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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 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: with a course description here: The deadline is this Friday, March 6th. Please feel free to contact me at with any questions!

Capturing the worlds cities on foot

I proudly love walking around cities. If I can get there on foot, I will. I have thought for some time that it would be a fabulous side gig to just spend a huge chunk of time walking around a city and documenting the trip through pictures and blogging. image of a busker in Leeds via Lydia Heard As it turns out, someone is doing this! Her name is Lydia Heard and her blog called Citywalker is my new favorite blog. As an urban designer she has walked and studied many cities but currently resides in Seattle where she walks and documents the most. The best part is that she looks at city’s like I do, and like most of us do as designers. She discusses the details that we would find relevant and interesting in the public realm, green infrastructure, public transportion, architecture, and so ...Read More

Rendering Tutorial – Displacement Maps

Displacement maps are the third and most powerful of the common maps. Displacement maps can use the same black and white image that was developed for the bump map but instead of shifting the image while it stays flat, the Displacement map actually generates geometry by using the map as a heightfield where white is the most displacement and black is the least. So, instead of appearing to have depth, displacment maps actually give the texture depth. But because they are creating geometry displacement maps are also the most computer intensive and take the longest to render. So let’s look at our wall again. With no maps With just a bump map And finally, with a Displacement map As you can see the displacement map brings the texture to life and interacts with the scene’s light source. I have als...Read More

Rendering Tutorial – Bump Maps

Bump maps are the next step in giving a texture some life. Bump maps adjust the image but don’t actually change geometry, giving the texture the appearance of having depth. Like transparency maps, bump maps are black and white conversions of the original texture image but probably aren’t as extreme in their conversion, and keep a lot more greys than transparency’s usually do. In a bump map the image is adjusted based on grey scale values. White has the most adjustment while black stays flat. Shades of grey adjust accordingly. They are applied in the Map section of the Vray Materials editor in a similar way to the transparency map. You will probably have to attempt the bump map black and white conversion a few times before you get it right, this one isn’t perfect, it gives some glare to the...Read More

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