Landscape Architect Quarterly 10/
Deconstruction Drawing on China Features Riding the Asian Express
Publication # 40026106
Letters to the Editor
Congratulations to the entire editorial team—the magazine is fantastic! The group has done a truly spectacular job—it looks good and has great content. After being a member for twentyplus years, I am finally keeping my copy of the magazine!
The OALA’s 40th anniversary conference and AGM, Realizing the Dream, was a great success. Our special thanks go to Lawrence Stasiuk, Conference Chair, and his Conference Team, who created, produced, and presented a wonderful conference in celebration of the OALA’s 40th Anniversary. This was a job well done!
DONNA HINDE OALA, CSLA THE PLANNING PARTNERSHIP TORONTO
The magazine as a whole looks great and is very interesting—I read it from cover to cover. The editorial team should be very proud. SCOTT TORRANCE OALA, CSLA SCOTT TORRANCE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT INC. TORONTO
Congratulations to all involved in putting out such a beautiful publication. Worth the wait! Keep up the promise! BRAD JOHNSON OALA (EMERITUS), FCSLA, RCA BRAD JOHNSON + ASSOCIATES LIMITED CHAFFEY
I love the new look, it really feels like a “design magazine.” I am not only pleased to hear that the OALA is using recycled paper, I am proud that the OALA has pushed the envelope and gone beyond Forest Stewardship Council Certification. SCOTT MASON, LANDSCAPE DESIGNER CORUSH, SUNDERLAND, WRIGHT LTD. OTTAWA
Congratulations—what a fine job on the new format. This will not only engage the membership but look good on the profession. JOHN WRIGHT OALA, CSLA, MCIP, RPP, PRINCIPAL CORUSH SUNDERLAND WRIGHT LIMITED OTTAWA
What a huge upgrade from the old days! Stunning really. My only negative comments: I hate that fiddly folding thing at the front and the ink really stinks, it smells like window putty. TOM RIDOUT OALA, CSLA FLEISHER RIDOUT PARTNERSHIP TORONTO
Congratulations on Ground. Speaking as a reader (and not a landscape architect, by the way), I found it exciting and interesting. Speaking as an advertiser, I am happy to support a publication that makes such an effort to communicate new ideas through pictures, words, and drawings. Very much in tune with our objective, which is to bring new ideas to the attention of your audience. DOUG CARTER DURISOL INC. HAMILTON
The Recognition Awards Luncheon attendees included our full members, associates, Honorary and Emeritus members, award winners, and leaders of both municipal governments of Waterloo and Kitchener who were recognized by the OALA for their outstanding contributions to sustainable design. The Conference Gala Presentation paid tribute to OALA past presidents and honoured Robert N. Allsopp with the esteemed OALA Pinnacle Award. The summer issue of Ground will feature coverage of these awards. At the conference, keynote speakers included Dr. Eugene Tsiu from California, a published architect whose thought-provoking address opened our minds to the global environmental crises and presented his ecological design and architectural solutions. Robert Gibbs, an urban planner from Michigan, captured our attention with his presentation on the theories of retail marketing and advertising. Each keynote speaker challenged us to think outside the box and look for design solutions beyond our normal experiences. This past season has provided many opportunities to promote the work of our members and the profession. Several landscape architects received design awards at the 2008 Canada Blooms Show and the OALA gained greater recognition with our new information booth featured in the main garden area of the show. OALA actively participated in World Landscape Architecture Month by accepting the challenge from the CSLA, to See the Future, Be the Future. During this 40th anniversary year, I challenge you to envision our next 40 years—and strive to ensure that the OALA remains at the forefront of landscape architecture in Ontario. Together we can make this happen. ARNIS BUDREVICS, OALA PRESIDENT PRESIDENT@OALA.CA
designing for pollinators
There’s a buzz in Guelph and it has everything to do with insects. Plans are underway to create the world’s first pollination park, a place specifically designed to provide habitat for pollinators. “As far as we know, this is a first,” says Karen Landman, a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Guelph and one of the driving forces behind the project. Last fall, Landman organized a design charrette for first-year MLA students at the University of Guelph, who toured the site—a decommissioned landfill—participated in a workshop, developed concepts, and presented their plans to city staff and Guelph Councillors. “Eight weeks into the program and the students had a real client,” says Landman. “It was quite a boost.” Jyoti Pathak, OALA, CSLA, a parks planner with the City of Guelph, is responsible for overseeing the project. The landscape architecture firm Schollen & Company was recently hired to proceed with a concept design for Pollinators’ Park and to run a public process in order to develop a master plan. “This is an excellent opportunity to increase public awareness and provide environmental stewardship,” says Pathak. “We’re looking for something that will serve as a model worldwide—turning this scarred landscape, what used to be a garbage dump, into a bloom-filled haven for butterflies, birds, and other pollinating insects.”
