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

St.Louis Gateway Arch Competition teams meet with local advisory team

Recently the five finalists for the St.Louis CityRiverArch 2015 design competition met with the 24 members of the  local advisory team to ask questions and seek clarification.  The advisory team includes officials from the city street department, the Missouri and Illinois transportation agencies, the Coast Guard, the Metro East Park and Recreation District and the St. Louis Archdiocese, owners of the Old Cathedral on the Arch grounds. The advisory team will also work with National Park Service and the winning team in implementing the design.

Finalists include

• Behnisch Team led by Behnisch Architekten – Stuttgart, Germany, Los Angeles
• MVVA Team led by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates – New York City
• PWP Landscape Architecture, Foster + Partners, Civitas – Berkeley, Calif.
• SOM, Hargreaves, BIG – Chicago
• Weiss/Manfredi, Architecture/Site Design/Urbanism – New York

SOURCE: Stltoday.com

New Botanical Garden in Shanghai [VIDEO]

In May 2010, a new botanical garden Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Park 上海辰山植物园 (Shanghai’s 2nd botanical garden) opened after 3 years of construction. The project was apart of improvement works by the government for the 2010 EXPO.

The Botanic Park was designed by Christoph Valentien of  Valentien + Valentien  Landscape Architects and Urban Planners. The design uses Chinese Garden techniques informed by ecological principles. 35 theme parks spread across 200 hectares of land, framed by a ring of laurel forests from all over the world. New Botanic Garden Shanghai has been published about the design by Jovis.

Below is a video with Christoph Valentien by Art.21 program of Deutsche Welle channel.

The Botanical Park is situated in the area known as Songjiang and is 30km from downtown Shanghai and is accessible by the newly opened Metro Line 9.

VIDEO SOURCE: Daily Motion

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