Thursday, October 29, 2009

Farewell Lawrence Halprin

This past week the landscape architecture community lost one of its most influential designers of the postwar era. Lawrence Halprin, FASLA, passed away at 93 on Sunday from natural causes. Halprin created many iconic landscapes such as Ghirardelli Square, San Fransisco, Lovejoy Park, Portland, Oregon and probably his most famous, FDR memorial in Washington D.C.

At the 2007 ASLA convention in San Fransisco I got the opportunity to hear Halprin speak at the closing general session.

I will post my photos of his work soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

How Food Shapes Our Cities

Another interesting presentation from TED about the history of city planning and how food played an essential role in the layout of pre-industrial age cities. She also talks about the future of city's relationship with food and how agriculture and food distribution systems around the world need to change.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Landscape Ecology on Terragrams

I recently found this wonderful podcast hosted by Craig Verzone from Verzone Woods Architectes called Terragrams. They interview great designers such as Ken Smith and James Corner. My favorite episode is with Richard Forman. He is a wonderful scholar sometimes referred to as the "father of landscape ecology". I highly recommend his book Landscape Ecology Principles for Landscape Architecture and Land-Use Planning. It is simple and fundamental. In the interview he mentions his new book out Urban Regions: Ecology and Planning beyond the urban city. Within the book Forman presents a critical look at 38 different cities around the world, comparing science, planning, and society.


I read the following article in the paper not that long ago, and wondered why someone did not do this earlier. So green!! Check this out.

Project Mannahatta - Before the City

For those of you who are not familiar with the TED site, it is a site about ideas. Guest speakers give short presentations which are posted online about technology, science, and art. To anyone interested in these fields I strongly suggest adding TED to your favorites folder.

A featured presentation recently posted on TED spotlighted the Mannahatta project, run by Eric Sanderson. He uses state of the art Geospatial Information System (GIS) technology to recreate Manhattan before European settlers arrived. This is a fantastic history of our favorite island from an ecological perspective.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mind Blowing

When I start thinking about who our ancestors were, where and how they might have lived, and what they may have looked like, it can really become overwhelming. It's no wonder that evolution can be such a push button issue when it can be so hard to get your head around. It's hard to believe we're figuring this stuff out!

Animal Behavior Study: Pavlov's Fish?

The New York Times posted an article today in their science section about a new animal behavior study being done in Australia. A research team led by Ulrike E. Siebeck, at the University of Queensland, trained coral reef fish species to associate specific colors and shapes with food.