Up Front: Information on the Ground
The 200-acre site (100 acres of which will be an active community park, the other 100 acres for the pollination park) presents a number of unique challenges. There are 60 gas extraction wells that collect methane on site, and these will need to be protected. As well, any planting will need to be done with species that don’t compromise the integrity of the clay cap covering the landfill. And ongoing maintenance and management are a concern: “Where we have large, naturalized park-
lands in Guelph, we don’t have the resources to do maintenance,” says Pathak, noting that the pollination park, with its array of meadow plants, will require ongoing management to keep invasive weeds in check. As Landman puts it, referring to the need to weed out any plants that might root deeper than the clay cap, “The maintenance level will be more like that of a garden.” All agree, however, that the end result will be worth the effort. “The public is very much on side,” says Landman. “People are calling to see how they can get involved.”
habitats and homes
Bent silver cutlery re-purposed into perches, holding seeds for indigo buntings. Discarded take-out coffee lids and stir sticks shaped into a plausible pine cone, home for pine warblers. An upside-down plastic water bottle wrapped in wire mesh, enticement for boreal chickadees. Definitely not your regular bird feeders. The twenty-five creations swaying in the Scotts Wild Bird Habitat garden at Canada Blooms were the result of an unusual design brief: the “clients” were birds, the
species, many of them rare or in decline, that have died in this way. Relatively simple design adjustments, however, can help. For landscape architects, four sections of the bird-friendly guidelines have particular relevance: exterior lighting, mirrors or glass windbreaks, ventilation grates (another deadly hazard for injured fallen birds), and transparent noise barriers. Each section includes suggested improvements that take birds into account.
designers were youths and students (youths from the Evergreen Mission, and students from Ryerson University’s firstyear Architectural Science program and Landscape Design Certificate students from the Chang School of Continuing Education), and the goal was to transform everyday discarded materials into one-ofa-kind bird habitats. Margery Winkler, OALA, and Shawn Gallaugher, Associate Member, OALA, were team members in the collaborative exercise, which paired homeless youths from the Yonge Street Mission with students for an intense week of design work, culminating in the bird feeders on display at Canada Blooms. “Architects design buildings. The Yonge Street Mission dreams of habitat. Together, they made habitats for birds,” says Gallaugher, connecting the metaphoric threads of this unique project. Though clearly pleased that the garden won an award at Canada Blooms (an OALA “Up and Coming Award”), Gallaugher measures the project’s success in different terms: “One of the Yonge Street Mission participants has enrolled in school and is going back to study photography. This project made a real difference in her life.”
It was a grisly tableau: hundreds of dead birds lined up in depressing rows, displayed at Toronto’s Metro Hall in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers migratory birds face in the urban environment. This stark lesson, however, was also intended to publicize more encouraging news: Toronto is now one of the few cities in North America to develop “Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines.” Released in March 2007 as part of Toronto’s “Green Development Standard,” the guidelines suggest ways that designers and managers of buildings and landscapes can mitigate the threats to birds migrating north in the spring and south in the fall. During their biannual flyovers, birds become confused by the combination of light pollution and the effects of glass in the urban environment, which results in significant numbers of birds colliding with buildings. (Birds, like humans, do not perceive clear glass as a solid object.) In North America, millions of migratory birds are killed every year due to these preventable collisions; in Toronto, the non-profit group FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Project) has documented 158 different bird
Along with helping birds, the guidelines are also garnering recognition for the city: the prestigious Canadian Urban Institute recently gave the Working Group that developed the guidelines an Urban Leadership Award. According to Kelly Snow, the City staff lead on the project, “One of the remarkable things is that the people who sat on the Working Group were volunteers—it was a civic initiative.” Snow notes that the guidelines will be regularly updated, adding, “I hope that landscape architects will be interested in working with us.” For more information, see www.toronto.ca/lightsout/guidelines.htm.
Shawn Gallaugher Birds killed by collisions with buildings
City of Toronto Bird-friendly design
City of Toronto
Landscape in Hong Kong
Olivia Chau Landscape in Hong Kong
Olivia Chau Landscape in Hong Kong
Olivia Chau Green roof planted with native cacti
practising across the sea
To learn more about the challenges of preparing planting plans for international projects, Ground spoke with Olivia Chau, Associate Member, OALA, who has been working in Hong Kong for three years. “Working as a landscape designer in Hong Kong is quite a challenge,” says Chau. “Green open space is very valuable in this concrete jungle. Thus, most of the open space is usually elevated on a podium, which leads to restrictions such as limited soil depth. Vertical planting is important here, due to the congested living environment. As well, most of the landscape areas in a project are surrounded by multi-storey buildings, with unpleasant views. An appropriate and elegant planting design is key.” 0H
Describing plant materials that help to overcome these challenges, Chau focuses on those that can tolerate shade and strong wind, and plants that create a strong layering effect: “Evergreen trees with dense foliage, like Cinnamomum camphora, various Ficus species, and Juniperus chinensis, screen off unpleasant views. Accent trees, such as Phoenix canariensis and Terminalla mantaly, emphasize focal points. Flowering trees like Delonix regia add interest in different seasons, while fragrant shrubs like Osmanthus fragrans enhance the sensual experience.” When asked if there is a broader plant palette to choose from in this subtropical region, compared with Canada, Chau notes, “Most of the plant material is broadleaf with a rich palette of flowering trees and shrubs. However, contrast in texture and foliage is less apparent than in species available in Canada. But it’s hard to compare—each palette has its own unique species and varieties.”
norway to guelph
Mathis Natvik, a first-year Masters of Landscape Architecture student at the University of Guelph, is used to experimenting with new technologies—albeit basing his experiments on the oldest of models: nature. For his pioneering work in pit-and-mound restoration (work that has been written up in numerous scientific journals), Natvik replicated the dramatic topographical variations found on the forest floor in order to “kick start” natural regeneration. Natvik is now making his mark on an entirely different habitat—rooftops. “Green roofs are something I’ve been doing as a hobby since 1990,” says Natvik, who was introduced to the idea during trips to visit relatives in Norway. “For my uncle’s green roof, they just peeled sod right off the cattle pasture,” he says, clearly delighting in the low-tech nature of the enterprise. “When I visit my grandparents in Norway, the first thing they do is send me up on the roof to weed birch seedlings.”
