Category Archives: Design

Book Review: The Rule Book

250 Things a Landscape Architect Should Know

Edited by B. Cannon Ivers; Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser, 2021; 512 pages, $34.99.

Reviewed by Gale Fulton, ASLA

A former Toronto brickworks, now a city dump, makes Jane Mah Hutton’s point to consider material afterlives.
A former Toronto brickworks, now a city dump, makes Jane Mah Hutton’s point to consider material afterlives. Courtesy City of Toronto Archives.

What does a 21st-century landscape architect need to know?
The question is daunting. At least it should be, in the field and especially for those of us in academia who are tasked with laying the foundation on which future landscape architects will continue to build throughout their careers. But determining which skills and what knowledge are essential in such an expansive discipline is elusive at best. The book
250 Things a Landscape Architect Should Know attempts an answer. Continue reading Book Review: The Rule Book

The Butterfly Effect

A memorial garden for a 12-year-old victim of police violence becomes a springboard for serving generations of children.

By Anjulie Rao / Photography by Sahar Coston-Hardy, Affiliate ASLA

Volunteers and staff from the Tamir Rice Foundation greet visitors at the garden’s unveiling.
Volunteers and staff from the Tamir Rice Foundation greet visitors at the garden’s unveiling.

I arrived at the Marion C. Seltzer Elementary School playground around 11:00 a.m., just before the day’s heat peaked. It was a Friday, and students were making the short commute between the elementary school and the Cudell Recreation Center, located just a stone’s throw northwest. A group of toddlers had gathered with their teachers—likely a preschool daycare—along a bench that bordered a butterfly garden. Continue reading The Butterfly Effect

Public City’s 3D-Printed Models Illuminate What Drawings Can’t

It’s a very complicated project, but because of the way we’ve been able to explore it and show people exactly what we mean, I think we’ve been able to take the conversation a lot farther a lot more quickly than we would have been able to in traditional drawings.”

 Liz Wreford

Several colorful 3-D models of thunderhead forms that informed the design of an LGBTQ+ memorial in Winnipeg.
Image courtesy Taylor LaRocque, Public City.

The Winnipeg, Canada-based firm Public City has its office’s 3D printers humming for all its projects, says Liz Wreford, the firm’s cofounder and principal landscape architect. For Thunderhead, the winning competition design for the 2SLGBTQI+ National Monument in Ottawa, the concept was rooted in the prairie landscape and the experience of both dread and celebration that a thunderhead brings. Continue reading Public City’s 3D-Printed Models Illuminate What Drawings Can’t

Home Grown

Refugia  converts homeowners into native plant advocates, one lawn at a time.

By Jared Brey

A well-grown natural habitat lawn
Refugia specializes in transforming lawns into pollinator-friendly habitats. Photo by Kayla Fell for Refugia.

Jeff Lorenz stood under the mid-June sun at FDR Park, monitoring the final touches on his company’s exhibit for the Philadelphia Flower Show. The exhibit space, ordinarily an asphalt parking lot, had been covered in mulch and lined with displays, all in the final moments of construction. Continue reading Home Grown

Made for the Marsh

A pair of landscape designers come up with a winning idea for the land-starved Louisiana coast.

By Timothy A. Schuler

Larix Underground’s floating planter alongside docks
Larix Underground’s floating planter is designed to be accessible in multiple locations, including alongside docks or even in the open water. Image courtesy Larix Underground.

Like many residents of southern Louisiana, the Indigenous residents of Grand Bayou Village, located among the southernmost reaches of Plaquemines Parish in the Mississippi River Delta and accessible only by boat, live with the varied effects of coastal land loss. Continue reading Made for the Marsh

Family Gathering

A Chicago garden calls a Black community pushed to the margins back together again.

By Zach Mortice

MKSK Community Garden Design
MKSK’s design for the community garden extends a Mauricio Ramirez mural onto the ground plane. Image courtesy MKSK.

Since 2009, a vacant lot turned community garden on the 4600 block of Winthrop Avenue in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood has commemorated the Winthrop Avenue Family, the descendants of a group of Black families who for much of the 20th century were confined to this one block of the predominantly white neighborhood. “Everybody who lived on the block [was] not necessarily blood-related, but we were so close we felt like we were, and still do,” says Emilie Lockridge, whose mother was born there in 1925.

Continue reading Family Gathering

A Deep Dive Into the Archive

Albert Kahn Associates mines original drawings for the restoration of the historic Ford House.

By Jeff Link

1929 plan the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House
The design team consulted Jens Jensen’s original drawings for the restoration, including this 1929 plan for the pool and lagoon. FOE31 Jens Jensen Drawings and Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.

The restoration of the 87-acre grounds of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan, may be among the most historically faithful re-creations of the work of Jens Jensen and Albert Kahn to date. Pieced together from Jensen’s original drawings, detailed construction logs, archival photographs, and digitized film reels, the restored landscape just outside Detroit features a 185,000-gallon clamshell-shaped pool, a lagoon, a meadow, and a wagon-wheel-shaped rose garden. 

Continue reading A Deep Dive Into the Archive