IAAC Researcher’s Pylos 3D-Prints with Soil

Sofoklis Giannakopoulos, a researcher at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), has designed Pylos, a 3D printer that utilizes…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.archdaily.com

Really about time for this  – high tech means – low materials.

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Social Performance: Prototyping User Behavior

In order to form the basis of lasting urban interventions, projects must be not only environmentally sustainable, but socially and economically sustainable as well.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: scenariojournal.com

My attempts to re-engage  and  in getting to grips with the research I have done on the Green Point Urban Park in Cape Town leads me to review the literature and ideas on performance in landscape architecture 

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Why is Landscape Architecture so Important to Public Health?

The impact landscape design can have on public health is not always appreciated, rather it is something we take for granted, but there is a need for research on how specific interventions are able to influence people to take a walk, spend some time in contact with nature and reconnect to their inner selves, all valuable aspects of health, not just the vigorous exercise that is so fashionable now, but other, less obvious intervention such as a comfortable bench with a back rest overlooking a distant view, can get one to take a walk to get there.

Planning4Health Solutions

Landscape architecture can play a vital role in improving public health but before we address the question in the title let’s look at a few basics of health.

What is Health? “Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.[1] In other words we’re not just talking about not having a cold, but the social environment and ability to maintain a state of mental and/or spiritual health that supports a good quality of life.

“Houston, we have a problem”. Our health care cost are spiraling out of control, the US spends more per capita on health care than any other country in the world.[2] Obesity rates among children more than tripled from 1980 to 2008. More than 1/3 of children aged 6-19 were overweight or obese.[3]  Obesity related illness or disease such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes account…

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Harvard’s “Black in Design” Conference: Addressing Social Injustice with Design

There is a very high need in Southern Africa for black professional graduates to bring a balance of cultures and approaches to the field, but it seems that there is a lack of interest on the part of students to enter a discipline that pays its interns and employees so poorly, and has so few opportunities for scholarships and bursary support.


Black in Design / Harvard Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union Black in Design / Harvard Graduate School of Design’s African American Student Union

This year’s ASLA graduating student survey shows that for the third continuous year only 1 percent of graduates are African American or Native American. So Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD)’s first Black in Design (BiD) conference, which sold old, is a particularly timely event. The student organizers argued that addressing social injustice through design starts with two steps: revealing “the histories of under-represented groups in design,” and acknowledging that designers have a responsibility to “repair our broken built environment.” Four hundred designers, including landscape architects, architects, and planners, met to discuss these ideas in panels focused on changing design education and how we design buildings, neighborhoods, cities, and regions. Sara Zewde, a 2014 National Olmsted Scholar and designer at Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, and Dr. Sonja Dümpelmann, associate professor of landscape architecture at GSD and…

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Interview with Steven Nygren, on Serenbe, a Farm to Table Community

A great model and well documented article well worth reading all of it.


Steven Nygren / Serenbe Steven Nygren / Serenbe

Steven Nygren is the founder of Serenbe, which has won numerous awards, including the Urban Land Institute Inaugural Sustainability Award, the Atlanta Regional Commission Development of Excellence, and EarthCraft’s Development of the Year.

You founded Serenbe, a 1,000-acre community in the city of Chattahoochee Hills, which is 30 miles southwest of Atlanta, Georgia. In Serenbe, there are dense, walkable clusters of homes, shops, and businesses, even artists’ studios, modeled like English villages set within 40,000 acres of forest you helped protect. Can you briefly tell me the story of this community? What motivated you to create it?

It was a reaction. We purchased 60 acres in a historic farm in 1991 just on a weekend whim while on a drive to show our children farm animals. It seemed like a good investment. I wasn’t sure why we were doing it other than my wife and…

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The Enduring Appeal of Oehme, van Sweden’s “New American Garden”

Due recognition of two of the pioneers of the contemporary garden and landscape whose work led to a much wider acceptance of more free and ecological landscape.


Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden / Photograph © Volkmar Wentzel, ca. 1990, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation Wolfgang Oehme and James van Sweden / Photograph © Volkmar Wentzel, ca. 1990, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation

The default American landscape before game-changing landscape architecture firm Oehme van Sweden & Associates (OvS) came along was a great expanse of lawn, really an ecological wasteland, with perhaps a fringe of flowers. But all of that changed with James van Sweden and Wolgang Oehme’s New American Garden style, which burst onto the scene in the early 1960s. A new exhibition at the National Building Museum (NBM) in Washington, D.C. honors this still-evolving approach inspired by Native American landscapes. As NBM explains, “the New American Garden is characterized by large swaths of grasses and fields of perennials.” The style re-creates the seasonal splendor of the American meadow while “celebrating its inherent ecological, sustainable, aesthetic, and ornamental values.” Eric Groft, FASLA, a principal at OvS, one of the firm’s second generation leaders, added…

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How Autonomous Vehicles Will Change the Built Environment

According to William Gibson, “the future is already here – its just not evenly distributed yet” – one of the problems of change, such new driverless cars from cars with all kinds of different drivers; some on cell phones; some on drugs and some just dreaming in the traffic, is that the mix of drivers and driverless cars will not be a smooth transition , it will be filled with social and human problems such as affordability, intractability of people and their resistance to change, lags on legislation, thus the conversion to the machine-like future portrayed in movies such as Minority Report, is probably unlikely, as with most such utopian techno-fixes, and it fails to address the other problems underlying the present eco-crisis, those of equity, conspicuous consumption, extreme fanatical religions etc, etc.. Here in the the global south, it will take some time, some doing, yet it would be great to have fewer highways, machines that respect and avoid cyclists and pedestrians automatically ….unlike present day drivers.


Driverless vehicle highway / Natalia Beard, SWA Group Driverless vehicle highway diet / Natalia Beard, SWA Group

Imagine a future with autonomous vehicles, ordered through a subscription service, shuttling passengers safely to any destination at up to 130 miles per hour. Now think about what this means for our streets and highways, parking infrastructure, public spaces, and even the organization of our communities. At SXSW Eco in Austin, Texas, Kinder Baumgardner, ASLA, president of landscape and urban design firm SWA Group, took us through a wild thought experiment, showing us what a driverless future could look like. He believes the majority of travel will be autonomous by 2050, with huge implications for our built environment.

According to Baumgardner, there are 1.2 billion cars in the world today, and that number is expected to grow to 2 billion by 2030 as automobile ownership surges in China and India. All of these drivers spend about 30 percent of…

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Bioclimatic Dwelling in Tenerife / Ruiz Larrea y Asociados

Completed in 2003 in The most important sustainability data has to do with the design of passive elements. Optimal orientation, use of materials from the…

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Optimal orientation, use of materials from the surroundings and zero energy cost in origin: Tosca volcanic stone, riga recycled wood, glass, concrete and basalt stones in gardening, insulation, waterproofing, etc.

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