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Design & Architecture

How Bridges Can Benefit From Placemaking

November 20, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

ridges play multiple roles in the built environment. As functional infrastructure, they facilitate transport for hundreds of thousands of people per day. They can be architectural marvels, cultural icons, and tourist attractions. While they are physical connectors, making movement possible between different geographical areas, they can also serve as social connectors, facilitating commerce and interaction between people.[read more]

In Chicago, New Parks Are Civic Infrastructure

November 19, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

All the landscape architects said the creation of interesting public spaces can “get people out of their homes and into their community,” as Bird said. And while landscape architects and designers might not be able to change the world in as broad strokes as they may like, they can at least, as Ford put it, “create a comfortable bench for different people to engage with each other, to have a conversation they might not normally have.”[read more]

The Evolving Sustainable Building Standard

November 16, 2015 by Tyler Caine

As environmental standards for the built environment continue to become increasingly relevant and more frequently pursued, the once small pool of available building certifications has grown into a plethora of tools each with slightly different goals and degrees of intensity.[read more]

Retrofitting Suburbia – A New Life for Vantaa’s Myyrmäki

November 11, 2015 by Timo Hamalainen

In September a community-based do-it-yourself initiative called Myyrmäki-liike (Myyrmäki Movement) invited me to talk about contemporary urban development trends. They had staged an event to generate discussion around a set of nine proposals to transformation the commercial center of Myyrmäki, a 1970s & 80s railway suburb in Vantaa. The goal is to retrofit a big parking lot into mixed-use urban blocks[read more]

How to Design Within Novel Ecosystems

November 10, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

As our landscapes become increasingly fragmented and degraded, landscape architects and designers are grappling with how to deal with invasive and non-native plants that form “novel ecosystems.”[read more]

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

October 21, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

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.”[read more]

Will Proposed Change to LEED 2009 Kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs?

October 12, 2015 by Chris Cheatham

The U.S. Green Building Council is soliciting comments on its proposal to change the prerequisites of the current LEED 2009 rating system increasing the minimum energy performance thresholds.[read more]

Biomimicry Tools to Inspire Designers

October 8, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

“Biomimicry is about learning from nature to inspire design solutions for human problems,” said Gretchen Hooker with the Biomimicry Institute at SXSW Eco in Austin, Texas. To enable the spread of these exciting solutions, Hooker, along with Cas Smith, Terrapin Bright Green, and Marjan Eggermont, Zygote Quarterly (ZQ), gave a tour of some of the best resources available for designers and engineers of all stripes:[read more]

Solutions Farms Combats Family Homelessness with Aquaponics Training in Vista, CA

The nonprofit’s Solutions Farms aquaponic training program provides “an opportunity for homeless families to regain their financial viability, their place in the community, their security and their happiness,” according to the project’s website.[read more]

Each Street Redevelopment Is a Chance for the City

September 30, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

Often cities trust in engineers’ or architects’ knowledge to design the public realm. But is it possible to do a good job without walking and experiencing the street?[read more]

Outdoor Preschools Bring Affordable Education to Parks

September 16, 2015 by Shareable .

Originating in Europe in the 1990s, outdoor preschools offer affordable learning to families by drastically reducing the overhead costs of an indoor classroom.[read more]

Silicon Valley Reinvents the Mall

September 4, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

As malls die off around the country, and more people shop online, new shopping center models are desperately needed. In Silicon Valley, the source of so much game-changing innovation, the mall appears to be the next format to get a reboot. “Starchitect” Rafael Viñoly and landscape architects at OLIN are transforming Cupertino’s struggling mall into the 50-acre Hills at Vallco, a hybrid retail, commercial, and residential hub, all covered in what they promise will be the “world’s largest green roof.”[read more]