Slide show of Maya Lins Storm King – I used to like this

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Slide show of Maya Lins Storm King – I used to like this

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    What was “the Piles”? I grew up in the Philly area and Powleton rings a bell as the location of the MOVE compound siege where the Philly police dropped a bomb on the roof of their rowhome. It exploded and the fire spread to engulf the entire block.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread!

    Trace, did people fall asleep during Bye’s lectures? I saw him speak once and he was so relaxed and quiet, and he’s showing all these relaxing photos of his work…it was like a lullaby!

    Trace One

    ha! he was a very nice gentle man..didn’t lecture, really much, it was a studio..

    Trace One

    Thomas, you can’t think of anything else to do with an old gravel pit? Man, I can..thousands of things..
    As for the mowing, it appears mowed, doesn’t it? So her choice of seed mix seems to be in conflict with her concept. That was really my only point – that she could have used the advice of an LA!

    I didn’t say not fluid enough, did I? But that is a judgement call, a feeling one might have for the success of a design.

    As for something new, as we were talking about, it does look a lot like Ed Bye’s Soros landscape..I dont know how new this idea is..

    I do like the idea of adding dg paths, and Tanya’s idea of letting it just grow out, let the meadow seeds she choose act like a meadow..
    And a year old – you can’t grow a lawn in a year?

    Let’s turn the tables on you, since you seem like you are fired up – do you like the design? and why? don’t you see a conflict in the mowing and the concept – basically after a year, to me it looks ratty already – it needs to be either mowed or not mowed..

    the waves also don’t seem to me to fit the surrounding forest very well.. Like she has taken a cool spot and ruined it..

    But I did not mean to make a treatise on the work..Just some casual comments, to see how others see it.

    david maynes

    Myself and a colleague checked it out last summer. We were both underwhelmed.
    Darrel Morrison’s meadow plantings were by far way more interesting. Stormking in general, is awesome.
    In torn defense to Lin…her exhibit (inside) on the process of creating the wave field was much more intriguing than the product.


    Huh. I was confused about the scale of this, esp the plants, which in the photo with the deer looked more heathery or ground cover-like. I don’t think it does need to be mowed; in fact, I’d be interested to see what it looks like if allowed to grow for an entire season. Maybe the waves could be differentiated by planting each side with grasses that change color in a slightly different way (it is supposed to reveal seasonal changes). If the grasses were at full height and fully expressed, it would add a whole to dimension to the idea of a wave field.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    This reminds me of the thread about judging a design competition. We can all invent criteria that this should be judged on, but is there actually a criteria that this was supposed to satisfy.

    It sounds as though the intent was to get a play of light from the light, shade, and shadow created. Having spent a lot of time in a giant landscape like this, the Palouse, I can tell you that this kind of light play is very cool under different conditions. The changing of the growth, seasonal conditions of the cover crop, seasonal changes of the angle of the sun, weather changes in light, and moment to moment angle of the sun makes that very simple landscape an unbelievable thing to observe. It is almost a kinetic landscape in that regard.

    An emerging cover crop of green velvety wheat emerging from moist black topsoil was always my favorite circumstance to view the palouse, but those same fields keep changing as it becomes a full growth of green wheat, then gold, then stubble, then furrowed rows, then a totally different crop of lentils the next year, … Perhaps she was thinking about this as well, or maybe not.

    It is what it is. This is what she decided to make with whatever criteria that she had in her own mind. What it would have, could have, or should have been really does not matter. Like any other sculpture, it is there by that artist for others to take what they want out of it. Its going to float some people’s boat more than others. Go to it if you want. Like it or dislike it, but it is what it is just like the Mona Lisa or a five year old’s drawing on the refrigerator.

    Thomas J. Johnson


    As a young (in career) designer, I have a hard time criticizing world renowned designers work. While I’m confident in my design abilities, I also believe that there is always something to learn from more (and less) experienced designers. I’m also a big believer in the perfection of imperfection. A site like Storm King is particularly hard to judge because it has no program, no criteria, no clear objective. It is not a space that is easily defined such as a courtyard or plaza where one can easily assess it’s success based on post occupancy studies.