Natvik’s interest in green roofs is fueled by his training as a restoration ecologist and his current work relates to the relatively untapped potential of using native plants. “The lawn mentality has taken over green roofs,” says Natvik, referring to the ubiquitous use of sedum. His own green roofs, on the other hand, look to local habitat models such as alvars, sand dunes, sand prairies, and oak savannas. The green roof on a garden shed at his home in Guelph, for example, is on its third growing season, and Natvik reports that alvar species such as beardtongue and nodding wild onion are flourishing. This spring, he’s planting a 2,500-square-foot green roof (“a nice big alvar,” as he puts it, including prairie smoke, little bluestem, and prickly pear cactus) at the Hanson Avenue Athletic Complex in Kitchener. “It’s time to give the natives a chance,” he says, relishing the idea that in the future, “green roofs will be a habitat all of their own. A John Deere plant in Germany has a rooftop marsh; there aren’t any yet in Ontario, but we need one!” For Natvik, the sky’s the limit. More information about Natvik’s work can be found at his website, www.roofgarden.ca.
grass to food
If the idea that instead of mowing lawns we should be eating them sounds, well, controversial, consider the recent book Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn. Written by the Los Angeles architect and artist Fritz Haeg, the book proposes the replacement of the domestic front lawn with a productive, edible, organic garden landscape—in short, the overthrow of a long-standing North American institution. With essays by Haeg, landscape architect Diana Balmori, author Michael Pollan, and others, this radical rethinking draws together many contemporary threads—environmental concern, the local food movement, landscape water use, public green space, and design that nurtures community. The book also profiles some of the prototype edible gardens initiated by Haeg, such as the one in Salina, Kansas— the geographic centre of the United States. Part manifesto, part storybook, and part design manual, there’s plenty of food for thought.
the multiplier effect
Less than a decade ago, the HOK Canada office in Toronto was relatively small, with just ten or so people on staff. Today, HOK Canada is one of the largest of HOK’s 23 worldwide offices, with 250 plus employees (40 of whom work in the Toronto branch of The HOK Planning Group, a business set up several years ago to focus on landscape, planning, and urban design-related projects). Tom Hook, OALA, CSLA, of The HOK Planning Group, traces this explosive, and welcome, growth to a single project: “The firm entered and won a competition for a large waterfront development in Dubai. Everything has grown from that—we can trace a line that shows how that project led to another connection that led to another connection...” At least ninety-five percent of the Toronto firm’s work is now international, with projects in Saudi Arabia, India, among other places.
The ripple effects of such connections have impacts well beyond project numbers, however. Tom Hook and Barry Day, OALA, CSLA, an HOK colleague, are particularly proud of a recent project in Bahrain called Block 338, in which their recommendation to include public participation in the master planning process led to tangible success: “We laid the groundwork for this whole public process that isn’t normally done in most places in the Middle East,” says Hook. “We recommended that a BIA be set up, that a design review committee within the municipality be formed, with two or three seats held for local residents, and this is happening. It’s unique to have this interaction with the public in a development project in Bahrain.” Another unique aspect of the project—a project to develop a master plan and design guidelines for a busy restaurant and cultural district—is that HOK’s plan emphasized the preservation of the ancient streetscape and introduced elements that referenced the rich natural and cultural history of the area. “So much of the development in Bahrain is typically modern, with little meaningful attention paid to
historic precedent,” explains Barry Day. “We tried to find a balance to maintain the existing character of the area but give it a modern twist.” Hook adds: “One of the charms of the old streetscape is that you wander around and get lost in all the little lanes and alleyways. We tried to retain the historic character but make it more functional.” It’s tempting to read this comment as a metaphoric business plan: follow the twists and turns of unexpected connection because they always lead to good things—and to work.
