New Harvard dean has designs on our future – The Boston Globe

Mohsen Mostafavi, the new dean at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, is much more than a man who understands lines, brick, and mortar. He is a philosopher of sorts. Since arriving from Cornell, where he served as dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Mostafavi has been thinking about how his students can be futurists, meaning how they can use their tools today to plan for the cities we will inhabit in the years ahead. Mostafavi, who was born in Iran, recently chatted about his research, and his plans for the future of the school.

Read more @ the Source: The Boston Globe – New Harvard dean has designs on our future

Students pitch in on campus landscape redesign

A partnership between Facilities Management and students majoring in landscape architecture is blooming on the campus – and to the benefit of both groups.

During the past year, students have sharpened their design skills by working with landscapers in Facilities Management, which has similarly benefited from the influx of young minds with bright ideas.

Together, the two groups have dreamed up a variety of proposals, such as trees, flowers, new sidewalks and tables and chairs outside the Stamp Student Union; “bermas,” or flower beds, outside of Symons Hall; an irrigation garden outside the Clarice Smith Performance Arts Center; and a labyrinth and garden outside the Memorial Chapel.

Read more @ the Source: Diamondbackonline.com – Students pitch in on campus landscape redesign
Univeristy of Maryland’s Student Paper

Green proposals for downtown Columbia — baltimoresun.com

Solar arrays, “green” roofs and storm-water management that doubles as civic art and takes place only when it’s raining are among the ideas for improving the environment in the redevelopment of downtown Columbia, a consultant told residents this week.

Town Center could be a “city within a garden,” said Keith Bowers, a landscape architect on General Growth Properties’ design team — a vibrant place that makes use of renewable energy and is built with local materials so that little energy is expended to bring supplies here. Bowers’ ecological restoration design, planning and assessment business is leading the sustainability and environmental component of GGP’s efforts to re-create downtown

Read more @ the Source: baltimoresun.comGreen proposals for downtown Columbia 

Time to stop building cities without souls – China Daily

At his first sight of Las Vegas, a Chinese student of community participation in urban development remarked, “I feel as if I am back in Beijing’s second ring road!”

Indeed, the shadow of the American casino capital looms large over Beijing and many other Chinese cities, which vie with one another in copying the model of Las Vegas to become a mixture of something of everything.

With a messy combination of bits from New York City, Paris, Italy, Egypt and others, Las Vegas could satisfy a fancy of the wonderland.

Yet the city in the wild desert is a nightmare for urban planners, as it has developed with little planning. Even though Las Vegas hosted the centennial convention of the American Planning Association (APA) in late April, many American planners dismiss it as a good example of urban development.

To their regret, however, Las Vegas becomes a role model for too many Chinese cities in their drive for urban development. Like Las Vegas, these cities with entirely different cultural and socioeconomic contexts are sprawling ever wider with ever more and taller high-rises, until they become jungles of cement.

Perhaps the decision-makers and designers of Chinese cities should come to such a consensus. They should learn from the culture and traditions of their own cities before they set out to borrow others’ experiences. If they fail to develop a taste for the treasures under their eyes, it is doubtful that they can pick out something valuable elsewhere.

Read more at the Source: China Daily – to stop building cities without souls by Xiong Lei

Boston Sample Drop Shop

Architects and design professionals will have the opportunity to drop off outdated and unneeded samples as part of the Boston Sample Drop/Shop to be held May 8th-10th at the Boston Design Center. The event, organized by Burt Hill in association with Herman Miller, greenGoat, and Creative Office Pavilion, is intended to encourage local designers, manufacturers, retailers and the community to join together to exchange resources and divert waste from landfills.

Design firms will drop off separated materials in storage containers on May 8th and 9th from 11:30am-1:30 pm and from 4pm- 7pm at the Boston Design Center Loading Dock. The center is open to the public to shop on May 9th from 4-7pm and May 10th from 9am-4pm. There will be a wide variety of materials available at no cost. Materials will be sorted into the following categories: mixed paper, vinyl, carpet, aggregates, textiles, and miscellaneous. “The purpose of this event is to show designers that there is an alternative to throwing materials out. Both the design community and the greater local community can benefit from recycling materials,” said event organizer and Burt Hill architect Jenna Beltram.

At the end of the event, there will be a barbeque with free food and drinks for all those who participated. The Boston Sample Drop Shop was inspired by the success of the city of Cleveland’s ZeroLandfill Celebration which originated in 2006. For more information, please visit www.greengoat.org/dropshop.

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