Tag Archives: By M. Zeiger

Recovering, Again


An aerial view of the Venice Beach skatepark in California. Pascal Shirley, photographs; Alex Freidin/Hangar 21, helicopters.

As the country confronts economic stalemate, Chad Ress’s photographs prompt comparisons with imperfect efforts to rebuild in the past.


On February 17, 2009, less than a month after his inauguration, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Continue reading Recovering, Again

Live and Learn

Algorithms are bringing new kinds of evidence and predictive powers to the shaping of landscapes.

By Mimi Zeiger

Anya Domlesky, ASLA, and Emily Schlickman, ASLA, analyzed public use of more than two dozen pocket parks and small plazas in Manhattan. Image courtesy XL Lab/SWA Group.

Tree. Person. Bike. Person. Person. Tree. Anya Domlesky, ASLA, an associate at SWA in Sausalito, California, rattles off how she and the firm’s innovation lab team train a computer to recognize the flora and fauna in an urban plaza. Continue reading Live and Learn

Oakland Replay

A beloved Lake Merritt play sculpture is a reminder that creativity is a public good.

By Mimi Zeiger

Children swarmed over the play structure in its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s. Courtesy Oakland Public Library, Oakland History Room.

Guiding the transition of San Francisco’s Presidio from military base to national park may be the standout accomplishment of the landscape architect and parks administrator William Penn Mott Jr., who assumed the helm of the U.S. National Park Service in 1985, but it’s a little “monster” from early in Mott’s career that has received renewed attention. Continue reading Oakland Replay

Traces of Self-Exile

A new biography of James Rose explores his difficult brilliance.

By Mimi Zeiger 

A view nearly without boundaries from inside to out at Rose’s house in Ridgewood, New Jersey. From Progressive Architecture (1954).

“Words! Can we ever untangle them?” reads James Rose’s opening salvo in Pencil Points. Appearing in the definitive journal of modernist design thought, the landscape designer’s 1939 essay rejects preconceived ideas of formal or informal design and makes the case for an organic and materials-based approach—an argument approaching revelation at a time when Beaux-Arts methodologies held sway. Continue reading Traces of Self-Exile