Modern touches applied to ancient building forms
HOK Bringing new life to historic buildings
HOK Master plan for Block 338
HOK Mixed use and clear streetscapes create a sense of community
Drawing on China
Using a common visual language to inspire, inform, and—most importantly—get the job done right BY GUY WALTER, ASSOCIATE MEMBER, OALA, AAPQ, CSLA
As a foreign, English-speaking designer working in China, the challenge of getting work done the way you want it can seem insurmountable at times. The speed of projects, the language barrier, and the whimsical demands of clients can all further exacerbate problems. Our profession uses images and drawings to convey ideas. How we construct these images/drawings has become my most crucial tool. Visuals inspire, inform, and educate. When I started creating these drawings, it was partly because I had an exhibition in Beijing. I didn’t realize how effective they would be in the workplace until I changed to more conventional, less informative methods and received complaints from employees that the more conventional drawings were too difficult to understand and unclear. 01
Streetscape design options and solutions illustrating elevation changes
Guy Walter Preliminary sketch
Guy Walter Portion of schematic master plan layout, grading, and water system design (1:500)
Second schematic design option for grading and water system (1:500)
Guy Walter Schematic design for kindergarten entry and visitor parking area (1:200)
Guy Walter Evolution drawings of layout and planting design for townhouse water garden
Guy Walter Conceptual sketches for integrating the underground parking structure into water feature design
The drawings are layered with precise information, structured for change, and clear to follow. They are created as early in the projects as possible (once the conceptual plan is approved), and then used as reference material as the projects proceed into construction. With the speed of construction usually being ahead of completion of construction documents, these drawings become even more important. Site grading starts early using preliminary sets of construction drawings, and the use of conceptual drawings is not uncommon on site. One very important challenge is when a client asks to change the entire style of a project. This does not have to be an overwhelming concern—it is generally an aesthetic change. If the base work is done well and the organizational structure is solid, it is very easy to draw another layer onto the existing drawings. The design usually does not change drastically, but the change in the character of the space needs to be evident in the drawings. This is where you see good ideas come full circle—good ideas are always the greatest form of communication. Drawing is my form of communication in China. BIO/
GUY WALTER, ASSOCIATE MEMBER, OALA, EXHIBITED THE FIRST GENERATION OF THESE DRAWINGS IN FEBRUARY, 2008, IN BEIJING. HE IS CURRENTLY DEVELOPING THE SECOND GENERATION OF DRAWINGS, AND LIVES AND WORKS IN BEIJING.
Riding the Asian Express
TEXT BY MARK SCHOLLEN, OALA, CSLA
When the opportunity to practise in China presented itself to my firm, Schollen & Company, in 2004, the allure of the Far East was hard to resist. It would provide the chance to work on exciting new projects in a place that was undergoing a process of urban renewal at an unprecedented scale and magnitude, to explore the limits of design in a place that is renowned for its architectural adventurism, to be a part of China’s economic renaissance, and perhaps the chance to see the Great Wall up close. Four years on, with the exception of having only experienced the Great Wall from 15,000 feet above Beijing, these opportunities have been realized, the promise remains, and our office in Shanghai remains a viable and exciting venture.
The challenges and opportunities of doing ecologically based design work in China— a personal perspective
The firm’s goal when embarking on the experiment was to export to China a design approach that was founded firmly on an environmental ethos. Initial trips to Shanghai, Ghangzou, and Hangzhou revealed an urgent and acute need for ecological restoration as well as a remarkable receptiveness to solutions aimed at restoring degraded water quality, managing stormwater runoff, and enhancing wildlife habitat as integral components of major urban renewal and development projects. Past neglect and pollution produced as a by-product of unbridled urban growth and expansion of the manufacturing sector have rendered most of China’s waterways severely degraded. Consequently, the concept of the landscape as a functional system with the capacity to cleanse water and improve air quality was not a difficult sell.
Landscape plan for Chang Guang National Wetland Park (Phase 1 area)
Schollen & Company International Inc. Chang Guang River
Schollen & Company International Inc. Heavy industry along the river corridor
Schollen & Company International Inc. Stormwater management pond with planted weir to enhance infiltration capability
Schollen & Company International Inc.
Riding the Asian Express
The establishment of an office in Shanghai was the next logical step in the process since the fledgling venture would not likely remain viable for very long without a local presence and dedicated staff available to respond promptly to client needs, to address site-specific technical issues, and to negotiate China’s unique business culture. With the Shanghai office operative, the process of securing contracts and executing work became more efficient but was still hampered by the relatively unsophisticated communications technology that was standard in China at the time. However, things change rapidly on all fronts in China and within a year of opening the Shanghai office, state-of-the-art communications infrastructure replaced the older “dial-up” system, allowing for near seamless communications between the Toronto office and its counterpart in China. We soon learned that challenging deadlines could be met by taking advantage of the twelve-hour time difference between Toronto and Shanghai. It allows staff in the China office to hand work over to the Toronto office at the end of their work day, and the Toronto team to simultaneously pick up the drawings and commence work at the beginning of its work day—establishing a new model of time efficiency. Within this relationship, staff in the Shanghai office provide technical and production support while the majority of design work is executed in Toronto.
Riding the Asian Express
There are three other subtle differences between the planning and design processes in China and these same processes in the Canadian context. These include: • Projects are not subject to anything equal to our environmental assessment process or other regulatory approval processes. • There is no public consultation process. • For the most part, the government controls all of the land and has the ability to relocate existing land uses to accommodate new development and environmental restoration projects as it sees fit.
