Category Archives: General

Tier Drops

Water out West is disappearing. Seven states, 30 tribes, and millions of people will need to adjust.

By Lisa Owens Viani

The Central Arizona Project carries Colorado River water across a stretch of desert north of Bouse, Arizona. Photo © Ted Wood/The Water Desk.

In early August 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation declared the first ever Tier 1 shortage for the Colorado River, based on the agency’s projection that Lake Mead would drop below a threshold of 1,075 feet above sea level in January. Water levels in the river’s two main reservoirs—Lake Powell (behind Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona) and Lake Mead (behind Hoover Dam on the Arizona–Nevada border)—are now at their lowest since they were filled and flows in the river have declined. Continue reading Tier Drops

Sketching the Housing Crisis

A pandemic sketchbook becomes a prompt to design activism.

Text and images by Daniel Winterbottom, FASLA

Daniel Winterbottom, FASLA, sketching outdoors. He calls urban sketching a public act, one of vulnerability and frustration balanced with unique opportunities for dialogue, discovery, and fulfillment. In these conditions, the scene, weather, and stamina are always shifting. Focus, adaptation, fortitude, and luck become some of the best assets.

In The Thinking Hand, the Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa describes how sketching is a multilayered process of interpretation, one that requires rapid decisions and adjustments. For example, the darkening of one form affects our understanding of those around it, or when we notice the foreground object is a certain size, we understand that a distant object must be half the size, and so on. Through this continuing dialogue a memory is imprinted.

Continue reading Sketching the Housing Crisis

April LAM: Designing Policy

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FOREGROUND    

In the Tank (Water)
Amid the wetlands and steel plants of Chicago’s Big Marsh Park, a new water recycling system at the Ford Calumet Environmental Center renews the region’s ecological potential.

       Tavern on the Scene (Preservation)
The historic Dunham Tavern in Midtown Cleveland was a destination of interest to all but its neighbors. Merritt Chase and LAND Studio folded the community and some missing pieces of the region’s story into a new master plan for the landscape.

FEATURES     

In Their Elements
Farm, family, and the fundamentals of drawing, topped with a dash of social media, might seem like an uncommon recipe for a nationally recognized landscape architecture firm. But at Stimson, that’s just how they’ve always done it.

The Year of the Superstudio
With its clarion call for green jobs, environmental justice, and national decarbonization, the Green New Deal reads like a set of prompts for a landscape architecture studio, so why not make it one? Inside the yearlong experiment in grounding policy in real-life regional problems.

The full table of contents for April can be found here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be posting April articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “In Their Elements,” Ngoc Doan; “The Year of the Superstudio,” Yuehui Gong, courtesy LAF; “Tavern on the Scene,” Merritt Chase; “In the Tank,” Tom Harris.

Awards Focus: Auckland International Airport

LAM is highlighting student and professional winners from the 2021 ASLA Awards by asking designers to share an outtake that tells an important part of their project’s narrative.

 

Auckland International Airport

Surfacedesign, Inc.

General Design Honor Award

Image courtesy Surfacedesign, Inc.

“Surfacedesign gathered and reused stones from the fields around the airport, reshaping them into mounds and landforms along the roads. These stones figure prominently in Māori culture and agriculture. Continue reading Awards Focus: Auckland International Airport

Taken Away

A new memorial marks the site where 8,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned in the San Francisco Bay area.

By Lydia Lee

The flowering cherry is a Japanese cultural icon that symbolizes resilience. Renderings courtesy RHAA.

Eighty years ago, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast were forced out of their homes and into prison camps for the three-year duration of the war. In the San Francisco Bay Area, they reported to the euphemistically named Tanforan Assembly Center, a hastily converted racetrack just south of San Francisco. Continue reading Taken Away

February LAM: Quad, Canopy, Connection

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FOREGROUND

A Canopy Where It Counts (Planning)
After a storm devastated the urban forest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the city recruited Confluence and Jeff Speck, Honorary ASLA, to help it grow back stronger.

FEATURES

Northern Star
The University of Michigan’s midcentury North Campus was an emblem of then-current campus design—suburban and car-centric but lacking a feeling of place. With a few deft moves, Stoss Landscape Urbanism’s redesign of the central quad brought in light, texture, and topographical drama, and the students followed.

The full table of contents for February can be found here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be posting February articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: Cover photo and “Northern Star,” Millicent Harvey; “A Canopy Where It Counts,” Todd Bannor/Alamy Stock Photo.

Awards Focus: Criminalized for their Very Existence

LAM is highlighting student and professional winners from the 2021 ASLA Awards by asking designers to share an outtake that tells an important part of their project’s narrative.

Criminalized for Their Very Existence: The Spatial Politics of Homelessness

Student Research Award of Excellence

Image courtesy Jared Edgar McKnight, Associate ASLA.

“So much of my project’s foundation was rooted in research into the Los Angeles Municipal Code and the data and statistics that revealed the criminalization that exists for unhoused individuals in Los Angeles, but it was not until I performed my interviews with a group of LGBTQIA+ unhoused youths in Los Angeles that I really found the soul of my project. Continue reading Awards Focus: Criminalized for their Very Existence