31 December 2007

FAQ: Spring LA Classes

Q. I am interested in finding out whether I should major in Landscape Architecture. The only spring classes without prereqs look like Landscape Architecture Construction I: Site Engineering 11:550:341 and Architectural Design 11:550:433. Should I try to sign up for one of these?

A. No. Although these classes don’t list prerequisites, they both require a significant amount of drawing and design skill that you would learn from the earlier studios. Unfortunately, the landscape architecture curriculum is very hard to take out of sequence, which is why we post the graphic patterns (outside of the department office) showing the entire semester at a glance.

If you are really interested in landscape architecture here at Rutgers, there is really only one appropriate way to try it out. You need to wait until the fall semester and take a full slate of landscape architecture classes. To do this, you go to Pam Stewart's office (Blake 113) and get the fall patterns sometime around April. At the end of the fall semester you will submit your design materials from the fall studio and apply for admission to the landscape architecture program.

If you are accepted to the program (in January) you will need to take another 5 consecutive semesters of LA classes as specified in the class patterns. There is very little flexibility in this schedule, so it is best that you get good advising as soon as possible.

If you are not accepted to the program you can still easily move into one of the other options in Environmental Planning and Design, like Environmnetal Planning, Environmnental Geomatics, or Landscape Industry.

30 December 2007

IFLA Student Competition

[slightly modified from the original IFLA announcement]
The IFLA Student Competition 2008 has been announced and is named 'Transforming with water, the way to paradise?' IFLA has invited all students of landscape architecture to participate in this very interesting and inspiring design competition. For information about this competition please check the announcement for the 2008 International Student Competition of the 45th IFLA World Congress, held in the Netherlands.


The closing date of submissions is the 1st of May 2008. The prize-giving ceremony will be at the IFLA Worldcongress 2008 in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

Further questions should be directed to Marianne van Lidth de Jeude,
IFLA2008 Student Competiton Director
IFLA2008, PO Box 37756, 1030 BJ, Amsterdam, info@ifla2008.com

28 December 2007

GPS Navigation units

The NY Times has a video on the different G.P.S. navigation units. There is also a written piece on these units and it highlights how much they have changed in a very short time.

23 December 2007

19 December 2007

Lawrence Halprin: The Choreography of Gardens

Penn Architectural Archives presents a first-ever retrospective, "Lawrence Halprin: The Choreography of Gardens."

Event Date: November 16, 2007 February 29, 2008

Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Description: Internationally known for a remarkable series of public spaces in San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC, the American environmental designer, Lawrence Halprin (b.1916) has designed nearly 400 private gardens over his 60 years of practice. From modest designs for postwar tract houses to the grand estates of his most active patrons, the Haas family (founders of Levi Strauss & Co.), this body of work provided a perfect laboratory to explore and develop themes central to his larger public work. To celebrate this legacy, the Architectural Archives presents a first-ever retrospective, "Lawrence Halprin: The Choreography of Gardens." Drawn from the Archives' extensive collection of Halprin's work, the exhibition features over 60 objects, including sketches, photographs, and period publications to vividly demonstrate Halprin's influence on the postwar landscape. With his wife, Anna Halprin-a seminal figure in the world of dance, Halprin explored the "scoring" of bodily movement and sensory stimulation through his designs, perfecting the process within the relatively uncomplicated conditions of the
private residence. To Halprin, the garden serves as "a framework for movement activities," where sequence and transition, paths, views, textures and materials, spatial definition and changes in level all determined the type, rhythm and speed of movement. In effect, as Halprin wrote in 1949, the garden would take on "the fine sense of a dance."

Architectural Archives/Kroiz Gallery
220 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

18 December 2007

Landscape Legend Videos

Here is a great way to spend some time over the Winter Break. The Cultural Landscape Foundation has posted videos of interviews with pioneers in Landscape Architecture as part of its Oral History Project. The interviews include Ruth Shellhorn who talks about her work at Disneyland, Rich Haag, Walt Gutherie and Larry Halprin. Many of the interviews appear to be clips right now, but Carol R. Johnson has a robust series of interviews that more fully capture the arc of her career.

17 December 2007

on Disney Highway

This 1958 clip from the Disneyland Show give a sense of where Walt thought America's transportation infrastructure was headed. It is interesting to see that they envisioned some very advanced scenarios, but no matter how sophisticated, they were still highways for cars instead of sophisticated and coordinated mass transit. Fun stuff.

Volunteered Geographic Information: The National Map Corps

The USGS is seeking volunteers to help accelerate the mapping of the world. My understanding was that this is still in a fairly experimental phase, but it seems like a great exploration of bottom-up contributions and how they can be stitched into a major national product.

Volunteered Geographic Information: Powerplants for GoogleEarth

The New Mexico Consortium has posted KMZ files mapping out powerplants all over the country. Just click on the link and it will open the file in GoogleEarth complete with information (some still coming) about the power associated with each powerplant. The goal is for this to be a global, free dataset that anyone can download and use to understand energy networks and supplies.

