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McHarg’s Design with Nature Revisited

I have to admit my first attempt to read Ian McHarg’s Design with Nature while in school was haphazard to say the least. But there was drinking, tomfoolery to be had, and skirts to chase, what concern did I have with the environment and my impact on it as a designer. Well now that I’m older, wiser, and MUCH more mature (pronounced MU-T-OOR) I’ve been revisiting icons of landscape architecture literature. After reading Design with Nature I felt an immediate connection to McHarg’s belief’s and amazed by his teachings, written in 1969, are the very principles which some landscape architects today hale as “New Trends” in landscape architecture known as sustainable design. Well it’s certainly not new, and isn’t sustainable design synonymous with the practice of landscape architecture? Its unfor...Read More

Mistakes in the Landscape: Part I

LESSON LEARNED: A Tree Well Detail I remember when I saw Michael Jordan miss a dunk in game 3 of the semi-finals against the New York Knicks. I was shocked and so was everyone else watching. They did not seem to know what to say. We were used to seeing a high-flying, gravity-defying, basketball god plastered on magazine covers, posters, and cereal boxes. It was an eye-opening experience that taught me a valuable lesson. Even the best players make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes and, usually, we try very hard to make sure nobody notices. Right!? Well, that is not always the case. In Jordan’s case, he could not avoid the millions of spectators. Here is a “slam dunk” (well, maybe not as spectacular) that one of my favorite designers missed on a project of hers in San Franc...Read More

Book Review: Natural Architecture

NATURAL ARCHITECTURE by Alessandro Rocca Princeton Architectural Press, New York Where does landscape architecture stop and landscape art begin? The artists and architects in Natural Architecture have transformed the act of building into an art form capable of sparking new relationships with nature, landscape, and the environment. Natural Architecture presents sixty-six site-specific installations that use raw materials such as twigs, pebbles, and straw found on the site to create truly green architecture that is as organic as the materials with which it is created. Projects by Olafur Eliasson, Patrick Dougherty, Nils-Udo, Ex. Studio, Edward Ng, nArchitects, and many others are shown together for the first time. Selected for their commitment to the use of raw materials, manual labor, and n...Read More

Modern Tropical (scan) Book

Interactive Bus Shelters

As landscape architects we are consistently trying to involve the user in their environment and to create spaces that inspire, engage and even educate people of all ages. We do this through a variety of design strategies, often employing different and cutting edge techniques that turn a simple landscape into an dynamic and interactive world. Now advertisers are beginning to follow our lead when they take their campaigns to the street. In particular, bus shelters are a great place to not only grab hold of a captive audience but many people waiting for their next bus are looking for something to take their mind off the wait. These days marketing campaigns take advantage of all the senses, not just sight, to engage their audience in something exciting, turning the once simple shelters into a ...Read More

Language Lessons

by Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA www.treeline.biz Strategic communications is, perhaps, a lot like landscape architecture. Both are focused on understanding a client and then creating something specifically for them. Both rely on long-cultivated talent to create successful outcomes. Neither is well-understood by the general population. Christina Marshall has been practicing strategic communications (public relations, marketing, branding, media planning) for more than 20 years. Her company, Toronto-based Vivant Communications, has done work for the provincial government and various professional organizations. More recently, Christina has been working with landscape design firms. I asked her what it’s like to deal with us, and how the planners, sketchers, artists, designers, and detailers out the...Read More

::GIS (Geographical Information System) Conference Around The World::

Those who are interested in GIS either a new beginner or hardcore in this powerful technology, this is the way to broad your knowledges in GIS. Click here ——> GIS Conference

Terragrams dispatches interview with Dutch landscape architect Michael van Gessel

Michael van Gessel is a Dutch landscape architect with over 3 decades of experience that stretch back to the Agricultural College of Wageningen where he earned a BA in Plant Disease, another BA in Landscape Architecture and then an MA in Landscape Architecture. His professional experience was gained with the Dutch office Bakkker en Bleeker (now B+B) where he practiced for more than 25 years and directed the studio from 1991-1997. Since 1997 he has been enjoying self employment and independent consulting. In Terragrams 18, Michael discusses his approach to thinking about and designing landscapes, the fragility of Europe’s rural territory, as well as his work with B+B, the exhibition of his work at the Triennal of landscape in the dutch city of Apeldoorn, his recent monograph, and the 5th Bi...Read More

Sidewalk Illusions

Summer is a wonderful time full of non-stop events and one of my favorites are different ways of producing art whether it’s through meticulously sculpting a sand castle to look like one of the built wonders of the world, placing flowers in designs to look like intricately woven carpets or drawing an original work of art in chalk on the sidewalk. The latter can even go so far as to truly look like it could be on the sidewalk. Julian Beever is one such artist and he has been creating sidewalk masterpieces all over the world for over ten years. I especially love this coke bottle. Look at the amazing reflections on the bottle and the shadows on the pavement. I seriously thought there was a real giant bottle there when I saw it for the first time. He likes to get really interactive with h...Read More

The Sustainable Model for the World?

Could one block in Texas become just that? That’s the question asked by the City of Dallas and Urban Re:Vision in their latest design competition. Titled Re:Vision Dallas, the competition “is a revolutionary initiative to create the prototype for an innovative, sustainable urban community. At the heart of the process is a series of contests generating visionary ideas for what can and should be in the design about urban space.” They aren’t just asking for designers to take what we know and put it all together into one block but rather to challenge what we know and understand about creating a community that can sustain itself and the entire way in which a community should function. The idea is to go beyond today and truly look into the future and create a visionary co...Read More

Grading and Drainage Workshop, Skokie, IL, March 12-13

This may be your last chance to take our 2-Day Grading and Drainage Workshop, as I’m not sure I’ll be offering it again. You can read about our programs here: http://www.aaldweb.com/ with a course description here: http://www.aaldweb.com/courses/grading1.html The deadline is this Friday, March 6th. Please feel free to contact me at tim@aaldweb.com with any questions!

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