VIDEO | The Built Environment: A Conversation with M. Van Valkenburgh, P. Walker, and A. Berrizbeitia

Back in September 2014, the Harvard GSD held the Grounded Visionaries Design Weekend as part of the campaign launch for Grounded Visionaries (set to launch a new websit in early 2015). During the Design Weekend various lectures and conversations were held including The Built Environment: A Conversation with M. Van Valkenburgh, P. Walker, and A. Berrizbeitia.

Peter Walker starts the conversation by giving a brief overview of his involvement in the Harvard GSD Landscape Architecture program and an overview of some of his recent projects (9/11 Memorial, Headland Park, Constitution Gardens) pleading with the audience to “not forget practice, practice is the way you find out whether the ideas you have work.”. Michael Van Valkenburgh follows on from Peter Walker with 3 projects from his practice that are relevant to the contemporary condition. The thematic of Van Valkenburgh’s presentation is “Infrastructure” with a topical comparison between traditional and green infrastructure. Michael also gives us a brief look into G.W. Bush Presidential Center, Lower Don Lands, Brooklyn Bridge Park. Anita Berrizbeitia then poses the questions to Peter and Michael about what drives the work. The answers provide knowledge that is relevant to students and practitioners of landscape architecture.

The conversation is just over 35 minutes, but provides information and knowledge garnered from years of practice from two of the best practitioners of the current era of landscape architecture.

The full series of Grounded Visionaries videos from the Design Weekend are availiable on Youtube.

VIDEO | Christophe Girot, “Topology: On Sensing and Conceiving Landscape”

Harvard GSD recently posted a lecture by Christophe Girot titled “Topology: On Sensing and Conceiving Landscape”. An lecture that will intrigue students and professionals interested in Visualisation and Computer Modelling. Girot shows various projects, processes and the tools (Terrestial Laser Scanners, Point Cloud, Rhino, GIS, etc) used to create models of existing and proposed landscapes around the world.

The invention of landscape has always oscillated between a history of beliefs in nature, with its many representations, and a history of terrain measurements through various techniques of appropriation. In his talk, Christophe Girot will consider the longstanding balance between culture and its instruments for sensing and conceiving a landscape, noting that the particular representation of landscape that we hold true today has roots in the dialogue between ars and techne that has characterized every epoch. The aim of this talk and discussion is to open a window on topology’s shifting point of view with regard to this form of interdependence that will considerably affect our ability to act and perform effectively on landscape’s reality.

Video Credit | Harvard GSD

VIDEO | Olmsted Lecture: Joseph Disponzio|”On the Theoretical and Practical Development of Landscape Architecture”

Recently, the annual Olmsted Lecture was given by Joseph Disponzio at the Harvard GSD. Disponzio gives an interesting lecture exploring the intellectual origins of landscape architecture and the term landscape architect.

“Exploring the transformation of the modeling of land from garden-making to landscape architecture, this lecture by Joseph Disponzio will establish the intellectual origins of landscape architecture in relation to the new garden practices that emerged during the 18th century, and the texts that codified these practices, amid Enlightenment-era changes in the understanding of nature. Disponzio is Preservation Landscape Architect for the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, and Director of the Landscape Design program at Columbia University. He has taught at several institutions, published widely on garden history from the 18th century to the present, and is currently writing introductions for an edition of N. Vergnaud’s L’Art de créer les jardins (1835) and a translation of Jean-Marie Morel’s Théorie des jardins (1776).”

This Week in Landscape | 21 September 2014

10 No Brainers – Say “Yes” to Parklets from Centre for City Ecology on Vimeo featuring Nancy Chater, Landscape Architect and Associate, The Planning Partnership.

Energy Corridor district mulches to maintain trees | Jocelyn Kerr |
“In the old days when you’d build a freeway, you’d use the subsoil you dug up during construction, add some compost then seed it. It’s hard to grow anything in that. You need a better grade of soil. TxDOT came up with the Green Ribbon Project…”

Architects step in to street vendors row | Bangkok Post
“Landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, the project designer, said most city footpaths are not functional, adding an infrastructure plan that is synchronised between various government agencies was urgently…”

A Brazilian City’s Dilemma: How Urban Should a Waterfront Be? | Greg Scruggs | Next City
“Whatever the merits of JLAA’s plan, Mayor José Fortunati has moved it forward. On September 4, in a ceremony that featured Lerner, he announced a R$57 ($25 USD) million bid to implement the design scheme, a project scheduled to break ground in the first trimester of 2015.”

Wait Your Turn for the Swings at Boston’s Adult Playground | Anthony Flint | CityLab
“The wildly successful Lawn on D Street is a temporary park that took no tedious city planning. Should we let more urban design emerge organically?”

Building a beautiful, durable and sustainable streetscape is a team effort | Roger K. Lewis | Washington Post
“Urban and suburban streets should be structurally sound and safe for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. Ideally, they should also be beautiful.”

Graduate School of Design Launches $110-Million Campaign | Harvard Magazine
“THE HARVARD Graduate School of Design (GSD) launched its $110-million-plus fundraising campaign on September 12 and 13 with a series of events highlighting the school’s “grounded visionaries”: architects, planners, and designers who are at once free to dream of inventive solutions for—and intensely concerned with the practical challenges of—building a better world.”

