Monday, June 1, 2009

Dwell Does Landscape

Recently there was a cadre of posts from the Dwell blog focused on the landscape - as part of the 101 Landscape. The content was mostly passable, with some information on this history of the profession, and an interesting article on lawn reduction... amongst some others.


:: image via Dwell

I was particularly interested in the quotes from a trio of noted landscape architects on the Future of Landscape Architect. The throwaway of these is Kathryn Gustafson's quote on the urbanist tendencies and the style that follows - with this gem: "I think the idea of the American home is being redefined,” explains Kathryn Gustafson. “Landscape is becoming more integrated into our cities and our [domestic spaces].”


:: image via Dwell

Diana Balmori, one of the L+U favs, offers some wisdom on the idea of design for a residential scale beyond the typical garden plot. “Many wish to have usable space for play, exercise, games, or for the feeling of openness. It’s the creation of many options that is interesting... Landscape architecture is not a correcting or mitigating agent for architecture. When engaged simultaneously with the architecture, it transforms it and makes possible connectivity between inside and outside.”


:: image via Dwell

The final quote, from Michael Van Valkenburgh, offers an interesting twist on the value of residential design. “Although it may not be for everybody, [residential] design is by no means less important than the bigger commissions. Small projects, be they residential or not, are an important way for designers to explore new ideas, whether you are a newcomer or an experienced designer. Also, big projects sometimes take over a decade to design and complete. When you love the art of construction and planting as much as we do, you need some side projects that keep you in that atmosphere even while you are pursuing more long-term projects.”

He adds some info on the future from an educational perspective: “...one of the crucial elements I would like to see our program address better is the intersection between environmental science and design. How can landscape architects benefit from the most current research being done, and how can we push or lead research in ways that will help us to build landscapes that are both experientially rich and environmentally sound?”


:: image via Dwell

2 comments:

  1. I find the quotes interesting, but otherwise Dwell is pretty clueless when it comes to landscape. The photo of the moss lawn substitute seems unintentionally funny, looking like a relic from the seventies. Or were they trying for that effect with the washed out lighting in the photograph.
    Moss doesn't take traffic, so a magazine shouldn't be presenting it as a substitute for a lawn without listing some of the other many flat green groundcovers that also don't take traffic well. They do a much more passable job of talking about buildings, in my opinion.

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  2. I agree it probably should not have been presented as a lawn substitute as many equate lawn with inhabited space. This space was never intended to be inhabited. It was meant to give the landscape a texture that worked with the texture of the building. The project was very much abotu inside outside connections. doug, H. Keith Wagner Partnership

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