Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects › Forums › GENERAL DISCUSSION › Alsop and Schwartz debate
- This topic has 1 reply, 8 voices, and was last updated 13 years, 7 months ago by Melanie Reber, RLA.
August 11, 2009 at 2:31 pm #173392Dawid MagieraParticipant
here is the link to the video, for me its nothing new, again architects think they can do everything 🙂 sad……..
http://www.wallpaper.com/events/video-alsop-and-schwartz-debate/2830August 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm #173426
Martha said it all! Thank Heavens we have her voice, vision and passion as part of our profession. Thank you for sharing this.August 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm #173425Ryan A. WaggonerParticipant
Martha did do well in the debate. I do understand some of Alsop’s views, but they just come out as pompous and absurd at first. It seems as if he believes that anything could be done better by an architect than the actual trained professional. What’s next for him, interior designers, civil engineers, etc. Hopefully they do complete a project together to bring some more understanding to the debate.August 11, 2009 at 9:38 pm #173424J. Waldron, RLAParticipant
I saw that a while back. He does come off as pompous. If you’ve ever seen his work, you’ll agree that he should probably reel his attitude in a bit. Perhaps his concepts and the functionality of his structures shed a bit more light, but he has mastered the art of designing peculiar objects.August 11, 2009 at 10:02 pm #173423
I think to call it a debate was rather interesting. Certainly they were both set for verbal battle. However, this is a really masterful example of how an intermediary can help to reframe questions and viewpoints in order to buffer the ‘us against them’ mentality that we all seem to fall into at times. It was a pleasant surprise to find that both ‘sides’ softened accordingly.
Perhaps the wine helped as well? 🙂August 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm #173422
good grief! This is horrible..Schwartz did a terrible job – listen to Peter Calthorpe on contemporary architecture – they have commpletely abandoned the idea of connecting to the earth, to the human scale..fitting in to the neighborhood. Contempoary architects have completely abandoned the social responsibilty to public spaces, it is all sculpture, or maybe the interiors work, I don’t know..But good grief, don’t toast this guy – architects have completely failed society and then they call us gardeners!!! Enough, already…Nothing new, I k now, but to not even point out the failure of the ground plane, in the buildings of Koolhaas or – the guy who designed the guggenheim bilbao – sorry! Complete disregard for the social fabric….C’mon Martha, you don’t need to be nice to him!August 12, 2009 at 11:38 am #173421
I don’t see the issue as a skill set – who cares? I see it as an attitude towards the earth..and the beingson it. (And I DO NOT think LA’s are getting more and more power/visiblity – I see a huge decrease, since the sixties,and see it only getting worse. ) Architects have chosen to become the sculptor/artist, and do not care about the ground plane the public space, the transition space, where we have the authority…I hear very little push-back on this, other than Peter Calthorpe, who is extremely articulate on that point. But one rarely hears criticism of modern buildings for the connections or lack of that they create.
This video actually had someone saying “the space between the buildings..” wow! LA’s are the ones to SITE the building in the first place..The last time I heard that phrase, Laurie Olin was speaking at U of Penn…August 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm #173420
“Having majored in architecture for a few years in college before switching to planning, I think architects and engineers still have the upper hand, but the next few decades will see more of these professionals recognizing, and eventually deferring, various skills and responsibilities to landscape architects. One of the biggest flaws in each profession is recognizing each of their own limitations: so many designers think they can do it all and better, and then they are put in their place, either by the clients who pay the bills or the communities who approve the projects.”
Precisely! There is a very good reason we have titles along with job descriptions of what we can actually do… and do well. As an LA, I may have a great working knowledge of building retaining walls because I DO understand grading and drainage and the need to move soil around to fit a design. However, even though I am trained and very adept at working with the geomorphic conditions of that site… unless I also have the expertise of the geologic conditions below the site (ie, soils report)… my walls may not pass the test of time.
I may be very aware of the need to incorporate design strategies to camouflage utility boxes within a large condo complex… however, if I am not privy to where the utility lines run into and through that space (ie civil plans)… my design for planting 36″ boxed trees adjacent to that utility line is never going to be brought to fruition.
