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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Balsley Associates’

LIVE AND LEARN

BY MIMI ZEIGER

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

FROM THE FEBRUARY 2019 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

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.

The effort is part of the firm’s mission to apply emergent technologies to landscape architecture. In pursuing the applied use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the research and innovation lab XL: Experiments in Landscape and Urbanism follows a small but growing number of researchers and practitioners interested in the ways the enigmatic yet ubiquitous culture of algorithms might be deployed in the field.

Examples of AI and machine learning are all around us, from the voice recognition software in your iPhone to the predictive software that drives recommendations for Netflix binges. While the financial and health care industries have quickly adopted AI, and use in construction and agriculture is steadily growing, conversations within landscape architecture as to how such tools translate to the design, management, and conservation of landscapes are still on the periphery for the field. This marginality may be because despite their everyday use, mainstream understandings of AI are clouded by clichés—think self-actualized computers or anthropomorphic robots. In a recent essay on Medium, Molly Wright Steenson, the author of Architectural Intelligence: How Designers and Architects Created the Digital Landscape (The MIT Press, 2017), argued that we need new clichés. “Our pop culture visions of AI are not helping us. In fact, they’re hurting us. They’re decades out of date,” she writes. “[W]e keep using the old clichés in order to talk about emerging technologies today. They make it harder for us to understand AI—what it is, what it isn’t, and what impact it will have on our lives.”

So then, what is a new vision—a vision of AI for landscape? (more…)

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The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.

xxx. Credit: Lisa DeJong.

Parkgoers enjoy dappled shade from the unique trellis covering the main walk along Perk Park. Credit: Lisa DeJong.

From “Freeze, Thaw, Flourish” by Steven Litt, in the August 2015 issue, featuring Perk Park in downtown Cleveland by Thomas Balsley Associates.

“The shallow depth of field pulls you through the image and creates a sense of movement along the path. That, with the red glow from the trellis, makes a dynamic and exciting image.”

—Chris McGee, LAM Art Director

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 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.

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In August’s issue of LAM, Philip Walsh finds that landscape architects could work harder than they do to restore lost wetlands in the United States. Steven Litt, in Cleveland, reports on how Perk Park, an acre of oasis downtown, by Thomas Balsley Associates, is making the city look harder at the value of well-designed open space. And in Washington, D.C., Bradford McKee checks out the new national headquarters of the U.S. Coast Guard with two dozen acres of green roofs and gardens by Andropogon and HOK.

In the departments, the Harvard Graduate School of Design appoints Anita Berrizbeitia, ASLA, as the chair of landscape architecture and Diane Davis as the chair of urban planning; a look at the watchdogs who track down plant growers who infringe on someone else’s patents; and the winners of the Boston Living with Water Competition aimed at envisioning a resilient city come sea-level rise. All this plus our regular Now, Species, Goods, and Books columns. The full table of contents for August can be found here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 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 ungating August articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “The Return of the Swamp,” Lisa Cowan, ASLA/StudioVerde; “Freeze, Thaw, Flourish,” © Scott Pease/Pease Photography, 2012; “The Wetter, the Better,” Judy Davis/Hoachlander Davis Photography; “New Chairs, Subtle Shifts,” Courtesy Harvard Graduate School of Design; “Plant Sheriff,” Courtesy Bailey Nurseries; “Boston from the Ground Floor,” Designed by Architerra; Courtesy Boston Living With Water.

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Welcome to February! Seasonal affective disorder, the malady common to this month’s dreary days, can be treated by looking at Santa Monica’s newest public space, Tongva Park, by James Corner Field Operations, on the cover of this month’s LAM. (For the cure, you will have to make your way to the park itself.) In Queens, a new waterfront park is built tough to take the threat of flooding head-on at Hunter’s Point South, designed by Thomas Balsley Associates and Weiss/Manfredi. A new homeless shelter in Portland, Oregon, has an excellent courtyard designed by Mayer/Reed specifically to encourage people in need to come inside for help. Along with the regular features in Goods, Books, and Species, the Now section features stories on reclaiming urban alleys and forums for urban design addicts, and Peter Harnik and Ryan Donahue of the Trust for Public Land examine why it’s so hard to get a new park built in the San Francisco Bay area. You can read the full table of contents for February here or preview the digital issue of the February LAM here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

Follow the the LAM blog, Facebook page,  and Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be ungating some of the February issue as the month rolls out.

Credits: Mission Creek Sports Court, Courtesy Ming Deng, Marta Fry Landscape Architects; Green Roof Bed Layers: Materials Assembly, Courtesy Gritlab; Tongva Park, Tim Street-Porter; Mesquite Trees, Adam Barbe, ASLA/Courtesy Ten Eyck Landscape Architects; Hunter’s Point South, Wade Zimmerman; Bud Clark Commons Plant Palette, Courtesy Mayer/Reed.

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