London Cycle Hire Scheme goes live

Cycle Hire
SOURCE:  Flickr – By celesteh (Les Hutchins)

Recently London’s newest public transport system went live with 5000 bikes available with more than 12,000 members signed up to use the scheme, with over 6000 keys activated. Londoners using the scheme can from today take a cycle from one of 315 docking stations based every 300m or so throughout the centre of the Capital. The new bike scheme is part of the BIXI franchise.

Dongled Up
Bike Hire Key
SOURCE:  Flickr – By psd (Paul Downey)

Imagination Playground – a different form of play

Photo by Daniel Avila Source: NYC Dept. Parks & Recreation

On July 27, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and architect David Rockwell opened Imagination Playground at Burling Slip, an innovative playspace conceived and designed pro-bono by Mr. Rockwell to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. With a focus on loose parts, Imagination Playground offers a changing array of elements that allows children to constantly reconfigure their environment and to design their own course of play. The Mayor and Mr. Rockwell were joined by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Borough President Scott Stringer, Council Member Margaret Chin, Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

David Rockwell has partnered with Darell Hammond of KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play, to bring Imagination Playground in a Box to communities across the country. The first Imagination Playground in a Box was launched at the Brownsville Recreation Center playground in Brooklyn, NY in July 2008.

Imagination Playground Short from Imagination Playground on Vimeo.

SOURCE: New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Spotted at Archdaily – A New Take on Play / David Rockwell / Imagination Playground

Seachange 2030+ Ideas Competition: Winners Announced

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects [AILA] and its competition partners invited individuals and teams to participate in the Sea Change 2030+, an international ideas competition, which asked for innovative ideas for planning, designing and managing for adaptation to urban sea level rise.

There were many highly innovative ideas in most of the submissions. Three equal first prizes were awarded in the professional team category. The Jury felt that there were three outstanding submissions that covered different aspects of local, regional and global responses to climate change and adaptation to sea level rise. These entrants were not readily comparable as they dealt with responses required over different scales of space and time.

CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Global Solutions

Embassy of the Drowned Nations – OCULUS, Sydney – Bob Earl, Shahreen Alford, Simon Bond, Liam Butt, Katie Cooper, Daniel Firns, Ali Gaunt, Rosie Krauss,  Ben Nacard, Simon Trick

We propose a bold move at the heart of Sydney that is surprising and thought provoking to raise awareness among residents and visitors about the effects of Sea Level Rise, to promote understanding and compassion for the plight of those displaced people around the world, leading to anacceptance of those people as Sydney and Australia plays it’s part in working together to facilitate change.

The bold move is an Embassy of Drowned Nations centred on Fort Dennison.  A type of Ellis Island, a blend of Atlantis and Eden, a rebirth, an opportunity, a memorial.

CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Metropolitan Solutions

Subtropical Sydney – OPSYS, USA – Pierre Bélanger, Miho Mazereeuw, Christina Milos, Andrew tenBrink, Erik Prince, Sarah Thomas


This submission takes a regional metropolitan approach to Sydney focusing on the connections between Botany Bay, Sydney airport and the low-lying lands along the Alexandria Canal. They propose a strategic response to adapting to sea level rise and intrusion of salt water into the former estuaries of the Cooks River with a conceptual design for what South Sydney could look like in 2030.

The ideas are based on urban renewal, reintroducing ecology into the city through green arteries and waterways. They propose a vision for re-engineering the urban form for cleaner waterways, recreational areas food production in urban gardens and improved access, amenity and mobility along green arteries. Their design integrates scales of place and time while producing a high value corridor for desirable and sustainable living. What they propose is a transition of Sydney into a new climate future based on a different valuation of ecosystem services and urban land economics.

CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Local Solutions

Sea-Life – NMGS, Queensland, Australia and Chile – James Nash,  Michael Marriott,  Lydia Gibson, Bec Stephens

This is an immediate and local response to global climate change. James Nash and his team present tactical built environment responses to living, playing and building on the edge of Sydney Harbour. Their project based on the iconic Balmoral Beach, shows the value of typological analysis and performance responses for micro-scale harbour features such as beaches and rock platforms with an emphasis on access and amenity. This responds to the Sydney lifestyle and its focus on water-based amenity and also deals with the challenges of sea level rise alienating public space and access to safe recreational venues.

Their conceptual design solutions represent a ‘good start’ for a future design manual for local government with a set of edge treatments that are pragmatic, affordable, do-able and able to be further developed into simple guidelines. These typological responses can be implemented over time through a set of initiatives that are place-based and rely on on ‘learning by doing’ – a valid local adaptive response to the uncertainty of timing about inevitable sea level rise.

SOURCE: AILA

IMAGE SOURCE: AILA

IMAGE CREDIT: OCULUS, OPSYS, NMGS

Continue reading Seachange 2030+ Ideas Competition: Winners Announced

PAYSAGES EN EXIL – Nicolas Dorval-Bory / Raphaël Bétillon

PAYSAGES EN EXIL from Nicolas Dorval-Bory on Vimeo.

Installation for the national art event “Imaginez Maintenant”

01/07 to 04/07/2010

Hôpital de La Grave – Toulouse

Nicolas Dorval-Bory / Raphaël Bétillon

Music : Michael Andrews – Socks on ears

For More images and information about the installation go to
www.nicolasdorvalbory.com or www.raphaelbetillon.com
PAYSAGES EN EXIL seeks to create, along the hospital of La Grave in Toulouse, an experimental journey in which the visitor is invited to explore an unlikely landscape, a condensation of climates, a mix of Natures from all over the world. The project finds its genesis in the description of “wandering plants phenomenon” made by Gilles Clément :

“Plants travel. Grass mostly. They silently move in the way of the winds. Nothing can stop the wind. By harvesting clouds, one would be surprised to get imponderable seeds mixed with loess, fertile dusts. In the sky yet unforeseeable landscapes are being designed. Chance organizes the details, uses every possible vehicle to distribute the species. Everything suits the transport, from ocean currents to shoe soles. Most of the trip belongs to animals. Nature charters birds, berry eaters, gardening ants, subversive and quiet sheeps, which fleece holds fields and fields of seeds. And also man. Restless animal, always in the move, free swapper of diversity.”

In an acclimatization space – a long agricultural greenhouse – are prepared medicinal plants seedlings coming from the five continents. Having “blindly” chosen one of them, the visitor continues its journey and enters a thick cloud, a dense mist born from the spraying of the Garonne river, on the Viguerie footbridge. At the end of this vaporous trail, a surprising garden welcomes him, inviting him to plant the seedling that he has carried so far.

With the help of the ACB / Banque Populaire

SOURCE: VIMEO spotted on Designboom

The Future of Work – 2030

cityLAB - UCLA - Los Angeles 2030

Recently Newsweek asked several design firms to give their impressions of how cities would look in 2030. So far they have published two parts – New York & Los Angles. Impressions of what 2030 New York would look like where given by Richard Meier & Partners; Cooper, Robertson & Partners and HOK.  And recently three other firms gave a vision of 2030 Los Angeles including Gensler, Michael Maltzan Architecture and cityLAB UCLA. To see their visions go to Newsweek: Future of Work

IMAGE SOURCE: cityLAB UCLA

Thanks to cityLAB UCLA for the information tip submission

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