Landscape Architecture in the news

Let’s be honest, not all news is good news. Hell, most news is depressing news. It can be somewhat difficult to see past the scope of what’s “bad”, to see what’s actually really, really “good”.

Landscape architecture has a funny way of being represented in the media. More often, articles pertaining to the field of landscape architecture are exclusive to those in the profession or in fields related. However, landscape architecture has found its way into mainstream media, just not in the most obvious way.

I wanted to bring attention to “news” about landscape architecture that you should know about, and like me- perhaps get excited about, too.

We’ll start large scale, and move our way into a more local scale.

  1. CityLab
  • CityLab is a resource I often look to for news related to landscape architecture, urban planning, and architecture on a global scale. If you’re looking for specific target articles, look no further than the CityFixer
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Credit (CityLab)
  • One article specifically I want to pull your attention to is the article about cleaning the Seine in Paris to be swimmable by 2024 . You read that right, Paris, France has the same problems that Toledo, Columbus, and Cleveland have when it comes to cleaning up the bodies of water that are integral identities to these cities. What is the proposed solution to cleaning the Seine up? Aquatic plant beds to filter the water.

2. Next City

  • Next City is similar to CityLab, but organizes it’s information in more general subjects. The article about the Chicago River Planning Process talks about the state of Chicago’s River in the past, the present, and now the future.
    • “A lot of folks recognize that the rivers are attractive, yes, and that a lot of what we currently think of as industry — breweries, digital manufacturing, 3D printing — is industry that’s wholly compatible with a riverfront habitat.”
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The Chicago River (Credit: Metropolitan Planning Council)

3. Reeling it back into Toledo, Ohio. Toledo has been a city whose received plenty of flak for decades. The city and the resilience in those who live in this community are building on the city’s current assets – The Toledo Mud Hens (Triple A affiliate for the Detroit Tigers), The Toledo Museum of Art, and The Toledo Zoo (Rated #1 in the country)- to strengthen the city’s economy.

  • Downtown Toledo Master Plan has its very own website that will be sharing updates on the progress of the plan for the city. Times are changing for Toledo!
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Credit: Downtown Toledo Master Plan

 

Define Landscape Architecture

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ParKIT, Washington D.C. 2015

A little over 3 years ago, I was wallowing my way through some difficult transitions that come with being a college student. For me, the toughest transition was finding the right college major. Sitting in my apartment, I would panic that I couldn’t and possibly wouldn’t find a major or profession that I could see myself focusing on.

I enrolled in “Making and Meaning of the American Landscape”, a writing class for landscape architecture majors without the slightest clue in what this class was all about. With time, a better understanding for what landscape architecture might entail became more clear. I came to understand that it plays a major role in the way the world works

I would continue to change my major a few times before the idea of landscape architecture revisited me. A professor in the program reached out to me, and offered to open the conversation about perhaps switching to the program, and pursuing a future career in the field. After a few meetings, an application, and an acceptance, I jumped head first into the program.

 

In addition to being taught the basics of landscape architecture, aka how to grade the topography of sites, construction documents, etc, I’ve been learning how to think. In design school, it’s not about creating something “cool” but rather training your brain and eye to pay attention to details, process, and the composition. To an even further degree, we’re pushed to question why things are they way they are.

Since I started this program, I’ve become more and more inspired but also fired up about creating and designing smart spaces. In becoming slightly obsessed with talking about landscape architecture, I’ve come to find that it is still a profession that is “behind the scenes”. I want to bring that conversation forward, and offer some precedents of what I define as landscape architecture.

I’ve compiled a list that merely skims the surface of what compiles my definition of landscape architecture.

  • The Atlanta BeltLine
    • “The Atlanta BeltLine utilizes an existing 22-mile historic rail corridor that encircles the City of Atlanta as its foundation. Pedestrian friendly rail transit and 33 miles of multi-use trails will follow this corridor and spur off from it. The completion of the Atlanta BeltLine will bring together 45 intown neighborhoods and also link them to the entire metropolitan Atlanta region through a collection of transit offerings.” – Atlanta BeltLine Overview
  •  Rust Belt Riders
    • “Rust Belt Riders is a company dedicated to creating wealth from waste. We strive to create well paying jobs in communities that have seen decades of divestment and offer an alternative model for how companies operate and support the communities across Northeast Ohio.” – About Rust Belt Riders
  • Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden
    • Field of Light, featuring 30,000 individual spheres of gently blooming light nestled on the hillside of the Garden Butte, cascading down onto theSonoran Desert Nature Loop Trail.” – Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light Event
  • Gowanus Canal Sponge Park
    • “The Sponge Park™ design equally values the aesthetic, programmatic, and productive importance of treating contaminated water flowing into the Gowanus Canal, an EPA Superfund site.” -dlandstudio
  • Yes We Can Architecture: Qui est “in”, Qui est “out”
    • “‘It’s fun, healthy and kids will love it’, The Hudsucker Proxy, Joel and Ethan Coen, 1994.”
  • Janet Echleman

 

Pumpkin Sage Lasagna

I find myself falling into a food routine- what I know I like, what’s easy, and what’s inexpensive. However, sticking to a budget and finding food “on the go” can get…boring.

