John Atkin selected for Beijing Olympic exhibition

John Atkin, Reader in Fine Art at Loughborough University, has been selected from 2,600 applicants to create a new sculpture for the major exhibition at Olympic Park, Beijing later this year. His initial designs received an ‘outstanding award’ from the judging panel.

The sculpture weighs 27 tons and is carved from marble and granite. It takes its inspiration and name – Strange Meeting – from a poem by Wilfred Owen. The poem tells of a dramatic meeting between two dead soldiers who had fought on opposing sides. No longer enemies, they find it possible to see beyond conflict and hatred in a shared awareness of “the truth untold”.

‘The Chinese workforce were tremendous – their attention to detail and ability to translate the subtle shifts in form of the sculpture was a remarkable achievement. It was also great to meet a number of artists from other parts of the world’ said John.

The public art exhibition launches in May 2008 and is based on the 2008 Olympic theme of One World, One Dream. John’s sculpture allows people to walk through the spaces between each element of the sculpture. The two identical, shapes, based on garment template contour patterns, are cut from the same veined block, turned inward on each other.

John Atkin selected for Beijing Olympic exhibition – Landscape Institute

Work Underway To Transform City Square

Work to transform Preston’s prestigious Winckley Square is now underway.

The City Council and the Preston Vision Board have been given cash from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and the Landscape Institute to re-design the square, making it a more attractive and encouraging people to use it as a link between Avenham Park and the city centre.

Five landscape design practices have been invited to submit designs, with the winner being announced in March.

Work Underway To Transform City Square (from Preston and Leyland Citizen).

Holl to design new arts neighbourhodd at Princeton

Steven Holl Architects, an award-winning firm with extensive experience in the arts, has been selected to design the initial academic buildings for Princeton University’s new arts and transit neighborhood.

The firm, with offices in New York and Beijing, is led by Steven Holl, who was named America’s Best Architect by Time magazine in July 2001 for “buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye.”

At Princeton, the firm will be responsible for designing several buildings to house the Program in Theater and Dance, components of the Department of Music, the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Society of Fellows in the Creative and Performing Arts. Encompassing an estimated 135,000 gross square feet, the preliminary plans include a black box theatre, a large dance studio, an orchestral rehearsal studio, several smaller acting studios, dance studios, music practice rooms, classrooms, support spaces, a café and offices.

Mark Burstein, executive vice president noted that the landscape architect who collaborated with Holl on the water treatment facility in Connecticut was Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the same firm that will be working on the Princeton project. Sustainable building and landscaping practices will be of key importance.

Imagine: Rain, rain, stored away

Savvy designers are helping homeowners collect and reuse storm water rather than see it all wash away.

WHILE you watched much-needed showers race down the driveway and spill into street drains two weeks ago, did you perhaps think: How can I harness that rainfall? How can I save that water for a yard that has endured drought-like conditions?

It turns out that “harvesting” rainfall is not only good for the garden, but also good for the environment.

Read more at LA Times – Imagine: Rain, rain, stored away – Annie Wells

The Sustainable Landscape

Visualize a lush, green expanse of lawn surrounded by vibrant beds of flower blossoms anchored by ornamental shrubs. Tall, majestic trees loom overhead. Silent butterflies float and bees buzz happily, gathering nectar and pollinating. Joy filled birds dart from branch to branch.

You don´t have to imagine this scenario. It can be yours through sustainable landscaping. It is a whole system approach which benefits all inhabitants. Communal balance amongst all members is achieved through cooperation. Instead of focusing on manipulating nature, we as humans make a greater effort to work with it. Taking on the role of land steward is not as complex as it may seem.

Sustainable landscaping integrates long term solutions which address and eliminate problems; replacing short term, unnatural treatments that merely mask symptoms. The goal is to develop a healthy, self sustaining landscape that is capable of naturally warding off disease and pest infestation.

Read more at American Chronicle | The Sustainable Landscape – Jenn Miller

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