After designing several projects that demonstrated the potential of the landscape of major urban developments to enhance water quality, create new habitat, and maximize energy efficiency while at the same time achieving social, recreational, aesthetic, and practical objectives, the concept of the ecological landscape became a key marketing focus to our various clients, both from the private and public sectors. The reputation fostered through project work and the promotion of the importance of ecologically based design led to the firm’s involvement in the Chang Guang Xi (River) National Wetland Park Project, a government-initiated project aimed at restoring water quality within the ten-kilometre-long Chang Guang River, Wu Lake, and Tai Lake in the Municipality of Wuxi, a city region that is located approximately 120 kilometres southwest of Shanghai. We completed the master plan for the wetland park in 2006. The implementation of the first phase of the project, a nine-hectare Demonstration Park that incorporates all of the techniques that will be employed at a large scale within the overall master plan, was completed in 2007. Water quality monitoring results for the Demonstration Park met expectations and the development of phase two of the wetland park, which encompasses a 125-hectare area, is scheduled to commence in the spring of 2008. The Design Process From our experience, the norm in China is that design precedes construction—but just barely. For example, although implementation of phase two of this project is to be underway this spring, the design development process, which commenced in November of 2007, will likely be on-going after the date that earthmoving operations begin. In other words, components are under construction while design details are being resolved in response to the contractors’ inquiries. E-mail is both a blessing and a curse, as demands are frequent and response times expected to be immediate (or sooner). The twelve-hour time difference is a welcome ally.
On the positive side, these three factors allow projects to move from conception to implementation at a rapid rate. However, drawbacks include the potential for ill-conceived schemes to be implemented with little scrutiny and a minimum of accountability, resulting in both environmental and social impacts. We observed this first-hand when, at the mid-point of the master planning process for the Chang Guang Xi project, a series of massive “water control gates” were constructed at various locations within the river as an initiative of the local Water Bureau. The intent of the gate system was to divert exceptionally polluted river water from one drainage basin to another, contingent on flow, in an attempt to dilute pollutant concentrations. One such gate appeared in the main river channel, necessitating a reassessment of the post-construction hydraulic capacity of the river. The conclusion of the assessment determined that the $5-million gate structure would compromise the flood conveyance capacity of the river and should be removed. In the end it was decided that the gate structure could remain in place, perpetually in the open position, with the configuration of the river reworked to provide the cross-sectional area required to mitigate potential flooding of the city upstream of the gate. Getting It Built The chaotic schedule of projects presents challenges and a degree of frustration, and the latter is amplified by three factors: • Clients demand a rigorous level of specificity and detail in the drawing and specification package. • The contractor builds in accordance with his creative interpretation of your meticulous drawing set. • The client will, for the most part, support the contractor’s view. “Arrangements” are an important tenet of business in China— enough said. Getting it built on time is not an issue; getting it built right is the challenge. For example, we designed, detailed, and specified an intricate steel substructure for a sinuous boardwalk. However, the photographs e-mailed from the site inspector clearly depicted formwork being removed to reveal cast-in-place concrete beams complete with salvaged and partially straightened rebars being wired together in preparation for the next pour. We expeditiously forwarded correspondence identifying the deficiencies and
Riding the Asian Express
recommended that the original design be implemented, and then promptly received correspondence in return expressing the client’s satisfaction with the contractor’s work. And so it goes. However, we did find that the client relied heavily on our consultant team to advise on the construction of the functional components of the water quality enhancement system to ensure that this was executed correctly. This was because the ponds, wetlands, and filtration systems must achieve predetermined water quality targets for the project to be deemed a success and for authorization to be granted by the Central Government to proceed with subsequent phases of design and implementation. Design Nuances The landscape of southern China is, not surprisingly, quite different from that of southern Ontario. For example, Shanghai rarely has days of below-zero temperatures, yet experiences monsoon-like rains in the spring and fall. Consequently, the plant material palette is different. This presents challenges with respect to understanding the functional capability of specific temperate plant species to up-take or filter pollutants out of stormwater and to designing stormwater management facilities with the capability of functioning effectively with a very different precipitation regime from our own. For the most part, research is the key to addressing these challenges. In combination with the expertise of local practitioners, including landscape architects and experts from local universities, research helps ensure that the plant community will thrive and function as necessary to achieve desired performance targets. On several of our projects, local experts who can assist the team in the design development process are identified by the municipality or other government agencies involved with the review and approval of the design. Typically, identified experts compile information pertinent to the design and respond to specific requests for information from the design team. This process has proven to work well with the exception of the unavoidable misinterpretation during the translation from Chinese to
English. Because the technical jargon related to stormwater management and habitat restoration is relatively recent and specialized, in some cases the words do not exist in Chinese, requiring some fairly creative wordsmithing and character writing by the translation staff in our Toronto office. Literal translations of technical terminology can yield some amusing (and sometimes embarrassing) results. However, the process works well, ensuring that the design team is apprised of site-specific issues that need to be addressed in the design without the need to do primary research. The local experts also function as a review body, ensuring that the design incorporates the elements necessary to address site-specific requirements. Making Progress As more projects that respond to environmental sustainability objectives are designed and constructed throughout China, the concept of the functional landscape is gaining traction. Developers are realizing the marketability of green communities. Agencies at all levels of government are becoming much more aware of the necessity of pursuing landscape-based solutions to address the challenge of restoring polluted water bodies and degraded ecosystems. Perhaps now that initial progress has been made, an environmental renaissance similar in pace and scale to China’s economic miracle is underway. And maybe one day, I’ll take that stroll along the Great Wall. BIO/
MARK SCHOLLEN, OALA, CSLA, IS THE PRINCIPAL OF SCHOLLEN & COMPANY INTERNATIONAL INC., A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL CONSULTING PRACTICE THAT OFFERS SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE IN THE DESIGN OF NON-STRUCTURAL STORMWATER MANAGEMENT, WATER QUALITY ENHANCEMENT, HABITAT CREATION, AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION PROJECTS. MARK SCHOLLEN IS A SESSIONAL LECTURER ON URBAN ECOSYSTEMS IN THE MASTERS PROGRAM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO'S FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE, LANDSCAPE AND DESIGN.