Tis the season

For getting out your shootgun and shooting up some mistletoe.

15 December 2007

Volunteered Geographic Information Application: Geonomy

What would it be like if you mapped all of the Wikipedia entries? Geonomy offers a great first try. Now, if Wikipedia gets overtaken by Google's new product, there might be a new twist.

Volunteered Geographic Information Application: Wikimapia

Wikimapia has been around for a while but I can see that it has bee populated enough now for us to take it seriously. There is a little sense of humor and a lot of vigor behind this app.

11 December 2007

ASLA Sustainable Sites website

The ASLA Sustainable Sites Initiative has posted a report for review and reports that it is getting some good traffic:
Already, Sustainable Sites has been very popular. The website attracts 250 visits each day with the total visits nearing 18,000 from 88 countries. Thus far, the top cities in the U.S. to visit the Sustainable Sites website are:

1. Austin, TX
2. Washington, DC metro area
3. New York City metro area
4. Portland, OR
5. Seattle, WA
6. Denver, CO
7. Minneapolis, MN
8. Monterey Park, CA
9. San Francisco, CA
10. Chicago, IL

Getting hot in NO LA

Bowing to public pressure, New Orleans has temporarily halted a plan to demolish lower income housing projects that would be replaced by "mixed" income communities. Further complicating the matter is that FEMA has decided that now is the time to take back their trailers. (What are they going to do with them anyway?)

Not in the 3 landscapes, but...

This morning ESPN Travel (yes, ESPN Travel) has a post on the trip that every Packers fan has to take: a pilgrimage to Lambeau Field. Now, I wouldn't list it in my 3 landscapes, but it ranks pretty high with me. (It is worth noting that one job candidate listed Fenway Park in his list)

Another way to slow development

The Toll Brothers have asked East Brunswick Township for permission NOT to develop so quickly.

10 December 2007

National Heritage Areas

The Washington Post reports that the Heritage Foundation is going after heritage areas. In particular, they are looking askance at the NPS' National Heritage Areas which are declared by Congress but often overseen by local government (with some regions being coordinated by an NGO).
National Heritage Areas "pose a threat to private property rights through the exercise of restrictive zoning that may severely limit the extent to which property owners can develop or use their property," wrote Cheryl Chumley and Ronald D. Utt of the Heritage Foundation in a recent report on heritage areas. Chumley and Utt said such "regulatory takings" through zoning are the "most common form of property rights abuse today."
The WP reports that there are currently 37 such regions across the country, with more on the way. (BTW, the online comments are as interesting as the article)

Rutgers Vision for the Livingston Campus

Rutgers is pursuing a new vision for its Livingston Campus. This is a modification or extension of the 2003 physical master plan (pictured above).
To complement this academic vision, the university is exploring the possibility of creating an environmentally sound, sustainable, and attractive pedestrian-friendly community at Livingston, one that combines intelligent development with accessible green space and a reliable transportation network.
The project would include apartments for students, market rate housing as well as housing for current and retired faculty. And, as an indication that this isn't just about money, there are two firms involved at this stage: Ayers Saint Gross and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Munich as a transit marvel

We currently have a group of students mulling over the possibility of taking the 5-week studio in Munich this summer. Maybe this video on Munich as a transit marvel will help them jump in. It certainly makes me want to go.

08 December 2007

Summer jobs


The Heritage Documentation Programs (Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey), a division of the National Park Service, seeks applications from qualified individuals for summer employment documenting historic sites and structures of architectural, landscape and technological significance throughout the country. Duties involve on-site field work and preparation of measured and interpretive drawings and written historical reports for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection at the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Projects last twelve weeks, beginning in May/June. Salaries range from approximately $6,000 to approximately $11,000 for the summer, depending on job responsibility, locality of the project, and level of experience. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens. Applications Due: February 4, 2008 (postmark date).

Application forms and detailed information can be found on our web site: http://www.nps.gov/history/hdp/jobs/summer.htm

View examples of HDP documentation on the Library of Congress web site: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/hhhtml/hhhome.html

The Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM) announce the Maritime Documentation Internship 2008. The internship will permit a student or recent graduate of an architecture or history program, interested in maritime preservation, to work on a HAER maritime documentation project. The Intern must be a U.S. Citizen. The selected recipient will receive a stipend of approximately $6,000 and will work with a HAER team for 12 weeks during the summer. The Internship will require research and writing or measuring and drafting of historic maritime resources. Applications Due: February 1, 2008 (postmark date).

Application forms and detailed information can be found on our web site: http://www.nps.gov/history/hdp/jobs/maritime.htm

For additional information regarding any of the Heritage Documentation Programs Summer 2008 Employment Opportunities, please contact:
Judy Davis, Summer Program Administrator
Heritage Documentation Programs Division
National Park Service (2270)
1201 Eye Street, NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: (202) 354-2135
Email: HDP_Summer_Program_Admin@nps.gov

07 December 2007

Making a model city (out of a real one)

We've been using Photoshop in studio and this is one of the new tricks we were playing with. I started with real photos and digitally altered them as if they were taken with a tilt-shift lens. Here's a tutorial for you to try it out.

