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.