Governors Island – Useless Beauty – The New Yorker

Wondering what’s happening to Governors Island after the International Design competition was won by the design group led by WEST 8. Well, the August 31, 2009 edition of the New Yorker (subscription only) on p. 56 has an article titled Useless Beauty’ by local correspondent Nick Paumgarten, who discusses plans for a park on the island designed by the Dutch architecture firm West 8. A section of the abstract(shown below) gives a hint of the discussion that takes place with Adriaan Geuze.

Writer discusses the proposed park area with Adriaan Geuze of West 8. Briefly compares the Governors Island to the development of the High Line. A risk of a project like the High Line or Governors Island is that the place may pass from one kind of elitism, in which virtually nobody is allowed, to another, in which ambitious restoration introduces esoteric or refined tasted and uses. (SOURCE:THE  NEW YORKER)

Sounds like an interesting read for those lucky enough to have a subscription or able to buy a copy.

Another incentive to buy a copy is the article by Ian Frazier Ian Frazier, Parks Dept., “Treepocalypse,” The New Yorker, August 31, 2009, p. 26 which looks at the about trees in Central Park destroyed by a recent severe thunderstorm.

The New Yorker has also posted a video – Tour of Governors Island.

In this video, Paumgarten tours the island with Leslie Koch, the president of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, who explains how this former military base is being converted into parks and other public spaces. (SOURCE: THE NEW YORKER)


SOURCE: The New Yorker

Seeing the tree from the forest

SERA Simulation of Tree Canopies - Credit: Sean T. Hammond

Sean Hammond and Karl Niklas have published a paper in the August 2009 edition of  American Journal of Botany presenting an algorithm that could be used to predict plant communities. The algorithm known as spatially explicit, reiterative algorithm, or SERA explores whether changes occurring in plant communities, such as self-thinning and the competitive displacement of one species by another, can be attributed to the characteristics of the individual plants that comprise the community.

“Remarkably, our model predicts the behavior of real plant populations, and thus suggests to us that many ‘complex’ ecological interactions emerge as a result of a few very ‘simple’ processes,” commented Dr. Niklas. SERA may be very useful in predicting changes in community development and composition as environmental and climatic variability increases.

The full article is available for until the 20 September 2009 at www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/full/96/8/1430. The SERA program can be accessed at www.botany.org/downloads/HammondandNiklas.zip.

UNM Dean to step down in 2010

UNM Today announced that Dean and Professor Roger Schluntz, FAIA, will resign as dean of UNM’s School of Architecture and Planning on June 30, 2010.

UNM Today
quoted Schluntz as saying

“a number of truly remarkable accomplishments as well as many critical incremental transformations” at the School.

A national search will begin this fall and intends for a new dean to be hired when Schluntz steps down.

SOURCE: UNM Today

CSLA Honours Landscape Architects with Recognition Awards

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) presented seven landscape architects with its Recognition Awards at its national Congress GALA.

The CSLA Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon landscape architects whose lifetime achievements and contributions to the profession have had a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of the public and on the environment.

The CSLA presented two Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2009 to Michael Hough, OALA, FCSLA and Macklin Hancock, OALA, FCSLA.

The Schwabenbauer Award was awarded the Cecelia Paine, OALA, FCSLA

The CSLA presented two Teaching Awards in 2009, to Charles Thomsen, MALA, FCSLA of the University of Manitoba and to Douglas Paterson, BCSLA, FCSLA of the University of British Columbia.

In 2009 outgoing President Cathy Sears, AALA, CSLA presented the The CSLA- AAPC President’s Award to Gérald Lajeunesse AAPQ, OALA, FCSLA and Ronald Middleton, AALA, FCSLA for their commitment and dedication to landscape architecture in Canada.

Continue reading CSLA Honours Landscape Architects with Recognition Awards

Toyota uses LA & SF Interstates to launch Prius

Prius Floralscape

Harmony Floralscape” along the Pasadena Freeway (SR-110) (Credit: Toyota)

Toyota has unveiled “Harmony Floralscape” along the Pasadena Freeway (SR-110), this is one of the nine oversized floral designs that will appear alongside California freeways in support of the ongoing launch of the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. Seven of the Floralscapes will be in the Los Angeles area and two in the San Francisco area. Developed by Greenroad Media, Inc., using the company’s patent-pending “Living Pixel” technology, design images are replicated using flowers of differing varieties and colors.

The 30’x60’ Toyota Prius “Harmony Floralscapes” are comprised entirely of living seasonal flowers. The flowers used in each Floralscape – about 20,000 blooms in total – are grown by local businesses in special modular “Eco-crates” made from recycled plastic. Several different designs have been developed, and the displays will be changed and updated several times during the next four months.

Video -The Making of a Toyota Prius “Harmony Floralscape” (Credit: Toyota)

SOURCE: Toyota via Autoblog

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