06 December 2007

Happy Birthday Joyce Kilmer

Today is Joyce Kilmer's birthday. The Rutgers alum and New Brunswick native is probably most famous for his poem, Trees. The poem, written in 1913, is said to have been written under an oak tree (now fondly remembered as the Kilmer Oak) on what is now the Cook Campus. The tree is gone now (I gather it was over by the Labor School building) but some folks on campus still claim to have plaques made from the Kilmer Oak.

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

05 December 2007

Career Fair

Career Services' 41st New Jersey Collegiate Career Day, a statewide job and internship fair, will be held Friday, January 4 at the Rutgers Student Center and Brower Commons from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The fair is open to staff, family members, and students/graduates of any college or university. More than 250 employers are expected to attend. Details including instructions for parking at the RAC and a list of participating employers are accessible at http://careerservices.rutgers.edu . For additional information, contact Janet Bernardin at jbernard@rci.rutgers.edu.

3 Landscapes: Ken Haines

He also mentioned:
Byxbee Park - An early Hargreves Park
Edward Burtynsky's Manufactured Landscapes photos

Lecture: Ken Haines, Hargreaves Associates

Ken Haines visited from Hargreavea Associates
His lecture featured recent and ongoing work including:

Nutria - they taste like chicken

Presumably by accident, we got a delivery copy of today's Star-Ledger. The front page feature story was on the invasion of nutria into New Jersey. But more entertainingly, they included a recipe that used nutria meat. These giant rats are eating up wetlands all over the US. I've seen them in Louisiana and Oregon, but will have to start watching for them here. I remember a late evening hike in Lafitte, worried about walking into a gator, but being surrounded by the creepy chirping noise of hundreds of these swamp rats.

2008 ASLA Awards Competition

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has posted their call for entries for the 2008 professional and student awards program. "Each year, the ASLA Professional Awards honor the best in landscape architecture from around the globe, while the ASLA Student Awards give us a glimpse into the future of the profession." They will be presented at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia, October 3-7, 2008. Student should be working towards the entry form deadline of May 9th.

04 December 2007

GPS rerouting trucks in England

More and more heavy trucks have taking the ridiculously inappropriate route through the British Village of Wedmore. Why? Because their GPS navigation units say it is the shortest routes. The NY Times reports on this increasingly common phenomenon and how difficult it is to change it:
Once, he saw an enormous tractor-trailer speeding by, unaware that in its wake it was dragging a passenger car, complete with distraught passenger.
This is yet one more little item to list in the lengthy compendium of GIS impacts on Society.

03 December 2007

The end is in sight

Well, the graph shows how LSU really started losing ground in the last few weeks. But, having been invited to the BCS' Everyone-Else-Is-A-Loser Bowl, it looks like everything worked out for LSU. And their speed could make the difference in that final game. Or, they might be tired from all of the close games.

Wisconsin, Rutgers and Kentucky all ended up close enough that bowl match-ups would have been close calls. Fortunately, UK and RU get pretty easy bowl games. UW gets to play Tennessee, again. Oh well, at least it will be in a warm and familiar bowl.

A revolutionary birthday

Today would be Aaron Ogden's 251st birthday. Born on this date in 1756, Ogden was a solider in the War of Independence, a governor of New Jersey and the named party in the very important interstae commerce Supreme Court decision of Ogden v Gibbons (1824). His house, in the city now known as Elizabeth, NJ is still standing today.

02 December 2007

Teaching opportunity in Landscape Design

Brookdale Community College seeks to find someone interested in teaching a Landscape Design course. The 4-credit course emphasizes residential design projects beginning with the conversion of field notes to a scale drawing and ending with a project that involves completing a residential design with planting legend.

The class is offered during the Spring 2008 term on Tuesday evenings starting at 6:00 PM.
The term runs for 15 weeks beginning January 22 and ending May 12.

Interested candidates should immediately contact:
Ron Kudile
Professor of Biology
Brookdale Community College
(732) 224-2405


How to get a job

The end of the semester generally means we'll have a few new jobseekers out there. Archinect started asking how to go about getting a job in architecture (we'll have to settle for a close cousin on this) but they asked real designers instead of just synthesizing some sort of educated guess. The thing I like most about it is the variety within the answers they got.

Peter Marino focused on the resume:
Don't send resumes in weird/small formats, booklets etc. They may look graphically interesting, but they are difficult to file and work with. They also are easy to lose.
Jubany NAC hit on one of the classic mistakes we see around here:
What are the most common mistakes potential employees make on their applications?
Bad grammar / spelling, being unaware of the requested qualifications (if responding to a particular ad), generic cover letters.
And Lettuce points out that you have to use your hard and digital copies differently:
Do you prefer to review applications (including portfolio) in digital or hard copy format?
Digital for inquiries, hard copies for f2f interviews. As long as the digital inquiries are not huge files are not readable on the screen. Do not want to open CDs. Will visit a website.

01 December 2007