“Save the Frick” Petition Racking Up Signatures | Rozalia Jovanovic | artnet news
“The Frick’s expansion plan, which was unveiled in June, calls for doing away with the coveted viewing garden on East 70th Street designed by landscape architect Russell Page”

Harvard GSD announces winners of the 2013 Veronica Rudge Green Prize


The Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) is pleased to announce the awarding of the 11th Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design to two projects, The Metro do Porto in Porto, Portugal, and the Northeastern Urban Integration Project in Medellín, Colombia, in a ceremony to be held on Tuesday, September 3, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. in Piper Auditorium at the GSD. Rahul Mehrotra, Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, and Prize Jury Chair, will host a panel discussion including presentations by representatives (designers and administrators) of the two winning teams. The event will be followed by a reception and viewing of the exhibition Transformative Mobilities: Porto & Medellín, installed in the GSD’s Gund Hall gallery.

“If there are lessons to be drawn for urban design from Medellín and Porto, I think the broader lesson has to do with the disruption of the segregation of the disciplines in the design field. Historically we have understood that Landscape Architecture sits in one place, Architecture in another, and Urban Design and Planning [in another, with all three disciplines] in constant conflict about their territorial rights. One of the things that is revolutionary about the Medellín project is that distinguishing among the disciplines is no longer possible.” Michael Sorkin – Jury Member

Continue reading Harvard GSD announces winners of the 2013 Veronica Rudge Green Prize

This Week In Landscape | 25 August 2013

Another week of great landscape architecture content for this week reading….

Ideas to build on | Corydon Ireland | Harvard Gazette
Reed called the Flux City projects “speculative.” To date, many American responses to sea level rise have fallen into two camps: “Evacuate or build a bigger wall,” he said. “Maybe there are other ways.”

charles jencks’ cells of life is a manmade landscape | designboom
levels of smooth grassy planes stack atop each other in ‘cells of life’ — a monumental, on-site land installation conceived by american artist charles jencks for jupiter artland.

QueensWay Park Project Reaches Funding, Planning Milestones | Jennifer Maloney | WSJ
The effort to transform a 3½-mile stretch of abandoned railway tracks in Queens into a park reminiscent of Manhattan’s High Line has reached two milestones: Organizers have raised $1 million for the design and planning phase and next week they will launch a feasibility study spearheaded by two New York firms.

Rethinking Rivers: Exploring the Benefits of Ecologically-Based River Management | Shanna Atherton | Landscape Architecture Foundation
Restoring natural processes to degraded or heavily managed river systems while respecting human needs is no easy feat, but this summer the Case Study Investigation (CSI) program gave our research team the opportunity to look at three projects that have done just that.

Bringing Back the Night: The Fight Against Light Pollution | Paul Bogard | Yale enivironment 360
“As evidence mounts that excessive use of light is harming wildlife and adversely affecting human health, new initiatives in France and elsewhere are seeking to turn down the lights that flood an ever-growing part of the planet.”

Is there such thing as good urban sprawl? | Paul Brown | ABC
“MODERN PLANNERS ARE designing compact cities, believing tightly controlled zones are better for the environment. but new research suggests the opposite: urban sprawl might be a better option”

Catch more updates during the week by following us on twitter @wlandscapearch

This Week In Landscape | 21 July 2013

Montreal Botanic Gardens - Living Plant Sculptures | Image Credit Flickr User - Ydolon

Montreal Botanic Gardens – Living Plant Sculptures | Image Credit Flickr User – Ydolon

living plant sculptures at the montreal botanical gardens (mosaicultures internationales montréal 2013) | design boom 
a horticulture competition featuring over 40 living plant sculptures is exhibiting at the montreal botanical gardens in canada

Urban parks reinvented | Monique Beaudin | The Gazette
The city park ain’t what it used to be. While most parks in Montreal still have playgrounds, grass and sports fields, green spaces all over Montreal are being overhauled to offer residents a host of new types of recreational activities in more natural settings.

ASLA Honors 33 Outstanding Members with Fellowship | ASLA
The American Society of Landscape Architects will elevate 33 members to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2013.

Niall Kirkwood presents on the Theme of “Industrial Ecology: Strategy for Green Economy” in Korea | Harvard GSD
Niall Kirkwood, GSD Professor of Landscape Architecture and Technology, presented in June 2013 at the International Society for Industrial Ecology (ISIE) Biennial Conference in Ulsan, Korea on the Theme of “Industrial Ecology: Strategy for Green Economy”.

How to create a backyard oasis with an urban garden |  Debbie Travis | Toronto Star
Urban gardens are the most imaginative areas to design. Generally, having limited space is a challenge, but with a little knowledgeable planning they can be tiny perfect Edens that offer blessed escape from high-density living.

Downtown Dallas’ Plaza of the Americas is showing off its new atrium park
The Plaza of the America’s owners worked with building architect Corgan Associates and OJB Landscape Architecture.

Therapy gardens at homes and hospitals sprout up as their healing qualities are understood
The designs and purposes of healing gardens vary. Architect Lydia Kimball, a principal in the firm Mahan Rykiel Associates, designed a garden at Kennedy Krieger to help patients learning to use wheelchairs and walkers.

Urbane Natürlichkeit: die Landschaftsarchitektur von Günther Vogt | Karin Salm | SRF
Die Urbanisierung verlangt ein neues Verständnis von Natürlichkeit, davon ist der Landschaftsarchitekt Günther Vogt überzeugt.

Un proyecto que apuesta por los árboles y un vallado de troncos gana el concurso paisajístico de Ence
Un vallado de troncos que rodea todo el perímetro de la factoría, espacios intermedios con vegetación (eucaliptos, pinos gallegos, carballos, xestas o saucos) y las naves de calderas también recubiertas de rollos de madera.

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IMAGE CREDIT | Flickr user Ydolon

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