The examples are endless of how we need to work together in order to make a project viable… not only aesthetically, but practically speaking as well. None of us can afford to believe that our respective professions are meant to cover all bases.August 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm #173419
no, it is not academic..it is real. Just look at the Guggenheim Bilbao – how is the ground plane – nothing – oh, that’s ok..NOT…On cape cod you may be more familiar with McMansion designs, like I had in the Hamptons.. It is a WORLD of difference having the site designed by a site sensitive person, no matter their profession, and an ego-centric or ego – serving (in the case of rich hamptonites ) architects..The profession does not matter. I don’t care about that. It is the attention to human and ecological needs..as opposed to ego needs..August 12, 2009 at 11:55 pm #173418
“I would argue that we all should have the traits of patience and adaptability to thrive as landscape architects. If you worry too much about who gets to do what, it probably is not the best profession to be in. Not because you should roll over, but that you need way more patience and adaptability to deal with those other things (water, weather, climate, soils, light, …) than you need to swallow your pride and deal with your role on a specific project.
Does that make any sense?”
Of course. although I’m not really sure who specifically you are referring to (if anyone) when you state “Not because you should roll over, but that you need way more patience and adaptability to deal with those other things (water, weather, climate, soils, light, …) than you need to swallow your pride and deal with your role on a specific project.”
If I’m not mistaken, I believe that one of Martha’s key points was that ‘our role’ as LAs in general had been erroneously defined.
Actually, I think there are a lot of generalities and blanket statements being thrown around in this interesting discussion that aren’t necessarily applicable to every situation. It is my opinion, however unpopular… that an architect has every right to create a building, irregardless of the ground plane. And, and LA has every right to create space that ignores existing buildings. That is part of the creative process… to include or to exclude depending on the design concept.
However… sometimes, I think we all get so hopped up on the icing, that we fail to even consider the cake until we actually have to bite into it.August 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm #173417
Some projects where landscape archs are loosing out include Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn and the San Diego Waterfront plan, as well as the redevopment of New Orleans, as far as I can tell..I have had personal experience WRESTLING archs and engineers on some low-income housing design and commercial building design in the Hamptons…just off the top of my head..
Sorry, didn’t see McMansions reference as a ‘shot’ – I forgot that the Cape is much more varied than that..Just trying to talk it through.. the Hamptons is hugely into McMansions, or was, as I am sure you can imagine…August 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm #173416
Trace One, can you provide links to the specific New Orleans projects you are referring to? Thanks.August 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm #173415
No, Melanie, just as I read about the rebuilding in the NYT or other news sources. As far as I know, the attempt to rebuild in an environmentally friendly way got absolutely nowhere. Same with Galveston…If ever there was a chance to create setbacks from low-ling areas, those are it! What do you know about New Orleans? Of course, New Orleans has the absolutely peculair problem now of environmentalists saying forget about rebuilding the wetlands, global warming (sea-level rise) is going to wipe them out anyway..Same problem as presented in San Francisco design competition…August 13, 2009 at 6:07 pm #173414
Do architects have a right to ignore the ground plane? Did you ever see the plaza around the World Trade Centers in new york? The wind was incredible…I think we learned in the sixties that design in general and urban buildings in particular do have a responsibilitiy to the public…So I disagree..It is like the AIG guys saying they have no responsiblity for the rest of us investing schmoes..Sorry, there is a social fabric…architects hae gone backwards intensely, in the past 10-15 years…they don’t even try..not all of them, of course..and of course Zoning regs generally enforce a sort of hideously realized design of the social fabric…But we all live all together. I hope we never see another plaza like the World Trade Centers, but every single hi-profile building contract that I can think of does an injustice to the human scale, these days..and that is where I live..August 13, 2009 at 6:57 pm #173413
“As far as I know, the attempt to rebuild in an environmentally friendly way got absolutely nowhere. Same with Galveston…If ever there was a chance to create setbacks from low-ling areas, those are it! What do you know about New Orleans?”
I’m from New Orleans. My family is mostly Cajun French… so yes, I am well aware of NO’s peculiarities. 🙂
I also spent quite a bit of my childhood in Galveston.
So, as you can imagine… I’m very interested in catastrophe reclamation and remediation.
The issues surrounding the rebuilding of NO, in my experience, are much more involved than most are aware of who have not spent time there physically, historically or culturally. Not to say that these things can’t be accessed with a willingness to delve deeper into southern society. However, in NO, most things that we tend to assume would apply across a broad spectrum, do not tend to apply there.
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