The Daily Blend for Monday, August 12, 2013

The Daily Blend for Monday, August 12, 2013

Earth’s hypnotizing seasonal “heartbeat” from outer space. John Nelson stitched together twelve of NASA’s satellite images into a gif that shows the seasonal changes in vegetation and land ice around the world, almost making Earth appear as a living, breathing entity. (Co.Design)




  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will soon announce a new vision for the Los Angeles River, which had been cast in concrete eighty years ago. Until the announcement, take a look at five dramatic redesigns of L.A.’s river by SWA landscape architecture interns from all around the world. (Curbed LA)


  • Can restorative landscape design cut down recidivism rates for prisoners? Iowa State landscape architecture students think so by helping in the design of a therapeutic landscape master plan for a women’s correctional facility. (Newswise)


  • For landscape architects, soil is critical infrastructure, and depending on the design of the engineered soil, will determine a site’s longevity. Largely looked over by most people as “just soil,” Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects’ Lisa DuRussel breaks down the importance of soil science and explains how different blends are needed for different uses, from healthy roots to structural support. (Metropolis)


  • The “turf war” between landscape urbanism and new urbanism flares up again in Michael Sorkin’s critical review of Andres Duany and Emily Talen’s polemic new book ‘Landscape Urbanism and its Discontents: Dissimulating the Sustainable City’ and Duany’s biting response in the comments section. The basics: Sorkin dismisses the book–“there are more straw men in this book than at a casting call for The Wizard of Oz”–and Duany bites back with some personal attacks while offering viewers a chance to “judge for themselves” by linking to three excerpts from the book. I read the first excerpt by Duany and Talen…and wasn’t terribly impressed though there were some good points raised. If you do read: be prepared for lots of dichotomous thinking, have google translate ready for a slew of (unnecessary?) french terminology, good criticism of landscape urbanism on page 7, and an unfair comparison between “New Urbanist Jamison Square” and “Landscape Urbanist Tranner Springs Park” (sic) on page 13. (Arch Record)




  • The Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force announced the ten teams shortlisted –including West8, OLIN, Scape, and other world-renowned design firms–for their Rebuild by Design competition last Friday. Sarah Goodyear sits down with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan about the competition’s next steps and the scalability of the design solutions. (Atlantic Cities)


  • Water scarcity in the American southwest has prompted cities to crack down on lawns, with some, like Los Angeles, offering financial incentives to wean homeowners off of grass to others, like Las Vegas, out right banning grass front yards. As gardens of cacti and succulents take over, some wonder if the era of the All-American Lawn is coming to an end. (NY Times)


  • Could your outdoor site furniture be spying on you? As we take one step closer to Minority Report, recycling bins in London track wifi signals on smart phones to create dossiers on passerbys for targeted advertising. (Quartz)

The Daily Blend is Breaking Ground on the Latest in Landscape Architecture.  Have any good stories you’d like to share? Post them on Land8’s Story Board section! 

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