    Storm King is designed to evoke a response. When you encounter a field of waves, cut from a dense forest do you feel something? When you walk through those waves and become disoriented, do you feel something? As the evening light fades and the contours take on new forms and shades, do you feel something?

    If you can answer yes to those questions, then it’s a success, in my mind. If you’re concerned about the type of grass she used (native mix), how difficult it will be to mow or what could have been done there instead, you’re missing the point and perhaps not in the moment… Those are valid questions and worth study, but are not significant enough issues to discredit an entire work. As Andrew G said, “it is, what it is.”

    Trace One

    thank you Mr. Johnson, for ‘those are valid questions and worth study.” Yes, art is art, but cant we TALK about it, at ALL, or are you SO AFRAID making a judgement on ART???

    I’m not sure why our society runs so far from analysis and criticism..I have a friend from LA who precedes every statement with, “it’s not that I would ever care about THAT’ whatever it is – short skirts, too much makeup..
    I’m from New York..Make a judgement call, and stick to it! You WILL NOT HURT ANYBODY with words!!

    Trace One

    I have to say, if one is not allowed to discuss design, on this landscape site , I am ready to check out.. I see it as anti-intellectualism, and an attitude that always give architects precedent over us..Don’t feel bad about disussing abstract concepts!! Landscape can be very abstract!!!

    Tanya Olson

    I absolutely agree. One of the most wonderful things about art is that everyone can have an opinion about it – it doesn’t matter if you are 5 years old or the curator of the Met. What is it? What does it mean? How is it relevant or irrelevant? Or in this case, what does it say about landscape? Or what could it say about landscape?

    Saying one likes or dislikes a particular work for a particular reason doesn’t discredit the work. They’re not going to bulldoze it because someone finds fault with the planting or wishes a particular aspect of the design would play out in a different way. In our minds we get to collaborate with the artist which is the point of landscape art – the piece itself is collaborative, taking a viewer to complete the intent of the sculpture.

    Its a lot more fun to have a discussion between ‘I loved it’ and ‘I hated it’ than whether we’re worthy to discuss it.

    Trace One

    the order of these posts gets a little confused..any support for my perspective, thank you..Any negation, argument, have at it!!!
    i geuss it is good to put something like, @soandso to make sure your pithy landscape design argument hits home..
    As we all know, we are of a very few people who really care to write our our thoughts on LANDSCAPE DESIGN.. sigh!
    NOT a popular way of looking at the world!
    : )

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    I don’t think that anyone is criticizing that people are criticizing. My post is not intended to say that we are not allowed to discuss it. In fact, it is my own opinion of the project – a critique in its own. No better or no worse, no more valid and no less.

    The criteria that I used to critique it is one that I set for myself, not one I expect everyone else to follow – just one of the many perspectives in the thread.

    I don’t see anything in Tom’s post that says other people are not entitled to their own critiques, just his own perspective. He went so far as to use the phrase “in my mind” to qualify his response.

    It is quite a reach to say that anyone is squelching criticism here as far as I can tell.

    Trace One

    Really, Andrew?
    Ok, if your own opinion ” it is what it is”, and Thomas is only pointing out how pointless it is to talk about mowing, it’s pretty difficult to go anywhere from there…
    Moving on.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Yes, it is what it is. It is not what it isn’t.

    That is a far cry from saying that no one can comment on it.

    The artist completed her project with its pefections and imperfections, like any art work by any artist, and it is her piece and complete. That is what I mean by “it is what it is”. We can all make comments on the Mona Lisa, but it is completed by the artist as well (I like blondes in different proportions than Mona and that dress has got to go). That portrait could be touched up and the smile changed, but then it would not be the art piece created by that artist.

    Is Storm King intended as a landscape design or a piece of art?

    Storm King does not particularly blow my skirt up. I have no desire to go see it, probably because I’ve seen the phenomena that it plays of of in a much larger scale. I do, however, appreciate it because it does bring this phenomena onto a canvas where people don’t have the opportunity to experience it so much in that scale.

    Can such an installation be improved to display this phenomena in a more dramatic way, or a more subtle way? Absolutely. Could critiquing this in discussion inspire and empower someone else to do something similar yet more awe inspiring, or exiting, or … fill in the blank. Absolutely!

    Discussion is always good.

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