Sunday, May 31, 2009
Dave Pollard's recent Salon blogpost on implementing Web 2.0 tools in an organization has some of the best insights I've read/heard on the topic. While I think about texts and spaces, my context is more often the physical, not the digital world. Yet I can see how Pollard's perspective sketches out the textscape in the digital realm.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The quality of the photography at the 2nd New York Photo Festival in DUMBO this weekend was really disappointing. And the surprisingly small crowd on a Saturday afternoon with good weather also wasn't encouraging -- especially since last year the DUMBO sidewalks along with the galleries were quite mobbed. I don't know why the curators/promoters can't find/leverage the photo talent that exists in NYC to create a more exciting/important event. I'd argue that their definition of photography is, though purportedly quite progressive/contemporary, quite very narrow and parochial. The festival has no inclusion of the fashion photography world. No inclusion of the nature/geographical photo world. No inclusion of the scientific/medical/etc photo world. No inlcusion of the mainstream photojournalism community. I saw a few really beautiful, provocative images. But most of the exhibits were were quite ordinary and derivative. A big disappointment.
Friday, May 15, 2009
The Forum for Urban Design in NYC concluded its spring conference last night, "The 21st Century Park and the Contemporary City" with a panel discussion at the Century Club. Speaking were Marion Weiss (Weiss/Manfredi) John Campbell (Waterfront Toronto), David Karem (Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation) and Alex Garvin (Alex Garvin & Assocs, previously with NYC2012 and Lower Manhatten Development Corporation). Alex asserted that most people think of "sustainability" too narrowly. He posited 6 dimensions of sustainability for a park (and, by implication, any major development): 1) Environmental. 2) Functional (uses of the park). 3) Economic. 4) Social. 5) Aesthetic. and 6) Political. Major takeaway from the discussion: a park is not just a phyical place; a park is a web of collaborating/competing interests, people, and organizations along with the physical/spatial/environmental attributes all evolving over time. I'd say, a park is a textscape.
Maya Lin's "Storm King Wavefield" has been getting some very nice, and well-deserved attention, such as this NYT review. But a big piece of the story isn't being told -- and that's the planting philosophy and strategy. The planting plan and oversight of the installation was done by Darrell Morrison, one of nation's most influential landscape architects for his promotion of planting design with native species. Darrell is professor emeritus at University of Georgia, currently teaches at Columbia University's program in Landscape Design, and works with some very high profile private and public clients, including several aspects of the field/grasses planting at Storm King. I visited Lin's Wavefield with Darrell last summer before the official opening and as he was managing the initial planting. Darrell should really be getting acknowledgement as a collaborator on Lin's very beautiful work.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I've just started reading Eric Sanderson's and Markley Boyer's Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City. It seems worth the burden of adding a physical book to the physical bookshelf, but it's the kind of book that even the larger format Kindle can't really do justice to. Book is an outgrowth of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Mannahatta Project on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Dutch settlement.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
I missed the initial kerfluffle. But I'm glad that Twitter doesn't make us even less kind and moral See Scientific American.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I don't know whether Eleanor Perenyi would have approved, or not, of the notion of "textscape." But her book, Green Thoughts, is one of the best, ever captures of great writing and great perception/understanding of the landscape (her Connecticut garden). If there were an Academy Award for Textscape, Perenyi would get the lifetime achievement award. If you haven't read Green Thoughts -- no excuse. Read it now. You will feel -- and be -- better for having read it. Here is the NYT obit. But look her up. Read the book.