Posted in EDUCATION, LAM ONLINE, PEOPLE, PRACTICE, tagged Chicago Riverwalk, Collaboration, diversity, equity, Gina Ford, Into an Era of Landscape Humanism, LAMcast, Landscape Architecture Foundation, progressive values, Sasaki on March 9, 2017|
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Sasaki Principal Gina Ford’s prescriptions for landscape architecture’s future are a succinct set of progressive values: diversity, equity, and collaboration. At her Landscape Architecture Foundation presentation titled “Into an Era of Landscape Humanism,” the designer of the Chicago Riverwalk outlines how landscape architects have to reflect the diversity of the growing populations they serve in order to meet clients’ needs, design in ways that address historic gaps in access to restorative landscapes, and collaborate across professional boundaries to knit together holistic and healthy environments. It’s a definition of landscape design that begins with human needs and social realities, and lets landscape architects’ unique and critical talents flow into the world from there.
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Posted in CITIES, EDUCATION, LAM MAGAZINE, PLANNING, PLANTS, RECREATION, tagged arroyos, Biohabitats, Boulders, Campus Design, Chihuahuan Desert, Christine Ten Eyck, Lake|Flato, Mountains, Ryan Associates, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, University of Texas at El Paso on January 30, 2017|
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BY MARK HOUGH, FASLA
Ten Eyck Landscape Architects reimagines the campus at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Christine Ten Eyck, FASLA, recalls driving across Arizona in the summer of 2012, talking on the phone with one of her clients at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). It was about a dream project: the opportunity to redesign the landscape of a historic university and create a major open space as its ceremonial heart. On the call, she was making the case to Greg McNicol, the school’s associate vice president for facilities management, that her firm, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, based in Austin, Texas, should lead the project rather than be subconsultant to an architecture firm as had been the plan. Her argument was simple: The scope of the work was almost entirely landscape architecture.
Ten Eyck successfully persuaded administrators to give her firm the job, even though they were skeptical at first that a landscape architect could lead such a complex project. Notable among the people she won over was Diana Natalicio, who had been hired as UTEP’s first female president in 1988. During her tenure, (more…)
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Posted in ECOLOGY, EDUCATION, LAM MAGAZINE, LAND MATTERS, tagged Bradford McKee, Clean Power Plan, coal, Congress, December, EPA, Keystone XL pipeline, oil drilling, presidency, Trump, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on November 15, 2016|
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BY BRADFORD McKEE
Courtesy Peretz Partensky [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.
There can scarcely be any overstating the threat the Trump presidency poses to the interests of the landscape architecture community, which center ardently on the welfare of human society and ecology and the planet. If design is the sum of all constraints, as Charles and Ray Eames said, this presidency will be the greatest constraint many of us will work under in our lifetimes, on the order of anathema to everything landscape architecture has ever stood for. We have to get right to work and be very canny about it, or the Trump administration, along with a Congress controlled by some of the most venal people ever to lodge themselves into American politics, will be a disaster well beyond the many ways we can name even now.
During the campaign, Trump’s positions on public policy, such as they were—and fairly obscured by endless evidence of his career as a liar, a swindler, a bully, a bigot, and a sexual predator—did not, to me, warrant detailed study. They weren’t policies in any developed sense. (OK, there was the child-care one, but what was that?) They consisted largely of frequent impulsive eruptions calculated only to produce outrage among his disaffected rabble and people of greater composure, though different strains of outrage, for sure. However masterful he is at plucking a populace, in terms of governance I kept thinking of the line about the French revanchist and anti-Semite Paul Déroulède, who was said to have “the political vision of a child.” If you heard what I heard during Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention this summer, you got a gothic harangue of wild paranoia and vengeance. It was pure Tarantino. I found myself fantasizing that Ronald Reagan would appear in the form of a fireball to relay a few words from God.
No, what got my attention most then and since is the Republican Party platform. The section on natural resources begins on page 17. On oil drilling: “[W]e support the (more…)
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Posted in EDUCATION, LAM MAGAZINE, MATERIALS, PEOPLE, STUDENTS, tagged Aggregate, Decomposed granite, Envirobond, Forensics, higher education, Kafka Granite, Kenyon College, MVVA, Ohio, panel, Paving, Walking Path on November 8, 2016|
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BY NEIL BUDZINSKI AND MATTHEW GIRARD
A forensic approach found the best decomposed granite solution for Kenyon College.
Decomposed granite pavement (DG) is a textured and responsive paving material used on paths and plazas. Yet the quiet appearance of DG masks material and construction complexities that shape the outcome of the built work and belie what may appear to be a simple installation. In 2010, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), where we are senior associates, was hired to prepare a master plan for Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Over several years of our working with Kenyon to renovate its historic Middle Path, the challenges of this material were revealed and met through a program of design-phase mock-ups, manufacturer’s product development, and innovations in installation methods. We have learned several lessons regarding the product and the methods that change the way we specify and oversee the installation of this seemingly simple material.
