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What Lessons Can We Draw from One Spadina Crescent?

Article by Moreira Filho One Spadina Crescent by NADAAA with the leadership of Nader Tehrani and Katie Faulkner along with Adamson Associates, Public Work, and ERA Architects in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Located on Spadina Avenue and the north side of College Street in Toronto, this building was constructed in a roundabout that interrupts and divides the avenue. It’s impossible to pass through without seeing it, as it’s a monumental sculpture that seems to grow into the skies as you approach. Built in 1875 to house Knox College – incorporated by the University of Toronto (U of T) 12 years later – it used to harbor a theological seminary, military hospital, various departments of U of T, and a penicillin factory. Rendering this building, and giving it back to Torontonians and worldwide cit...Read More

What’s on the Horizon for Landscape Architecture?

Landscape architects work at a slow pace. While your projects and deadlines might argue, the design and construction process seems like molasses when compared to the speed of today’s world. Some would argue that to keep up with this unrelenting velocity, we have forgotten that being slow allowed us to be more methodical and precise. Others say that in order to stay relevant, we should broaden our scope to quickly fight global problems like climate change, sustainability, and social issues. Still, others worry that our unrelenting focus on ecology has made us forget the art and beauty that design brings to the built world. LAF’s New Landscape Declaration wants you to realize landscape architecture’s potential. Image Courtesy of lafoundation.org Our industry’s leading...Read More

Garden Designers and Landscape Architects: Resolving the Identity Crisis

Article by Win Phyo We explore the key differences between a garden designer and a landscape architect.  When is a garden designer a landscape architect/designer? Are they rivals or are they on par? This article is mainly inspired by conversations I have had with those outside the profession, unfamiliar with the scope of work of a landscape architect. Landscape architects/designers often get confused with garden designers, however the questions that are being asked above are not the right ones. This is not a written piece on comparison of skill or qualifications, but meant to address the right questions and consider the importance of answering them. Behold, the following paragraphs will resolve this identity crisis by revisiting the root definitions and exploring the fundamental aspects, c...Read More

Two Famous American Urban Parks Demonstrate How Citizens Changed in 160 Years

Article by Maria Giovanna Drago We examine how urban parks in the United States have evolved over the last 160 years through a comparison of New York City’s Central Park and Chicago’s Millennium Park. Society has continually changed throughout history, often in reaction to events and novelties. Important time periods, such as industrial revolutions and wars have influenced the way of life and because of these events some people favored living in fast-paced cities while others in the countryside. These progressions can be seen in the layout of cities, particularly the urban parks. Parks allow us to better understand the struggle between nature and the built environment. Even though it seems that more attention is usually given to the expansion of cities, over the centuries urban...Read More

10 Reasons to Go on a Landscape Architecture Exchange

Article by Emily Sinclair Discover why landscape architecture students should embark on a foreign exchange.  There are many clear advantages to participating in an exchange program during your time in university. From learning a new language to experiencing a new culture, becoming a foreign exchange student can change your perspective on the world around you. As landscape architecture students, we all deal with the design of spaces and the surrounding environments in our projects. While we can study theory, and delve into case studies of monumental landscape works, there is no alternative to visiting the space in person. Traveling is always an option, but there are benefits to spending a semester abroad as a landscape architecture student. 10. Exposure to Projects As mentioned above, while...Read More

How Jardin des Rives Brings People to Nature and Nature to Man

Article by Radenka Kolarov Jardin des Rives by Studio Basta in Amiens, France. Les Hortillonnages d’Amiens is an area that stretches alongside the Somme River. Since Roman times, the land has been hard and unusable so food was cultivated on small islands in the water. In modern times, the food crops were largely lost, leaving many islands unused and without a purpose. The MCA wanted to change this and with the help of Studio Basta organized a festival for art and gardening in this area. Inspired by the ancient Roman islands, still found on the water, Studio Basta built two wooden terraces that include benches combined with native plants arranged in a perfect order of color and composition. History As an Inspiration? There are projects all around the world that have used the history o...Read More

