30 January 2015

More BIG at the NBM

Last summer, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) occupied the gorgeous atrium space at the National Building Museum with a fascinating maze.

Now they have occupied the exhibitions spaces at the museum with an exhibit called HOT TO COLD: an odyssey of architectural adaptation. The exhibit will include their projects ranging from their entry in HUD's Rebuild By Design to their mountainous housing in Taiwan. The ASLA's blog, the DIRT, gives a preview of what to expect. The review highlights the site-sensitive design approach used by the firm, saying:
Just as the ancient temples at Angkor Wat used long passageways and buildings with apertures to stimulate air flow and create natural air-conditioning in the blistering heat of Cambodia or arctic igloos minimize thermal loss through their round form, BIG’s buildings are designed to “respond to existing conditions.”
It is certainly worth checking out if you can get to DC by the end of August.

27 January 2015

Mismanagment of Yellowstone?

Kottke.org posted a nicely excerpted reading on the mismanagement of ecological communities at Yellowstone National Park. Whatever Michael Crichton lacked in training as a scientist he more than made up for as a story teller, making the complexity of ecological relationships seem simple.

26 January 2015

Make your snow day special

Students stuck on campus for snow days sometimes struggle, wanting to do some creative and feeling trapped. If you are still struggling to fill your time with the current snow, you might consider what some other designers have tried. A few years ago our students made the most of snowballs and coloring. Beautiful, right? and it got in the paper. And maybe in a portfolio or two.

A Buffalo professor was trying to use snow to resculpt visitor experiences to an Olmsted park. The video below shows you more.

Snow days area great time for temporal creative expression. What are you going to do during the next one?

22 January 2015

Green fire

“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”

 - Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

21 January 2015

Laser letters in the sky

The Dirt posted a video from a Japanese company showing a portable unit that uses lasers to create plasma images in the air above the unit. The current intent is that this unit could be mounted on a vehicle which could be deployed during emergencies to "draw" messages in the air in places where a sign could not. Non-emergency uses in parks could be interesting too.

But, for geodesigners,the implications are slightly different. Watch the video (below) and ask yourself how it would look if a future generation of the unit were mounted sideways and cast images over an adjacent landscape. Could the designer of a new park use this visualize different shapes for potential landforms? Could it help the public visualize alternative scenarios?

Ocean-Space as Wilderness: A Geopolitical History of American Preservation

The first talk of the 2015 Geography Speaker Series will be held on 
Friday, Jan 23rd.

The talk will be given by Dr. Ryan Orgera from Louisiana State 
University,  titled "Ocean-Space as Wilderness: A Geopolitical History 
of American Preservation."

Date: Friday, January 23, 2015
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Lucy Stone Hall B-115