Monday, December 29, 2008


A new(ish) blog called TerraMode is a collective of three designers, James Fink, Kavan Donohue, and Michael VanBeek. Their premise is simple and good: "Landscape Architects interested in design communication and it's influence on the profession." While posting has been spotty, there's a trio of North Dakota based project images that were posted initially on the site. Due to the Fargo-ness, and the 6 years I spent, I figured these were worth a look.

The first is Barrett Street Corridor, which is quick hand-drawn info...

:: image via TerraMode

The next project is entitled Eco Village: Fargo, ND and steps up the graphics quite a bit - with some nice computer graphics.

:: images via TerraMode

The final post, Jefferson Neighborhood: Fargo, ND offers the most refined graphics on the site so far, and are really good - particularly the rendering of the aquatic vegetation. What I really want to see is a rendering of this same site in January - with ice-covered water and piles of snow...

:: images via TerraMode

I think the idea of a blog investigating graphic style in landscape architecture is a worthy endeavor, but I definitely have a minor issue with the lack of authorship - who's project? - who did the graphics? - what the project is about? is it real or an academic exercise? We need some, any context to give some indication of the project. It's one of those virtual ideas I keep harping on... any graphic dialogue about landscape representation needs to come with some minimal explanatory text or links to ground the project in some form of reality. Otherwise, it's just more visual masturbation. Sometimes it's really good, sometimes it's really bad... sometimes it's just plain utilitarian - whichever way it really doesn't mean much.

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