Foriegn firms aren’t just in India for the cash

The Times of India looks at foreign firms in India and talks about

Be it a slum redevelopment project in congested Mumbai or Kolkata’s new museum of modern art, the global imprint on the country’s fast-changing urban landscape is evident. Made in India but designed by a clutch of foreign architects looking to cash in on the country’s real estate boom.

This is true of many developing nations (UAE, China, India, Vietnam, Tanzania,) that when the first major projects such as airports, museums, galleries, opera houses are slated for design and then construction many foreign firms are issued the contracts. And as the article speaks about it has a lot to do with star marketing power but often it has more to do with the experience of designing and building large scale projects and finalising them within a short time frame(eg Olympic, Commonwelath Games Venues).

The author refers to RMJM, Foster and Partners, HOK, who all have experience in large scale projects but also have offices all around the world so they understand what it takes to open a new office in a developing nation and to make it work.

Having international firms design infrastructure, civic and residential projects is not all bad, the country benefits from projects being seen on the world scale an example is the Olympic Stadium (bird’s nest) in Beijing many people have known about this building years in advance of the Olympics. The main benefit to the developing country is that many of these large firms employ local workers and train them in the international standard of design, engineering and detailing which they can then take to a local firm or move on and open their own firm. This is true of many of the major cities in China where over the last 15 years foreign firms have opened offices and worked on large scale projects and local firms have learnt from their successes and failures (in design and business) and now compete quite successfully against foreign firms.

Most of all it is up to local firms, schools and governments to educate the current and future designers of India so that they can compete and win against foreign firms not just from North America and Europe developed Asian countries but their developing neighbors such as China.

SOURCE of Original Article: Times of India – Foreign hands building India – Author: Neelam Raaj

Talking green: A guide to eco-English

Denise Ryan of the Times Colonist (Canada) has written a great article on the language, lexicon, jargon of Eco-English. Terms that we use in day to day life as professionals and educators but often we forget what they actually mean.

For the correct meaning on Bioaccumulation, Freecycling, Point Sources and many other terms we use in our professions this is a great reference for young and old.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Times-Colonist – Talking green: A guide to eco-English – Denise Ryan

Order of Australia for Landscape Architecture academic

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) celebrates the awarding of the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) to Professor Catherin Bull as announced today as part of the 2008 Australian Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Professor Catherin Bull of the University of Melbourne is acknowledged as Australia’s foremost and most respected academic leader of Australian landscape architects. Catherin has always been an active participant in the profession’s directions and growth and remains an inspirational observer of the development of landscape architecture both nationally and internationally.

SOURCE: Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA).

Rain Bird educating Californians on water conservation

As Governor Schwarzenegger Declares Drought Conditions, and Renews Call for California Residents To Use Water More Efficiently in Their Garden and Landscapes This Summer.

In the face of below-average rainfall, very low snowmelt runoff and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s declaration of statewide drought conditions, California residents are now being called upon to reduce their water usage.

Rain Bird, is helping homeowners by providing a few watering tips that homeowners can apply to use water more efficiently and effectively in their gardens and landscapes this summer.

* Water In Short Cycles.
* Time Your Watering. Make sure you turn on your sprinklers at the appropriate time – between 5:00 AM and 10:00 AM
* Drip It. When it comes to keeping individual trees, flowerbeds, potted plants or non-grassy areas healthy, drip irrigation will put water directly at the root system.
* Mulch It Good. A great way to conserve water and help plants stay healthy is to spread mulch in shrub beds, tree rings and flower gardens.
* Only Water What Grows. Sprinklers should be regularly checked to ensure that they water grass and plants, not sidewalks and driveways.

For more information on using water more efficiently in the landscape, podcasts and weekly email tips, visit www.rainbird.com

SOURCE: Rain Bird Press Release

The urban farmer: One man’s crusade to plough up the inner city – Features, Food & Drink – The Independent

Fritz Haeg isn’t perhaps the obvious representative of a revolution in global farming. As an architecture and design academic and practitioner, the American has had his work exhibited at Tate Modern and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and has taught fine art at several US universities. Yet it is last year’s community-collaborative project on an inner-city council estate in south London that best showcases his current passion: the urban farm.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The IndependentThe urban farmer: One man’s crusade to plough up the inner city

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