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Think Inside the Box

The green bike box that is! National Geographic contained an article last month called “A Bicycle Bump” which featured Portland, Oregon for it’s “171 miles of bike lanes, ten freshly painted green boxes (picture from the article above) that put cyclists safely ahead of vehicles, even some signals just for bikes.” And this isn’t the first time the yellow-bordered magazine has featured Portland. In the August 2008 issue, it named Portland the number one city in the top five bike-friendly cities in the nation. It’s of no surprise that biking is on the rise. With gas prices soaring, more and more people are parking the car and choosing to pedal to work. How do they measure this? According to National Geographic, it’s by the additional bikes being...Read More

Celebrate Skateboarding!

I recently walked past a parking lot that should’ve been empty but instead was full of kids having set up makeshift skateboard ramps. There must have been about 10 kids there. But the most interesting part is that there is a small area to skate just a block away from the parking lot and a brand new state-of-the-art skate park just a 5 minute drive away. And yet here are more kids out in parking lots. The demand for areas where kids can skate is continuously amazing me. This brought back to my mind the old never-ending discussion topic of skaters amongst landscape professionals. Do you deter them, instlaling all sorts of different metal shapes into your seat walls or do you let ’em ride? I definitely fall into the latter group to the point where I don’t just want to let th...Read More

Book Review: The Colors of Nature, Subtropical Gardens Gardens by Raymond Jungles

The Colors of Nature: Subtropical Gardens by Raymond Jungles By Raymond Jungles Monacelli Press PURCHASE From the Land8 Bookstore One might think that a person with the last name of “Jungles” would be destined either to be a wilderness explorer and nature-lover or a master landscape designer who creates lush tropical gardens. With Raymond Jungles, we have both. Raymond Jungles is the recipient of numerous awards and has been recognized in publication such as Luxury Gardens of the World (2008), Collection of International Landscape Designers (2008), RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design (2009). In his latest book, “The Colors of Nature,” Jungles showcases more than 20 of his residential projects spanning over the last 20 years. From the a rooftop garden to backyard retreats, the book is full of...Read More

What a Picture is Worth

by Adam Regn Arvidson, ASLA Starting up a new website is hard, especially when you’re trying to create a niche that wasn’t there before — and are hoping to make a little money, too. Chris Whitis, along with partner Brian Phelps, has spent most of his free time over the past few years doing just that. is a searchable image database of the built environment. It has tens of thousands of high-resolution photos ready for download. It is, in a word, voluminous. Because sitephocus was specifically created for design professionals, the images are of things we actually want to see: streetscapes, rain gardens, bollards, paving patterns, etc. But the hordes haven’t exactly come running, and ASLA has seen the site as a potential advertiser, rather than a good reso...Read More

Letter to a Young Landscape Architecture Student (pursuing a career in healthcare design)

I got this letter from a soon-to-be-graduating BLA student who is looking to work in the field of healthcare design in landscape architecture. It’s a question I get a lot, so I thought I’d share her letter and my response on the blog. Hope it’s useful! “I found your website through the Land8Lounge Therapeutic Landscapes Network group. I am currenty a fifth year student, receiving my BLA and will be graduating in May. I am very interested in therapeutic landscapes and used the Therapeutic Landscapes Database you created frequently last semester in a Healthcare and Therapeutic Site Design Studio. Upon my graduation in the spring, I am looking to join a firm which focuses on therapeutic landscapes – or has a component of the firm which deals with designing for he...Read More

5 Examples of Better Bike Infrastructure (Tree Hugger)

5 Examples of Better Bike Infrastructure by April Streeter, Gothenburg, Sweden on 01.19.09 Bike transport innovations just never get the same mainstream media coverage – or popularity, even on TreeHugger – that car news enjoys. Yet so much is happening as bike sharing booms in cities and on college campuses across the world, ridership increases, and the bike industry is one of the few that is seemingly insensitive to economic mayhem! In the bike universe, small changes in infrastructure are making a big difference (mostly better) in bike commuters’ lives. So here we give you a few of the ideas becoming more popular in improving bike transport, safety, and...Read More

Contact Congress to Restore Funding For National Mall

I received this email from ASLA about the stimulus package and want to help get the word out to everyone on Land8lounge. On Tuesday evening the House Rules Committee stripped a provision from the stimulus package that would have provided $200 million to refurbish the National Mall. Please contact your Congressperson and Senators and urge them to restore this critical funding for our National Mall. This much-needed funding would not only help to address the $350 million backlog of maintenance projects associated with the Mall, it would also provide important jobs for landscape architects, engineers, construction and maintenance workers and a host of other local professions. Opponents of the Mall funding argue that it is wasteful or non-stimulative. However, many small businesses, including ...Read More

A little British water feature humor…

After walking through Potter’s Field Park in London I happened upon these water jets… Oh how I love British humor!

Spatial Artifacts: Eckbo Uncovered

{Bay Lido Building Pocket Park, 1958, Garrett Eckbo. Apologies for the poor quality. Image Via: Modern Landscape for Living} Friend, neighbor, fellow OSU alum, and landscape architect Kevin Newrones, while reading Modern Landscapes for Living, realized that one of the photos featured in the book was a 1958 Garrett Eckbo pocket park that stood just up the road from our homes. In general, the notoriety of acclaimed landscape architecture projects are typically limited to that of our own kind, and even in that regard, we are, at least I certainly am, capable of standing in a space designed by one of the greats and would not necessarily notice. Inspired by a trip to Boston, in which another LA friend had extensively mapped out all the landscape architectural nodes of significance. A map which ...Read More

Terragrams dispatches interview with Liat Margolis, co-authur of Living Systems

Liat Margolis joins Terragrams for dispatch 17. Listen at Trained as an industrial designer as well as a landscape architect, she co-authored the book “Living Systems, Innovative Materials & Technologies for Landscape Architecture.” Liat received a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She was the Materials director for Material ConneXion, a materials research and consulting company in New York City, recently worked at the landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates and is currently a special lecturer at the University of Toronto. Liat discusses her book Living Systems, her engagement with the world of materials, the GSD Materials Collection, the Unive...Read More

Mr. Rogers Green Neighborhood

Recently, I happened to be flipping through the channels and I happened upon an old episode of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, one that originally aired on April 16, 1999, and yet it looked so very old. I would’ve kept going but it had just started and I saw the title of this particular episode “Mr. Rogers Talks About the Enivornment”. And it was in fact one episode out of a whole weeks theme on caring for the environment and taking a look at how children can work together with their parents to help care for our planet. The episode started out by Mr. Rogers receiving a greeting card and talking about how to convert a used greeting card into a new greeting card that you can send it to someone else. You simply tear carefully along the fold of the card to remove the top, thus makin...Read More

February Photoshop Tutorial: Blend Mode Breakdown

I often see people painstakingly cutting out backgrounds that don’t need to be cut simply because they don’t fully understand the power of Blend Modes. I remember the day that I starting fully using these crazy things and it was a lot like the day I discovered Photoshop and the whole concept of layers…the amazing possibilities just blew me away. If you have never used Blend Modes or you’ve played around with them and thought that they were interesting but you didn’t really how to control them, this one’s for you. I’ll try to break it down into some simple terms and point out the most useful ones in our type of rendering work with some examples. First, here are the Blend Modes, grouped into their blending categories: Normal (default setting, no blen...Read More

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