Construction of wetland park boardwalk
Schollen & Company International Inc. Master plan scale model for golf resort community in Guang Dong Province
Schollen & Company International Inc. Central interpretive pavilion at Chang Guang National Wetland Park
Schollen & Company International Inc.
From the Shores of Tripoli . . .
TEXT BY ANDREW B. ANDERSON, OALA, CSLA
I am usually one of the first people in my office to volunteer when there’s an opportunity for international travel. At the prospect of travel to Shanghai, I eagerly proclaim my mastery of Cantonese. When the topic of travel to Morocco comes up, I point out that Arabic is practically my second language. If the office needs someone to go to Amsterdam, I start rattling off useless trivia about the North Sea and its influence on the Dutch climate. Wherever a place may be located on this planet, I want to go there, and I always promise to send a postcard. In reality, I don’t speak Cantonese. I can speak a grand total of two phrases in Arabic. And I can’t utter a single word of Dutch. But my point is this: my love of travel is inextricably bound to my thirst for discovering new places, new people, and new landscapes. I have learned that one can go a long way with a smile, respectful behaviour, and a genuine curiosity about other ways of life. Travel heightens observation skills, offering a chance to clear the mind and ponder on the truism that the fundamental elements of design are common throughout the world. I believe wholeheartedly that travel makes for a better landscape architect. As captured by James P. Warfield in the introduction to Mediterranean Villages—An Architectural Journey, “travel becomes the medium for gathering visual and experiential precedents for developing thoughts and ideas that can be later interpreted and crafted into their own creative works.”
From the Shores of Tripoli . . .
From the Shores of Tripoli . . .
So when it was announced last summer that my office had successfully won a large master planning project for 325 km2 of northwest Libya, along the Mediterranean coastline near the Tunisian border, I basically claimed to be the long lost son of Colonel Gadhafi. I really wanted to go. But in an era of ever-increasing levels of information saturation, I found myself in the unusual position of traveling to a country that I knew nothing about. Due to our previous projects in North Africa, I could locate Libya on a map, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. After scouring the entire city of Toronto for the one map of Libya that existed, I packed my bags and headed to a mysterious and intimidating country that soon proved to be every bit as mysterious and intimidating as I had imagined, and even more fascinating. And don’t ask me how I managed to get an entry visa in less than a week. Suffice it to say, there were some tense moments and cash exchanged in the Tripoli airport. Traveling with several coworkers, the purpose of our trip to Libya was to visit our project site (all 325 km2 of it), perform an initial inventory and analysis of existing conditions, identify opportunities and constraints related to the program, and gather as much information as possible about the site and the Libyan design vernacular. The first week involved a series of client meetings and site visits with the entire consultant team. I was alone in Libya for the second week, responsible for further meetings with government officials, and charged with the task of documenting the design vernacular of this enigmatic land.
Design as discovery— unlocking the secrets of a forgotten land
From the Shores of Tripoli . . .
Libya is not an easy place to visit. Years of international isolation and the existing political regime have taken their toll. Minimal infrastructure for foreign visitors, including the virtual non-existence of any language other than Arabic, poses challenges at every turn. Detailed site information, including surveys, geotechnical information, cultural information, and ecological inventories, are elusive. Information is unreliable, contradictory, and difficult to obtain. As a result, we relied on our training as landscape architects to read the land, looking for visual clues and subtle hints to help us understand the site conditions. And did I mention the heat? The temperature often climbed above fifty degrees Celsius. Libya, an ancient land that has been effectively shut off from the rest of the world for the better part of three decades, simultaneously dazzles and intimidates. Based out of the capital city of Tripoli, we explored our site and the surrounding area by car, by boat, and by foot, trekking across sand dunes, exploring remote fishing villages, and stumbling upon longsince abandoned relics from the era of the Italian colonization of Libya. We managed to survive a precarious boat ride across a tidal lagoon, trusting the navigational skills of a local octopus fisherman, ending up on a narrow peninsula of sand and dune grasses that separates the lagoon from the open Mediterranean Sea. Looking across the lagoon towards the Sahara Desert, we quickly understood why this area is home to endangered sea turtles and is a critical stopping point for migratory birds that annually migrate from Africa to Scandinavia. A hot, barren piece of land that at first glance seemed to be completely devoid of any significance, slowly revealed itself to be a marvel of ecological and cultural significance on a global scale. It is amazing what the landscape can tell you—even if you don’t speak Arabic. The initially daunting task of unraveling a few secrets of this place quickly evolved into an adventure unlike any I had experienced in my life. In the end, after a meeting inside the centuries-old Tripoli Castle with the director of the Libyan Archaeology Department, who was straight out of Indiana Jones, we learned that Libya’s Mediterranean coastline is a vast reserve of ancient Roman archaeological wonders. Only after exploring two of the world’s largest and best-preserved ruins of Roman cities at Sabratha and Leptis Magna—both UNESCO World Heritage Sites—did I even begin to understand the international historical significance of the area. I cannot imagine anywhere else on earth where one has the opportunity to wander through hauntingly well-preserved ruins of once powerful Roman cities without another living person in sight. The silence of the Sahara is as captivating as the ruins it once obscured. Following an intense two weeks spent at the beginning of the project, observing and absorbing the landscape, culture, and character of the site and its context, the master plan for the project—one of the first urban planning projects in the country in thirty years—was informed and shaped by our new knowledge about the place. We were able to educate the client about the importance of protecting the sensitive salt flats that covered more than 50km2 of the site, and as a result, the overall layout of the project integrated these unique features rather than obliterating them. Key views were protected, cultural landmarks celebrated, and environmental features enhanced.
