animation progress

•February 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I have continued to play with the animation from the last assignment.  This is 10 seconds that i have rendered out.  The next step is to continue the up-down rhythm and allow groups of particles to break apart.  I have been messing around with it, and it is a little tricky.

Article Review: “Uncertain Parks: Disturbed Sites, Citizens, and Risk Society” by Elizabeth K. Myer

•November 7, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Myer, Elizabeth K. “Uncertain Parks: Disturbed Sites, Citizens, and Risk Society.” In Large Parks, by Julie Czerniak and George Hargreaves, 59-85. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.

Beth Myer’s article, “Uncertain Parks: Disturbed Sites, Citizens, and Risk Society” discusses the development of large parks on formerly industrial sites. Myer frames these parks on disturbed sites in an historical context, citing the 19th century parks situated on former “royal gardens and hunting grounds,” 20th century parks situated “on large rural parcels, on the periphery of expanding cities.” The new location for large parks are called brownfields, gray fields and are legally known as Environmental Protection Agency-designated Superfund sites. Examples of these contemporary sites are Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord, Fresh Kills Park and Orange County Great Park. When discussing the large pastoral recreational parks of the late mid-20th century, Myers writes, “Large pastoral parks with ball fields and picnic shelters are more a form of amnesia, a practice of forgetting site histories, than indices of regional character” (62). The idea of “camaflouge sites” is used to examine the common aesthetic tool of making places (attractive or not) that ignore the consumptive and productive history of site. Particularly ironic is the fact that these sites were designed at a time in American politics when the environmental movement was passing legislation and public policy to deal with the consequences of industrial production and American consumerism. The legibility of consumption as a particularly American cultural quality in disturbed site design is important to Myer in a few ways. Myer writes, “design strategies that focus primarily on the ecological processes of remediating a toxic industrial site fail to account for the intermingling of the natural, social, and industrial processes that permeate such sites” (64). Large parks can play the cultural role that movies and newspapers do, to confront the public with the reality that is the consequences of consumptive lifestyles. The juxtaposition of remediation techniques and processes and active human use is a way to begin to change attitudes toward a truly sustainable lifestyle. Myer refers to this as “toxic discourse,” which is “an expression of a collectivity of consumer citizens who perceive their environment through the lens of uncertainty and risk” (66). Myer suggests, “Large parks are places where consumer-citizens are allowed the opportunity to recognize the gaps between their alleged environmental values and their patterns of consumption; within a large park on a disturbed site, a generation of consumer-environmentalist citizens might find physical manifestations of their contradictory beliefs, impulses and actions” (80).

Temporal and not special constructs, referred to as timescapes, are important in the remediation and legibility of large parks on disturbed sites. These timescapes intertwine “ecological and industrial processes that unfold over time” (81). This is important, also, in how these parks are represented. Myers cites the work of Anu Mathur and Dilip da Cunha as drawings that “might allow a designer, her consultants, and her clients to imagine new arrangements, juxtapositions, dislocations, and amplifications of events that in their incongruousness make evident the unspoken and unacknowledged risks and relationships we assume in exchange for our comforts” (67). Associated with this is the actual experience of the landscape as “aesthetic landscape experience-not pleasing, generic scenery-as a means to construct relationships and establish obligations between an individual and the world” (74). Myer concludes with a question and answer of speculatory self (as landscape architect) importance: “What might happen if that experience of beauty within risk caused a collectivity of individuals to act differently in their everyday lives? We might truly know what the cultural agency of landscape could be” (82).

sex in the landscape

•October 31, 2007 • Leave a Comment

over dinner with colleagues last night, the topic of sex in design was brought up. she had read that when you design a landscape the primary criteria should be: could you make love in the spaces you have created. Its not about some crude concept of sex. its about the seductive and sensual nature inherent in a certain comfort level of space. This is a powerful sentiment. if design passed this test, the quality and intimacy of spaces would be nice. hmmm……interesting.

Cult Landscapes

•October 29, 2007 • Leave a Comment


hearing a piece of a conversation and taking it totally out of context earlier i started thinking about cult landscapes…not cultural landscapes…cult landscapes. how do communities based on a cult of personality, religion or whatever organize space? what could precedents to modern cult landscapes be…? hmmm. Can you imagine a landscape project where your client is a commune in the middle of nowhere…The leader gives you the ‘program elements’ and you have to design spaces to fulfill their objectives.

The cultural landscapes of cult landscapes seem perhaps predictable. The coercion of people is common in most cultures including our own. Think of the way our government and media build momentum to wars. Then the typical historical examples of cults of personality…stalin and hitler immediatley come to mind.

anyway, just wanted to put those ideas out there as a way for me to think more broadly about landscape. if we can expand our constructed notions of landscape, perhaps our landscapes can change cultural constructs.

Switched the growth siren

•October 25, 2007 • Leave a Comment

i have switched to wordpress…not that i really blogged over there. i figured a new beginning might re-engage me to the blog. just though i would post a project i just worked on. its really conceptual…maybe not based in reality. the sight is pontilly neighborhood, nola. let me know what you think.

morrison park, pontilly neighborhood

morrison park, pontilly neighborhood_2

Hello world!

•October 25, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!