s a trend I’m seeing at Maison et Objet, it’s the combination of fiberglass or technical plastic with wood, an eye-catching fusion. One of the companies with the most creative designs in this style is Binome. Their Osselet chair, pictured at left, is sturdy and durable, and will appeal to clients who want something other than the traditional Adirondack chair.

This is the last day of the show, so if you’re in Paris, make sure to take one last look!

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On the NASA Earth Observatory’s web site are wonderful satellite images showing the surface temperatures in Buffalo, New York (above), and Providence, Rhode Island (after the jump). Buffalo, where development tends to be more spread out, has less of a temperature gap between the city and the outlying areas than Providence, researchers found.

Note the major differences between areas right next to each other. Major roads appear as lines on the map, thanks to the heat given off by the paving. And Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo appears to be much cooler than adjacent Delaware Park. What differentiates the two landscapes? It’s not pavement; it’s tree cover. Delaware Park has fewer trees.


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