While international projects can be immeasurably rewarding to experience, it is important to be able to handle stressful situations in unfamiliar circumstances while still acquiring the information that you need for the project. When your site is located halfway around the world, you may only ever get the chance to see it once (and sometimes not at all). I find it extremely helpful to simply accept that what is about to happen to you at any given moment is frequently out of your control. One has to remain confident in the knowledge that “going with the flow” may just reveal the most unexpected rewards. This requires a high degree of trust: trust in other people, trust that everything usually works out for the best, and, above all, trust in your own abilities as a landscape architect. Get used to hearing the phrase, “maybe tomorrow.” Keep an open mind, and expect the unexpected. Actually, don’t just expect the unexpected—embrace it. Seemingly insignificant events, sounds, or scents may echo in your memory and continue to inspire your designs long after you have cleared customs and returned home. There is so much to learn from traveling to new places. Experiencing foreign cultures and unfamiliar landscapes heightens our awareness and appreciation of the Canadian culture and landscape that we often take for granted. So abandon your culinary fears, throw some granola bars in your suitcase, and take advantage of every possible opportunity. Dive in, and remember the immortal words of poet Robert Frost: “I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
ANDREW B. ANDERSON, OALA, CSLA, IS A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AND SENIOR ASSOCIATE AT LANDinc IN TORONTO. HIS SUITCASE IS ALWAYS PACKED.
ANDREW B. ANDERSON
Ontario Landscape Architects and International Practice On March 26, 2008, Ground hosted a roundtable discussion, moderated by Netami Stuart and Fung Lee, to explore some of the social, environmental, and design issues that arise in the current surge of local landscape architects working abroad. A panel of experienced designers, educators, and planners, who have worked internationally, were invited to speak critically and constructively about how landscape architecture is practised by OALA members around the world, and, in particular, to highlight some of the ethical and logistical issues involved.
Moderators: NETAMI STUART, PMA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS FUNG LEE, PMA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS
Panelists: ANDREW B. ANDERSON, SENIOR ASSOCIATE, LANDinc GEORGE DARK, PRINCIPAL, URBAN STRATEGIES INC. CATARINA GOMEZ, PROJECT MANAGER/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT, DUTOIT ALLSOPP HILLIER FIDENZO SALVATORI, PRINCIPAL, SCI LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS GEORGE STOCKTON, PRESIDENT, MORIYAMA & TESHIMA PLANNERS JIM TAYLOR, PROFESSOR OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH
Netami Stuart (NS): To begin with, let us talk about the business environments you have encountered and the types of clients you are working for. Is doing design overseas a profitable enterprise and what makes it so? George Stockton (GS): Our first real international work, other than in the United States, was in Tokyo, working on the new Canadian embassy back in the mid 1980s. We didn’t even sign a contract until the project was under construction. It was all done under a handshake. So our experience in Japan is that you are in a very sophisticated environment with a long history of mutual trust. The work that we are now involved with in Kuwait is the polar opposite of that. Over the years, management consultants seem to have driven a lot of the international projects, not only in the terms of reference, but in the contracts themselves. They are getting more and more rigorous, and we are increasingly getting locked into very tight schedules that absolutely must be met. We have several million-dollar bonds to complete the work. If you want to work for the government in the Middle East, you are in a tight sandwich of regulations, administration, agreement, bonds, etc. It is way beyond the scope and fee structure that we experience here in Canada. George Dark (GD): It is not a profession of colleagues and peers over there but, rather, they are buying/importing your services. GS: The other thing that is very particular about the Middle East is that it is not the safest environment and you really have to be careful. We refused to go to Riyadh at one point because they were essentially hunting westerners.
Fung Lee (FL): What about the Chinese experience? Fidenzo Salvatori (FS): My colleague, who is an architect/urban designer, and I spent a few years doing exploratory work and finally now we have established a branch office in Shanghai. It’s taken close to $300,000 for this venture and we’re now getting some beautiful contracts. They average $180,000 in fees, just for the landscape component. Initially we worked through local firms and it was very difficult. The design would be changed at will. Establishing our own office was the only way to control the design and coordination. We were well received once the client saw that we had started an international office, as there are a lot of fake international companies! We incorporated a new company in China—you don’t want to set up your Canadian company over there for liability reasons. Catarina Gomez (CG): What kind of clients do you work for? FS: Here’s the issue: every committee is composed of at least twenty people—different people from different sectors. Is it a government agency or is it a private company? It’s very difficult to tell in China.