Designing a Barcode Patterned Square: Täby Torg Square by Polyform Architects

Article by Gwgw Kalligiannaki Täby Torg Square by Polyform Architects in Täby, Sweden. In the 1960s, the City of Täby joined the Swedish “Million Programme” to help solve the housing problems in the city. The project’s goal was to build one million apartments in a short period of time and to provide a roof for all. Although the speedy rebuild was very successful, the town’s appearance was monotonous and lacked public space. Therefore, in the early 2000s, the Municipality of Täby decided it was time to resolve the issue and transform the public, urban life of their citizens. To do this, they selected the parking lot of the city’s main shopping center and converted it into a space to host public events and activities. Danish firm Polyform Architects was commissioned for the design of the New...Read More

What Roles Can Landscape Architecture Play for Physically Challenged People?

Article by Farah Afza Jurekh In this article we look at the fundamentals of universal design. Universal accessibility is widely considered by landscape architects. However, beyond functional elements such as crosswalks with sound cues, there are very few landscapes that are designed to engage the senses and provide benefits to the visually impaired. Landscape design principles offer an array of opportunities to the people who are visually impaired and physically challenged to ensure their ease in movement and comfort. Visually Impaired People When visually impaired people negotiate with the outside world, their hands and feet become their eyes. They use their feet to acquire surface information and fingers to recognize texture, form, and location. Additionally, the blind rely on other sens...Read More

Why Do Some Graduate Landscape Architects Have a Poor Understanding of Planting?

Article by Kamil Rawski In this article we examine what knowledge young professionals lack about planting that every landscape architect should know. In the pursuit of a landscape architecture degree, students have the opportunity to acquire a wealth of knowledge on planting, but as with other subjects there are some students who take this issue more seriously than others. Very often creating planting plans is reduced to composing different spatial forms due to size, shape, or aesthetic qualities of vegetation. In theory, designers are always able to make a space more attractive to the user by applying appropriate plantings, mainly because most people enjoy colorful combinations of blooming flowers. However, ornamental plantings aren’t the only situation where plants can be used. Treating ...Read More

Latest News Landscape Architecture July Edition

10-July-2017 – Latest News Landscape Architecture July by Brett Lezon | Edition No. 2 out of 5 In this week’s Latest News in Landscape Architecture we highlight National Park and Recreation Month in the United States, feature a proposed astronomy park in Hanoi, and examine the world’s most biodiverse city. Additionally, we showcase a book about retrofitting the built environment with green infrastructure, and don’t forget our YouTube Tutorial of the Week! This week we share a resource on quirky technological advances for designers. 10 of the Best Stories in this week’s latest news in landscape architecture: 5 Super Cool Gadgets for Architects & Designers #3 (2017) Next Punch [YouTube Tutorial of the Week] Which is the World’s Most Biodiverse City? Moscow will Bring Back Gardens t...Read More

The Necessity of Advocacy: Amplifying the Intersection of Landscape Architecture and the Policies That Support the Profession

Democracy operates on engagement and relationships. To elevate the profile of landscape architecture, the public outreach of the profession’s government affairs must move beyond the virtue based rationalization and create arguments that resonate and connect. Without effective involvement, landscape architects risk substantial economic costs and lessen the overall impact of our work. McKinsey and Company notes that, “the business value at stake from government and regulatory intervention is huge: about 30 percent of earnings for companies in most industries.” That figures roughly $630M in potential impact to landscape architecture design services nationally, using figures from a 2015 NEA Report. From fighting regulation battles to continual challenges of marketplace jurisdiction and scope, ...Read More

Urban Parks: Designers’ Perspective – Part II

“Each neighborhood of the city appeared to be made of a different substance, each seemed to have a different air pressure, a different psychic weight: the bright lights and shuttered shops, the housing projects and luxury hotels, the fire escapes and city parks.” -Teju Cole *This article is part 2 of a 2 part article. You can find Part I here. How does proximity to the urban core affect an urban park? “It depends on how you are defining “urban park.” Those within a 10 minute walk are most likely to use a park. A park in an urban area need not be in the urban core to be successful, provided that it serves a decent population and caters to that population’s needs.” – Landoll “Your target demographics and stakeholders can vary greatly, whether it be a city of 10,000 or 500,000. Ar...Read More

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