Andris Zobs & Ian Glas
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Climbing in Playgrounds
March 3, 2015
Playground designers and manufacturers have recognized that traditional post and deck structures and climbing events don’t fully satisfy the urge to climb that we all feel. In recent years, the industry has stepped forward to meet the challenge with climbing sculptures that have added a new dimension to playground activity, with more realistic surfaces, more challenging athleticism, and creativity in forms. New technology has enabled complete creative freedom; climbers are no longer limited to walls and boulders. Playground designers can now create expressive sculptures that combine the health benefits of climbing while also providing a venue for imaginative play.
Founded in 2005, Integrated Design Solutions (IDS) designs and fabricates custom sculptural landscapes and play features using a specially formulated polymer concrete shell that provides a durable, realistic surface suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Driven to increase the play and climbing value of artificial rock, IDS has pioneered new material and sculptural techniques that bring an unprecedented level of realism to the market.
The Harvard Design Magazine is a forward-thinking publication that we have recently come to appreciate and dig into on a quarterly basis. The content is smart, on-point and continues to push the boundaries of what design is in contemporary society. The 39th issue was recently released; a summary follows::
Issue No. 39
Harvard Design Magazine
Reexamining the ocean’s historic and superficial remoteness, this issue profiles the ocean as contemporary urban space and subject of material, political, and ecologic significance, asking how we are shaping it, and how it is shaping us.
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From Issue 32.3
Tuesday 27th Jan 2015
From the issue feature, “Living by Design in the Pacific Northwest.”
It’s no secret. The veil of rainy weather doesn’t hide the fact that the Pacific Northwest is a great place to live. For the same reasons you and I love living here—the temperate climate, easy access to mountains and water, big-city life—people are moving to the Northwest at a rapid pace. As reported by Jon Talton for The Seattle Times, according to a US Metro Economies report created by Global Insight for The United States Conference of Mayors, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area is expected to grow more than 39 percent in the next 30 years. How can we grow and, at the same time, keep our cities not just livable but also lovable?
The answer lies in streets. Typically representing about 30 percent of a city’s open space, streets have huge potential for uses other than just moving traffic: streets should perform the triple duties of multimodal transportation, placemaking and ecological function.
Bit by bit, cities are dismantling an auto-centric landscape in exchange for an enriching network of public spaces. We are learning that transportation and recreation don’t have to take place separately. Fitness becomes a positive side effect of a fun and active commute, and environmental health results from designing with nature. Our cities can grow while increasing our quality of life when we expand our definition of what our streets can offer.
Nora Daley-Peng is a landscape architect who champions a place-based approach to create resilient communities that not only support active lifestyles, lively commerce and healthy ecosystems, but also reveal the rich story of a place. Nora leads Alta Planning + Design’s Complete Streets practice.
She thanks Nate Cormier, principal landscape architect at SvR Design Company—the prime consultant for Bell Street Park—and Debra Guenther, FASLA, principal at Mithun—the prime consultant for 14th Avenue NW Park Boulevard—for sharing information about these maverick projects!
A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, ARCADE’s mission is to reinforce the principle that thoughtful design at every scale of human endeavor improves our quality of life. Support ARCADE today.
This informative flow chart is an creative way to learn more about what landscape architecture is, how the design process works, and how we contribute to the environment and society.
CHANGE THE CONVERSATION.
At CJM::LA, we believe strongly in the ability of design to change the conversation. Design by its very nature is a changing, evolving entity. It requires new insight and fresh ideas to continue to move forward. We work to design both private and public spaces in a way that pushes the boundary of the expected, that pushes us to engage with each other and society in a new, meaningful way. Our projects seek to incite a dialogue between people and their surroundings, each other, and the community. Whether it is something as small as a paving detail or as large as a community plaza; we pride ourselves in the opportunity to provide innovative spaces for living, creating and interacting.
SUSTAINABILITY. SMART DESIGN.
As Landscape Architects, it is our responsibility to design with a consciousness towards the environmental, economic and social sustainability of our communities. At CJM::LA, the concepts behind sustainability are what drive our design decisions. We believe that sustainable design is smart design. We engage in a collaborative approach with our clients and project teams in order to select sustainable practices that are appropriate to each project, both economically and environmentally. The end result are responsibly-designed, efficient, marketable properties. Properties with permanence and style.
A COMMENT ON STYLE.
As trends emerge and fall away, styles and aesthetics evolve. In Santa Barbara, there is a strong traditional style inherent in our surroundings which has defined the built environment within our community. At CJM::LA, we work within the themes of contemporary culture while also maintaining a firm grasp on the timelessness of traditional design sensibilities. We respond closely to site context to create a meaningful style and a design language that helps to define each space; that is specific to each property. We have successfully executed projects within the traditional, eclectic, contemporary and modern styles and look forward to further developing our portfolio.
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9/11 Memorial: The Other Half
May 23, 2013
- Photos by Alan Ward; courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture
There’s been a grand opening, and more than six million visitors have visited, but the 9/11 Memorial site in lower Manhattan is still very much a work in progress. Landscape architect Peter Walker, co-designer of the project, estimates that after 10 years on the job, his vision is only halfway realized. More acres of the plaza need to be built and that can’t happen until the underground museum and train station are finished, as well as the surrounding streets.
Despite being unfinished, the memorial is open, and people have been coming from all over the world to pay their respects. Crowds are hustled through the maze-like barriers of this construction site before reaching its heart: the solemn memorial of two meaningful voids in the ground. Eventually, though, the experience will be completely different.
The finished product will be a memorial plus an open public space. Eight carefully planned acres that will ultimately be a contemplative and restful place, transformed by a lush forest of more than 400 swamp white oak trees. It will be one of the most sustainable plazas ever constructed. This part of the project will conclude years from now, quietly and without as much pomp and fanfare. But for generations to come, this park will ultimately be an important and reverent part of the experience.