Spatial Poetics: Vale of Cashmere – Walking Tour and Writing Workshop

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Presented with Prospect Park Alliance

Join us for an afternoon at the Vale of Cashmere, an overgrown Beaux-Arts garden on the northeast fringe of Prospect Park that is slated for future restoration. Following a tour of this lush and storied section of the Park withProspect Park Alliance chief landscape architect Christian Zimmerman, engage in a writing workshop and discussion exploring disappearing and reemerging landscapes in the Vale and city beyond, led by Wendy S. Walters, author and New School professor.

This event is open to participants at all levels of writing experience.

Wendy S. Walters is the author of a book of essays Multiply/Divide (Sarabande Books, 2015) and two books of poems, most recently Troy, Michigan(Futurepoem Books, 2014).  She was a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry, and her work appears in The Iowa Review, Bookforum, FENCE,Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere.  She has won a Ford Foundation Fellowship, a research fellowship from the Smithsonian Institution.  She is a Contributing Editor at The Iowa Review and Associate Professor of creative writing and literature at the Eugene Lang College of The New School University in the city of New York.

Since 1990, Christian Zimmerman has been the guiding hand for one of the most respected ongoing park restorations in the country. He oversees capital design, construction and landscape management at the Prospect Park Alliance, leading a team of architects, landscape architects, horticulturists, arborists and ecologists. Christian is nationally recognized for his historic preservation work, and has been a consultant to the National Parks Service and other parks around the country. In 2010, he was named a American Society of Landscape Architects Fellow.

Computational Ecologies: Inside the 2015 ACADIA Conference in Cincinnati

Architecture, National, Technology
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
"Reciprocal Artifacts," Michael Leighton Beaman + Zaneta Hong (Beta-field). (John Stoughton/AN)

“Reciprocal Artifacts,” Michael Leighton Beaman + Zaneta Hong (Beta-field). (John Stoughton/AN)

The 35th annual conference of the Association for Computer-Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA) took place in Cincinnati (at Peter Eisenman’s infamous DAAP Building) in late October. The international conference is a three-day long academic event presenting peer-reviewed research and experimental work of 50 computational designers, students, and architects. Topics range from material science, biomimesis, geomimesis, robotics, environmental parametrics, and ecological urbanism.

More after the jump.

Mikyoung Kim’s Stainless Steel Serpent

Friday, September 13, 2013
Brought to you with support from:
Brought to you with support from:

Mikyoung Kim's 70-foot sculpture engages viewers with color changing LEDs and vapor emitted through strategic perforations. (Marc LaRosa)

Mikyoung Kim’s 70-foot installation engages viewers with color changing LEDs and vapor emitted through strategic perforations. (Marc LaRosa)

Amuneal Manufacturing fabricates a “breathing” sculpture for a North Carolina plaza.

For a public plaza in downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina, landscape architecture firm Mikyoung Kim Design designed a unique sculptural installation that doubles as a stormwater management system. The 70-foot linear form is centrally located to engage the town’s residents with a looped, 10-minute light show. A misting sequence, drawn from a subgrade cistern, emanates through the perforated metal skin of the sculpture, giving the impression that “Exhale” is actually a living, breathing object.

The original concept for the piece incorporated hydrological elements of the site in an engaging and transparent way, but the form was less defined. Over the course of nine months, designer Mikyoung Kim said her team designed countless rock-like shapes from clay, carving each from the inside out to achieve a thin, amorphous shape that consistently collapsed in on itself. Then, one night at home, Kim had a breakthrough when her idling hands picked up a few sheets of trace paper in the early morning hours. “I started folding a piece of trace paper and kept folding, and folding,” she recalled. “It was yellow and easy and beautiful; I fell in love with that.” The sheets also helped Kim balance her aim for delicacy with function and helped define Exhale’s fan-like corrugation. Read More

On View> Victoria Sambunaris’ Photography Captures Human Interactions with Landscape

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Untitled (Distant steam vents, Yellowstone), 2008

Untitled (Distant steam vents, Yellowstone), 2008. (Victoria Sambunaris)

Victoria Sambunaris: Taxonomy of a Landscape
Museum of Contemporary Photography
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL
Through March 31

Victoria Sambunaris has photographed the American landscape from coast to coast, investigating human interaction with and relationship to the natural environment. Over a decade’s worth of color photographs taken with a 5 by 7 field camera capture the multiple layers of America’s expansive landscapes that are interrupted by human development. Born to Greek immigrant parents driven by the American dream, Sambunaris has become fascinated and identifies with the unease of the Mexico/United States border. Her photographs of over 2,000 miles of these borderlands suggest an innate similarity between the two lands in spite of national boundaries. Taxonomy of a Landscape also includes a complete archive of Sambunaris’ travels with maps, journals, road logs, collected souvenirs, and sketches.

