landscape-architecture – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Category Archives: landscape-architecture

unknown unknowns

0. Everyone’s favorite Donald Rumsfeld quotation: “[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.” (As evidence […]

eight-bit baroque

Via BLDGBLOG, Timo Arnall’s “Robot Readable World”, “an experiment in found machine-vision footage, exploring the aesthetics of the robot eye”: This video is rather obviously fantastic, but I do think it’s worth calling attention to a perceptive comment left on the Vimeo page. Arnall describes the video as exploring the questions “how do robots see […]

signs for naturalized areas

["Signs for Naturalized Areas", from Windsor, Ontario's Broken City Lab; the signs were installed in the summer of 2009, after a city workers' strike left various vacant lots unmowed and teeming with accidental plant communities.  The emergent flora were apparently commonly viewed negatively, as a symbol of the political conflict surrounding the workers' strike; the […]

road ecologies

A nice slideshow by Laura Tepper on Places looks at the intersection of “wildlife habitat and highway design”, from “the six massive wildlife overpasses lining the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff National Park” to HNTB and Michael Van Valkenburgh’s winning entry to the recent ARC competition for Vail Pass, “Hypar-nature” (pictured above) and across the Atlantic […]

quilian riano interviews chris reed

Quilian Riano interviews Chris Reed (Stoss Landscape Urbanism) for Places; the interview touches on a broad range of topics, including Stoss’s recent work, the importance of an expanded field for landscape architecture, and possibilities for inventing flexible alliances between design teams and collaborators in “related fields such as engineering, ecology, economics, etc.”: “Within this expanded […]

parainfrastructures

We recently wrote a brief piece, “Appeal”, for the excellent architecture journal Quaderns in response to their most recent issue, “Parainfrastructures”. We used this response as an opportunity to consider why we are so drawn to infrastructural landscapes like Blue Plains — not just as sites of logistical and technological operations, but aesthetically as well: […]

shitscape

To wrap up this week of fecal matters, I want to talk briefly about Bret Betnar’s “Shitscape: Mumbai’s Landscape In-Between”, a brilliant project done while Betnar was at the University of Pennsylvania. 1 If you haven’t already read it, be sure to check out Peter Nunns’ post from Tuesday on “fecal politics”, which deals with exactly […]

de-damming the dutch delta

[The Haringvliet Dam] In recent years, as they seek to rethink the flood control infrastructures and climate defense systems of the Mississippi Delta, American politicians, engineers, planners, and designers have, with good reason, looked to the Netherlands for inspiration and expertise. This is entirely natural, as the Netherlands has long been the world’s most sophisticated […]

restoring the land-making machine

[The fluctuating terrain of the lower Mississippi River Delta, from the USGS's map of "land area change in coastal Louisiana from 1932 to 2010".  Loss is in red; accumulation is in green.  The map is seen via Free Association Design, where you can see the map in more detail, including the rapidly accreting area of […]

dike field

[A dike field in the Mississippi River near Greenfield, Mississippi; via bing maps.] In the Mississippi River, dike fields are constructed in order to direct the river’s flow to a central channel, scouring it and reducing the need for dredging.  Though their primary purpose is to thus maintain navigability for shipping, dike fields tend, as […]

urban field manuals

[Photographs from Christoph Engel's series "Exterieur", which explores the sort of cryptoforested terrain vague which the urban field manual might excel in operating in.] Issue 14 of the Magazine On New Urbanisms, “Editing Urbanism”, is out.  Brian Davis, Brett Milligan, and I co-wrote a piece in that issue, “Urban Field Manuals”, which argues that the […]

predictive gis and geospatial intelligence

A recent article at Live Science looks at the work of Robert Cheetham, “one of two landscape architects… hired to start a Crime Analysis and Mapping Unit for the Philadelphia Police Department” fourteen years ago, and today the founder of a consulting company that provides “geospatial analysis services to enhance decision-making”, including developing a software […]

colonnade park

[Colonnade Park, photographed by Brett Milligan.] Free Association Design reports from Seattle’s Colonnade Park, an “urban mountain bike skills park” constructed by volunteers from the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance: It hard not to be enamored by the successful and improvised gestalt of the whole thing, in both program and materials. Much of what it is […]

in and out of the terrain of water

[The Dixon Land Imprinter, described by the Out of Water project.] This is probably a bit late to be truly timely, but there are a pair of interdisciplinary-but-architecturally-oriented conferences this weekend (1 and 2 April) hosted by the Universities of Pennsylvania and Toronto, which may be of interest to mammoth readers who are in or […]

infrastructure without architects

[Photo of Global III, by Alan Berger via NAi Publishers] Approximately seventy-five miles due west of the gleaming towers of Chicago’s Loop, Union Pacific Railroad, the United States’ largest railroad company, operates the Rochelle Global III Intermodal Facility, twelve-hundred acres of switching yards, train tracks, loading facilities, and container-sized parking spaces.  Rochelle, a small Midwestern […]

kongjian yu and the conscientizacao of the landscape

FASLANYC posts an interview with pioneering Chinese landscape architect Kongjian Yu, who I’ve heard speak a couple times and always been impressed by.  They talk about the origins of Yu’s firm’s name (Turenscape), how Yu worked to convince Chinese officials that landscape architecture was a useful discipline, what defines a productive landscape, and the relationship […]

winter hiatus (polar night)

[Fantastic Norway's 2005 installation "Polar Night", built in the Arctic town of Bodø.  A total of 40 daylight lamps -- bulbs of the sort which are designed to simulate natural sunlight and used in therapy -- were attached to fiberglass panels, lighting a public square during the polar night, and producing an event which attracted […]

thrilling wonder interview

On his blog, Rory Hyde interviews Geoff Manaugh and Liam Young at Thrilling Wonder Stories 2.  I’m particularly taken by an idea the three converge on at the end: GM: …I guess if you’re trying to do a kind of trigonometric extension of the canon into the future, and to imagine where might we be […]

fracture-prone

[An image from Mark Luthringer's "Ridgemont Typologies"] In an excerpt on Slate from his latest book (Makeshift Metropolis), Witold Rybczynski asks the question: what kind of cities do we want? Judging from the direction that American urbanism has taken during the second half of the 20th century, one answer is unequivocal—Americans want to live in […]

backyard farm service

[Plant compatibility diagram, from Visual Logic's "Backyard Farm Service.] One of the unfortunate things that happens with competitions is that the best entries are often overlooked by the judges, and the ideas encapsulated in those entries then missed.  There are notable exceptions to this rule, like the OMA entry to the Parc de la Villette […]