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

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

Public Works Departments turning to AEC firms for landscape architecture

Recently Public Works published a survey or Top AEC (Architecture Engineering Construction) firms finding that for the first time since 2005 one-third of Public Works departments “are now turning to these same firms for landscape architecture park/design.”

We can interpreted this survey in many ways such as AEC firms have hired more landscape architects and therefore have the skilled staff to complete the work and are marketing their firm as multi-service or integrated design (hot topic at the moment). Another interpretation is that AEC firms needed more billable work in the current financial market to keep their current architecture, engineering & construction staff occupied and have been marketing wider services towards Public Works departments. I just hope that Public Works departments are making sure that the landscape architecture work is being undertaken is by qualified landscape architects and not engineers and architects.

With large unemployment in the landscape architecture industry in North America it would be a shame to see so many talented people to be left idle as Public Works departments contract Architects and Engineers to take on a service that they are not trained or qualified to fulfill. I don’t wish to be negative or hostile towards our allied professionals and I hope that this increase of Public Work departments use of AEC firms for landscape architecture means more jobs for landscape architects!

More Information on the Survey read Public Work – Multipurpose solutions are on the rise

NYC launches urbancanvas Design Competition

A design competition to improve construction sites across New York City.  The competition is seeking artists and design professionals to  develop creative artwork for construction fences, sidewalk sheds, supported scaffolds and cocoons in New York City.

This competition, created by the Department of Buildings and Department of Cultural Affairs and supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, is a unique opportunity for artists and designers across the United States to contribute to New York City’s urban landscape.

Registration Deadline is 5:00pm EST July 19, 2010

Submission Deadlines is 3:30pm EST on July 28, 2010

NOTE: Design competition is limited to residents of the United States of America.

For more information go to the urbancanvas competition website

Matthew Urbanski Interview about BBP by PLACES

PLACES has published a recent interview with Matthew Urbanski of MVVA about the design & construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The interview goes into detail about the materials used and some of the design elements. An interesting interview that gives good insight to the design and construction process.

Read more at the SOURCE: PLACES -Building Brooklyn Bridge Park: An Interview with Matthew Urbanski via Planetizen

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