That’s where pumpkin sage lasagna enters stage left. Talk about a fabulous winter meal, that beats the day to day monotony.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 cups fresh spinach

8 oz (or one blue case of mushrooms)

1 onion

1 tsp dried sage

10 (+/-) ready to bake lasagna noodles

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt (more or less to your liking)

1 tbsp olive oil (I used Butter Olive Oil from Bumble Olive Oil Company in Toledo, Oh- it added some pow pow to the flavor)

2 cups ricotta (part skim)

2 cups mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 cup of pumpkin puree

2/3 cup evaporated lowfat 2% milk

Directions:

  1. In a frying pan, throw your chopped mushrooms and onions in with the olive oil. While you let that cook, spray some non-stick cooking oil into a 13 x 9 pan (you’ll thank yourself later if you do it).
  2. After the mushrooms and onions are cooked, toss the spinach in there, and wait for it to wilt. Once wilted, set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss together the pumpkin, sage, pepper, and a little bit of salt. Mix until smooth.
  4. Returning back to the 13 x 9 pan, I used this pattern of layering. The way you layer your lasagna is entirely up to you.
    1. Thin layer of pumpkin mix
    2. Noodles
    3. Pumpkin mix
    4. Mushroom, spinach, onion mix.
    5. Ricotta cheese
    6. Mozzarella cheese
    7. Repeat (excluding the first layer of the pumpkin mix).
  5. Put foil or cover over the pan, and place in oven. Cook for 40 minutes.
  6. Take out of oven, and revel in the flavor of pumpkin on a gray and rainy December day.

 

 

 

Future Plans

I, along with all of my fellow collegians with one semester left of college and graduation lurking, are asked the same question on a day to day basis.

       “What are you going to do after you graduate?”

Don’t get me wrong here, it’s a curious question on everyone’s mind, and one that can yield all types of answers. I, myself wonder about the future lives of my peers, and what they will be doing in a year, 2 years, even 10 years down the line.

This question is very “big picture”, if you will. The type that you want to answer with:

“live in a big city with a French bull dog named Frank in a cozy apartment with character”

rebuttal,

         “but really, be honest, what do you really want to do?”

Being honest, here are the 7 things that I want to do, realistically.

  1. I want to travel. It’s obvious, I know. But it’s undeniably true. There is a wealth of knowledge in experiencing culture, food, and life in general first hand. There are only so many places that books, articles, and photographs can take you.
  2. I want to trust in serendipitous moments. There is an immense power in serendipity, and I fully intend to continue allowing myself to see where those moments take me.
  3. I don’t want to stop learning, reading or listening. I want to continue to be a sponge, soaking in stories and information about anything and everything under the sun. Knowledge is strength.
  4. I want a job. I’m so ecstatic to see what kind of path my future career takes me. With a bachelors of science in landscape architecture, my options are open. I want to feel passionate about what I do, and how I do it. I’m aware there will be bad days, trying days, and moments of frustration, but I feel ready to accept the challenge.
  5. I want to live in a new city. Exploration of new places and spaces forces me out of my comfort zone. I don’t know which city or state I’ll be living in. So when I know, you’ll know.
  6. I want to spend valuable time with my family and friends. They are gold, and time with them is precious.
  7. I want to read the New York Times with a fabulous cup of coffee every Sunday morning…with my French bull dog, Frank.

 

Cinema 11.16.15

Due to a quiet weekend in, I watched a ton of movies.

Here’s what I watched:

Dior and I

I loved it. The documentary takes you behind the scenes of the modern reinvention of couture by the new creative director of Dior, Raf Simons.

Available on Netflix.

el somni

This movie tilted more on the side of odd. But, the idea a meal this extravagant is fascinating to watch unfold. I mostly rented it to view the cinematography of the food, but in the end received a whole lot more.

Available on iTunes Movie.

September Issue

A documentary on the work of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief for American Vogue. A look into the fierce lady and also gave great insight into the fashion industry. Magazine editing plays a major role in deciding what’s “in” and “out”.

Available on Netflix.

Spectre

If you know me, you know I love James Bond. If you know me well, you know that I’m obsessed with James Bond. I loved it, mostly for the music score, and Daniel Craig just doing his thing. I’m curious about the plot of his 5th and final movie as Bond.

Only in theaters.

silenced

A fascinating look into the stories and lives of 3 whistle-blowers. Extremely interesting and gives a different perspective under the light of a balanced government system.

Available on Netflix.

chef's table

Not a movie, but a docu-series. If you haven’t watched it, I strongly encourage you to. It is absolutely fantastic, and I continuously re-watch episodes because they are that fantastic.

Available only on Netflix.

 

 

THE FLOWER HOUSE

KP 2015
KP 2015

Date: October_16_2015

Location: Detroit, Michigan

Background: For one weekend, a group of florists decorated an abandoned house in Detroit with living vegetation and materials to pay homage to the families and memories once made within the home.

The house had visible scars to the infrastructure. It was clear, that within the last 10-15 years, the house had experienced a type of abuse from the 4 seasons, and those seeking shelter. The artists taking part in this collaboration however, didn’t want to hide the house’s scars, bumps, and bruises, but rather show the tenderness and homey nature this home once held. The living vegetation helped to paint a lovely picture of  the true image of this home, from vegetated paintings on the wall, to a literal flower bed in the bedroom. Each of the rooms in the house stayed true to their original use; the kitchen showcased edible vegetables, the dining room a decorated gathering space, and the bathrooms adorned with moss to mimic carpeting. After the weekend came to a close, the home was to be demolished as a part of the Reclaim Detroit project, and be converted into a flower farm.

Here are some photos from THE FLOWER HOUSE. In case you want to see more- check out their website.

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KP 2015
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KP 2015
KP 2015