Kenyon’s landscape is organized around Middle Path, a 3,600-foot-long walk made from a local river stone. The material of Middle Path, cherished for its color, texture, looseness, and sound, (more…)
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Posted in EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, IDEAS, LAM MAGAZINE, PLANNING, PRACTICE, RESEARCH, STUDENTS, tagged ASLA, AutoCAD, computer, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Gale Fulton, Geographic Information Systems, Grasshopper, hand-drawing, Heike Rahmann, Jillian Walliss, Landscape Architecture and Digital Technologies, representation, Rhino, technology on October 27, 2016|
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REVIEWED BY GALE FULTON, ASLA
Warning: possible confirmation bias ahead.
One of the most perplexing aspects of landscape architecture education and practice that I’ve encountered is what I’ll grossly refer to here as representation. In the nearly two decades that I’ve been a student, professional, or involved in some capacity with teaching at the university level, I can think of no other domain as consistently polarizing than the critically important area of how landscape architects generate and communicate their ideas. Perhaps the most pernicious aspect of this issue is the ongoing divide between digital and analog processes—using the computer versus hand drawing. At first glance, one may likely assume this issue to simply be generational—older generations of designers were not educated in the use of the computer and so are less accepting of it than of those techniques and media with which they were trained. But, surprisingly, there seems to be a continued skepticism or distancing from advanced computational processes even by those of the postdigital generations, which is much more troubling given that these will be the future leaders of the discipline, and, as the authors of this book so effectively demonstrate, not embracing the digital in a robust way at this point significantly reduces the potential of the discipline to have the type of impact it aspires to have.
Landscape Architecture and Digital Technologies: Re-Conceptualising Design and Making, by Jillian Walliss and Heike Rahmann, both academics based in Australia, is a well-reasoned, well-written, and at times polemical book. It critiques landscape architecture’s failure to more fully embrace the potentials of digital media. It educates readers about the ways designers are using sophisticated digital processes right now in very real professional and academic projects and research. And it aspires for landscape architecture to leverage digital technology (more…)
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Posted in BOOKS, CLIMATE, ECOLOGY, EDUCATION, HABITAT, INTERVIEW, LAM MAGAZINE, PLANTS, tagged Alabama, ASLA, Central Park, Claudia West, Designing Plant Communities For Resilient Landscapes, Germany, Margie Ruddick, native plants, New York City, Oehme van Sweden, Philadelphia, Planting in a Post-Wild World, Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing Landscapes, Thomas Rainer, Wild by Design on July 12, 2016|
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Margie Ruddick and Thomas Rainer talk about their new books on wild landscape design.
In the past several months, Thomas Rainer, ASLA, and Margie Ruddick have each published books centered around notions of designing “wild” landscapes in the public realm to help restore ecological diversity in urban settings. Ruddick’s book is Wild by Design: Strategies for Creating Life-Enhancing Landscapes (Island Press, $45), and Rainer’s is Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes (Timber Press, $39.95). We invited the two to ASLA’s offices to talk about the project they have in common. This interview has been edited and condensed.
Why did you each decide to write books on wildness in landscape design?
Margie Ruddick: I didn’t actually think of my work as wild at all until Anne Raver wrote this piece, “In Philadelphia, Going Green or Growing Wild?” [about Ruddick’s home garden, in the New York Times], and then I started to get e-mails from people all around the world, and I realized: This is wild gardening.
Thomas Rainer: It felt like a good place to be, and we [Rainer and his coauthor, Claudia West, International ASLA] are both plant geeks. We had a lot of practical problems to work out in terms of how to (more…)
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Posted in COMPETITIONS, EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, LAM MAGAZINE, NOW, PLAYGROUNDS, tagged Alexa Bosse, Associate ASLA, Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, Charles Miller, charrette, childhood education, Community Design Collaborative, Daniel Jost, Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, Design Competition, development, Ground Reconsidered Landscape Architecture, Infill Philadelphia, Julie Bush, library, Meghan Talarowski, Meliora Environmental Design, nature, palette, Parent-Infant Center, Philadelphia, play, Play Space, recreation center, Roofmeadow, school, Sharon Easterling, Studio Ludo, Tamara Clark, Tavis Dockwiller, Viridian Landscape Studio, William Penn Foundation on July 7, 2016|
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BY DANIEL JOST
A yearlong design campaign in Philadelphia promotes the value of recreation.
Today, young children spend much of their time in schools and child-care centers, but these places rarely offer rich outdoor environments for unstructured play. That’s a problem, says Sharon Easterling, the executive director of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children. Such play is not just a leisure activity. It’s how children learn. “Good early-
childhood education is really hands-on, play-based learning,” she says.
Over the past year, the association and the Community Design Collaborative in Philadelphia have partnered to bring attention to the important role that play—and thoughtfully designed play environments—can have on children’s intellectual, emotional, social, and physical development. As part of an initiative called Infill Philadelphia: Play Space, they created an exhibit, brought in speakers, hosted a charrette, and sponsored a design competition.
Their Play Space Design Competition, funded by the William Penn Foundation, sought ideas for (more…)
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