Sunday, 27 February 2011

Informative/inspirational - podcasts

I find it difficult sometimes to keep switching my 'work' brain to my 'school' brain as it's forever evolving, especially school. With this in mind I've tried to find inspiration and still allow myself to learn about landscape architecture while working - how? Listen to informative podcasts on landscape architecture while at work. Luckily I can listen to my personal preferences at work so I just pop my headphones into my PC and press 'play'. It helps me as this combination of work and school is very difficult to get into the right 'head space' for each one with such a heavy workload as we're experiencing at the moment in our final year. This light listening allows me to combine a bit of work and school with minimal impact to my work.

The podcasts links below might be interesting for you as well. Most are American with links to American design practices with projects all over the world. Some are very informative, inspirational and come with an international landscape architecture perspective - have a listen.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Sketches - additional

I completed some sketches last week in black/white and scanned the image for Photoshop editing. I usually render my sketches by hand with colored pencil and/or felt tip but this time I decided to experiment with Photoshop to develop some speed and more experience on Photoshop. I think I used it to convey my scheme  well but there is room for a lot of improvement even though it's more for quick illustration purposes. I've also inserted 1 black/white un-rendered sketch to show the 'before' and after' result.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Potters Field Park - photos

Over Christmas I went to Potters Fields Park to observe the area as a similar situated site to Jubilee Gardens. On my 1st visit the weather was absolutely poor and nearing dusk so my photos were not very usable. I decided to return, and went approximately 2 weeks ago when the weather was a lot more habitable.

I got some good photos and some will be used in building up my 'Precedent Images'. The hard landscaping was done very well, in my opinion, and was of a good workmanship. Also interesting to note was 'the Scoop' a sunken type of amphitheater at More London. See photos below.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Thought I'd post some sketches from earlier this week. These are the unannotated and uncolored ones as I scanned the individual A4 ones to get them to fit on A1 without having to stick them on - trying to get some presentation brownie points :) I then colored/rendered and annotated by hand.

Next sketches I do I have to widen my vision and spread it out some more - in other words don't keep it so tight. Good feedback from Jamie that I plan to rectify. Also, as the designs evolve, so will the sketches.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Response to Art - Attention, Awareness, Curiosity, Engagement...

This is a very interesting diagram by Henry Beer showing the response to art measured by intensity and time. As landscape architects we really have to strive to attain points of 'ENGAGEMENT' and to go beyond this to 'FASCINATION' and 'INTEGRATION'. Pushing the boundaries to 'WONDER' and 'TRANSCENDENCE' of art in the public realm can even be attained.

A really good example of art reaching the upper echelons in this diagram may be found at Chicago's Millenium Park with Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate 'Jellybean' design (shown below). From my knowledge this public sculpture has attained the level of 'WONDER' and may even be in the 'TRANSCENDENCE' bracket as the design is clearly one to be noted and experienced.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Public art in the public realm - Civic art

Public art (art which is in the public’s view and cannot be avoided) in the public realm with community involvement becomes civic art. Civic art in urban design works with the culture and the context where the art is installed. Civic art not only increases engagement, but inclusiveness. The experience of civic art is enhanced when engagement comes in the form of passive engagement to active engagement. The most successful installations will bind people together in common engagement.

The paragraph above, in my own words, pertains to an interesting podcast that I listened to from a Colorado based urban designer, Henry Beer. I thought his words were very interesting and poignant. I strongly believe that my ‘Educational - Carnival’ theme portrays itself as civic art as Carnival is a ‘ theater of the streets’. When the costumes are stationery there is passive engagement and when ‘human energy brings it to life’ it becomes active engagement as one follows the movement of the 6m costume and masquerade. The accessibility targets a wide cross section of visitors, irrespective of age and level of education. From children to adults alike the enormous costumes are engulfing - from the tactile nature of the costume design to the socio-political underlying meanings of some designs giving depth and significance to the work so it doesn't only give aesthetic interest.

Henry reminds us that civic art most of the time is a permanent installation and doesn’t disappear after a short period of time. Therefore we have to be vigilant about the selection of art pieces that are placed in urban settings.’

Friday, 4 February 2011

Concept - Educational

Over the last few weeks we visited various theme options for our concept masterplans. The one shown below is a 1:500 scale drawing of theme 'Educational' focusing on the education of Carnival.

Key features include 2 landscape mounds providing some elevation for the site for siting/relaxing; pathways in a Burle Marx/Antoni Gaudi colored mosaic design; a red elliptical shaped Cafe building mimicking a pod from the London Eye and embracing the view corridor; a Museum/Learning Resource Center with a glass facade providing excellent views and connectivity from York Rd; a Water Features in the style of Kathryn Gustafson flowing through the Museum building; a colorful architectural structure of Sails providing shelter for 4-6 m high Carnival costumes; and a Children's Playground. This was my 3rd masterplan drawing and chosen option to further develop. Rendering techniques are improving and practice is making...not perfect but better.

Concept - Connective

Over the last few weeks we visited various theme options for our concept masterplans. The one shown below is a 1:500 scale drawing of theme 'Connective'.

Key features include pathways providing connectivity throughout most area across the site; a curvilinear Cafe building making use of the view corridor; 2 Water Features in the style of Kathryn Gustafson; and a Children's Playground -all with the aim of improved connectivity in the public realm. 2nd masterplan drawing - still to diagrammatic but I'm improving.

Concept - Alternative

Over the last few weeks we visited various theme options for our concept masterplans. The one shown below is a 1:500 scale drawing of theme 'Alternative'. 

Some key features include Art Installation areas of a contemporary/sculptural nature forming various focal points around the site; along with a Performance/Concert area near the S.E. area of the site; a Cafe with cascading water down a glass facade; and mosaic styled paving. It was the 1st masterplan drawing and feedback during the critique, and rightly so, was that it was too conceptual and diagrammatic.