Category Archives: Design

Home Brewed

The beer flows freely alongside Asheville’s renewed French Broad River.

By Brian Barth

The designers continue to work with the client, including on plans to accommodate the many boaters who pull off and scramble up the bank for a beer. Photo © Mark Herboth Photography LLC.

On a cool Friday morning back in the spring, I stood on a small pedestrian bridge overlooking a tiny stream that feeds into the French Broad River in Asheville, North Carolina. Continue reading Home Brewed

Soldier Stories

Three new landscapes in Washington, D.C., honor the common soldier and fill gaps in the capital city’s memorial narrative.

By Kim O’Connell/ Photography by Sahar Coston-Hardy, Affiliate ASLA

Harvey Pratt, a veteran and member of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes, was the original designer of the 12-foot steel circle that represents nature and harmony.

On the National Mall, it’s unusual to feel as if you’ve stumbled upon a secret, sacred space. Continue reading Soldier Stories

LAMCAST: Julie Bargmann’s “Toxic Beauty”

Drawing from Robert Smithson’s colossal land art installations and the industrial landscapes of New Jersey where she grew up, Julie Bargmann, ASLA, the founder of D.I.R.T. studio, practices landscape architecture with a subversive modesty. The Harvard University Graduate School of Design grad returned to her alma mater to talk about cultivating “humble but hard-ass projects” that use the tools and techniques of infrastructural engineering to reveal layers of history and ecological remediation on sites that are “good, bad, and more often than not toxic,” she says. Titled “Modesty,” her Daniel Urban Kiley Lecture earlier this month offered brief snapshots of her work and a portrayal of the stigmatized and degraded sites she’s endlessly attracted to as “tragic characters” that are “full of hard work,” typically hidden from view by landscape designers less interested in telling stories with scars.

Winter Warmers

In Colorado, outdoor dining concepts are grounded in pragmatism—and the latest public health research.

By Timothy A. Schuler 

Designed for Colorado’s ski resorts, the PARK[AS] concept prioritizes ventilation thanks to feedback from public health officials. Image courtesy Colorado Restaurant Association.
Cities around the country have held design competitions over the past several months, inviting ideas from designers and planners for how to “winterize” outdoor dining. Many of the resulting concepts, however, have been criticized for being impractical or too expensive, partially because of the vacuum created by the typical competition process, in which design teams receive a brief and proceed with limited feedback.

A program run by the state of Colorado in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Colorado Restaurant Foundation offers an alternative model. Launched in October, the program has two components. The first is a $1.8 million pot made up of public and private funds that is available to locally owned restaurants (corporate-owned chains are not eligible). The second is a series of design concepts developed for specific spatial conditions, such as sidewalks, parking stalls, closed streets, and rooftops. Where the Colorado initiative diverges from a design competition is in its collaborative and interdisciplinary nature. Each concept was developed during a one-day charrette by a team of landscape architects, architects, and engineers, as well as public health experts, restaurateurs, general contractors, product suppliers, and government officials, all of whom were grouped and assigned one of nine pre-identified conditions by the event organizers. Continue reading Winter Warmers

The Dark Side of Light

This article is also available in Spanish

Smart lighting can save energy, enhance public safety, and encourage social life, but designers worry those benefits come with an uncalculated cost to privacy.

By Timothy A. Schuler

If you lived in Paris in the 17th century, you paid the taxe des boues et lanternes, the tax on mud and lanterns. The levy paid for the maintenance of the city’s streets and its system of lanterns, a network of some 5,000 tallow candles suspended in glass cases 20 feet above Paris’s streets, and one of the earliest examples of public street lighting in the world. Continue reading The Dark Side of Light