Northerly Island to Soon Become Lake Michigan Oasis

Friday, August 3, 2012
(Courtesy Studio Gang & Chicago Park District)

Northerly Island will soon begin to take shape as an oasis in Lake Michigan. (Courtesy Studio Gang & Chicago Park District)

Gazing at Chicago from the east, it’s impossible to ignore the city’s towering skyline. But the latest gem on the southwest shores of Lake Michigan won’t be made from glass and steel—it’s prairie grass and wetlands.

Northerly Island, a 91-acre peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan just south of the Loop, was promised a visionary makeover from Studio Gang and landscape architects JJR in 2010. Now the Chicago Park District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are preparing to break ground this fall.

COntinue reading after the jump.

9/11 Memorial Plaza: How It Works

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

(all images courtesy Peter Walker Partners)

A decade after the 9/11 attacks, the public will soon be able to visit the site, much of which has been fully transformed into the 9/11 Memorial Plaza. While many were dispirited by the years of revisions to and deviations from the Libeskind master plan (which itself had many detractors), AN‘s recent visit to the plaza, crowded with workers laboring toward the anniversary opening, revealed a vast, contemplative space that we predict will function well as both a memorial and a public space. Next week AN will take a look at the design and offer a preview of the what the public can expect from the space, but, first, a look at how the highly engineered plaza works.

Continue reading after the jump.

A Garden for Pondering in Philadelphia

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Rodin Museum Garden with The Thinker beyond. (all images courtesy OLIN)

OLIN has completed a renovation of the gardens at Philadelphia’s Rodin Museum, which houses the largest collection of Auguste Rodin’s sculptures and objects outside of Paris. The renovation is a piece of a larger refurbishment of Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which is also being overseen by OLIN, as a part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Master Plan.  Read More

Competition> Envision a Future for the Pruitt-Igoe Site

Midwest, Newsletter
Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pruitt-Igoe as planned. (all images courtesy Pruitt-Igoe Now)

Building on the renewed interest in the destruction of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex in St. Louis, a new competition looks to engage the history and inspire possible future uses for the 33 acre site. Nearly 40 years after the demolition–which Charles Jencks claimed signaled the death of Modern architecture itself–most of the site remains cleared, filled in with trees and grasses that have sprung up over time. Organized by the newly formed non-profit Pruitt-Igoe Now, the competition brief asks, “Can this site itself be liberated from a turbulent and mythologized past through re-imagination and community engagement?” Read More

Helsinki Park By Robert Wilson To Pay Tribute to Tapio Wirkkala

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The planned park designed by Robert Wilson (courtesy The Art Newspaper)

The famed stage designer Robert Wilson is trying his hand at park design with a new commission in Helsinki dedicated to the memory of the designer Tapio Wirkkala, according to The Art Newspaper. The rectangular park–a garden, really–will be divided into nine rooms, each symbolizing different domestic spaces. One outdoor room, for example, will feature a small fireplace surrounded by stone seating.  Read More

Swamps Emerging on the Urban Landscape

Thursday, December 2, 2010
An urban swamp in Detroit (Photo by Clark Mizono)`

An urban swamp in Detroit (Photo by Clark Mizono)

While bringing nature back into the city is generally heralded as a sign of improvement, this is hardly the best path to that end.  Next American City‘s Willy Staley recently took a walk through Detroit‘s East Side with vacant property guru Sam Butler to surmise the problems of abandonment facing the city. Detroit, seeking to demolish some 3,000 structures, has long been at the center of a movement to “shrink” cities suffering from population loss and blight.

More on urban swamps bogging down neighborhood revitalization.

Such Great Heights

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blue Ridge Pass by Maya Lin (images courtesy Arts Club of Chicago)

Winter makes Chicagoans crave a sense of escape. An intriguing new exhibition of Maya Lin’s work at the Arts Club of Chicago provides a timely opportunity to visit, visually at least, some fascinating terrain. With its small and large-scale sculpture and installations, viewers can travel from mountain peaks to the bottom of the sea. Read More

Northerly Night

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Chicago skyline as seen from Northerly Island. (photo:-bc/flickr)

The Chicago Parks District is holding a public meeting on the future of Northerly Island tonight at the Spertus Institute from 6-9pm. The 91-acre peninsula, which is connected to the lakefront by a causeway, has played an important and evolving role  in Chicago’s civic imagination. It figures prominently in the Burnham Plan, was home to 1933-1934 World’s Fair, and later the Meigs Field airport, and was part of the 2016 Olympic bid. The meeting will offer a preview of plans for the island and solicit public comment.

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