NS: Do you hire landscape architects from here to work at your office in Shanghai or do you hire local designers? FS: You don’t want to bring people there in terms of business costs and expenses. The wages are much lower in China, except in Shanghai. The average salary in Shanghai is five times the national average. We now have an urban designer from the Philippines joining us there and he’s going to be about $40,000, which is a lot of money in China. Jim Taylor (JT): Foreigners have a different pay scale in China. I had an international student at Guelph who was from China and studied here. When he went back to China to work, he got paid more because he had his Canadian citizenship! Design Globalization NS: How have you dealt with the logistics of designing for a foreign physical, ecological, and cultural place? Are we going to foster local designers to be able to do local design, or are we fostering an international design big-business culture? JT: Through the International Federation of Landscape Architecture (IFLA), I chair a couple of committees and work on the development of the profession internationally. We are working through IFLA to build the capacity in developing nations both by encouraging education in landscape architecture and by helping to organize professional associations that can provide accreditation to their members. In Brazil we trained architects in the core fundamentals of landscape architecture so they could begin to teach landscape architecture at their schools of architecture. At the time there were no landscape architecture schools in Brazil—there are, now. I have been involved in helping to organize professional associations in Russia and in the United Arab Emirates. In Russia, the landscape architects are now being allowed to organize. In fact, they felt that
the Canadian model of professional organization in a confederation like the CSLA, OALA, etc. was the best, so they are using our model. China has grown from zero to a hundred in just a few years in terms of the number of landscape architecture programs, but there is no accreditation and no standards in place. That will be a challenge in coming years. It took us many years to get the Central Government of China to recognize the profession of landscape architecture. There is a concern internationally about landscape architects coming from developed countries to developing countries and practising without making any local contacts or hiring local landscape architects (assuming there are some there). IFLA is currently doing a survey to try to find where all the landscape architects are. GD: One reason that Urban Strategies doesn’t do a lot of work in China is that we have a rule: we have to have a contextual fit, instead of just importing a chunk of Ireland into Shanghai or exporting American-style development into any place in the world regardless of where it is. I think the bigger question is: what is an appropriate, modern, sustainable, intelligent response to each case? CG: I was born and raised in Portugal and I came to Canada about eight years ago to attend the University of Toronto where I obtained my Masters in Urban Planning. I do have work experience as a landscape architect in Portugal as well, so I have experience with Ontario exporting my skills and importing my skills. This is a relevant subject because so many Ontario residents—and therefore some Ontario landscape architects—have immigrated to Ontario from other countries.
GS: At Moriyama & Teshima, as a form of training, we usually get our staff involved in overseas projects and send them to the location as part of the project team to immerse them into the culture. It’s been a very good experience for everybody. We’re so small that we don’t have walls and boundaries between people. It’s totally exciting to watch young people and landscape architects get out there and understand the ecology and culture. Regulatory Frameworks NS: As landscape architects we’re all supposed to act in a socially and environmentally ethical and sustainable manner, regardless of regulations. But if the regulations are not present, can you convince your clients to build in a sustainable way? CG: In our work on the Kuwait University Master Plan, when it came to regulations and trying to get approvals from various agencies, the university asked us to be the mediators. We were actually the ones negotiating with the government bodies and the university was as much as possible trying to stay clear of it because of the bureaucracy. It’s such a hot potato. GD: There are lots of examples of poor regulation at home, too. There are no stormwater management rules in New Brunswick. None! You’ll often see storm sewer pipes spilling into a river. So you don’t have to go thousands of miles away. Canadian landscape architects have a huge responsibility, just outside our door, to correct the things that we know are really unsustainable.
GS: That’s the word: responsibility. At Wadi Hanifah in Saudi Arabia we’re working on a 124-kilometre site, an oasis, to bring it back to ecological health for the city. There are really no modern Saudi environmental regulations—they’re working on them. We use North American, European, or world standards. It comes down to our own judgment and what we would want for our own families to be experiencing, and that sets the benchmark for the type of environmental approach we undertake. CG: There’s also the other issue, of social responsibility. In the Kuwait University experience, there were two other women on the design team and we were trying to develop a campus. In the beginning we weren’t sure whether we were supposed to develop one campus for female students and one for male students. But full separation was mandated by the parliament of Kuwait. We had to decide what was our threshold and how far did we want to push the issue? Sometimes you have to detach yourself from the issue and work on a different part of the project, perhaps in an administrative way. Andrew Anderson (AA): There is a lack, particularly in Algeria and Libya, of environmental regulation, so it is our responsibility to make recommendations. There is an opportunity for us to help these countries. It’s primarily master planning work and part of the challenge, like everywhere else, is to try to build with sustainable principles. GD: I find that Canadians are seen to be very honest brokers. Even in US firms, our opinion about good global practice is respected. Canadians are very trusted abroad, which is a reflection of our country. People know the rainbow of cultures that make up our nation and understand our measure of tolerance. There are more people in California than in Canada and yet we hold some of the most prominent positions in the world.
AA: That’s true. From our experience in North Africa, the client’s initial idea is that their own existing cultural riches are irrelevant. Six-thousand-year-old Bronze Age relics? Well, they can be moved! I really do believe that it is the Canadian background where we can say, “Wait a minute. Here is the reason that it should be valued.” Education JT: I think there is a responsibility, whether it’s the CSLA or OALA, to start thinking about helping professional practices grow and evolve in developing countries. One way is through education. We have students from Guelph who are now leaders in the profession in Africa and other parts of the world. Our enrollment of international students has gone up but we’re not educating enough international students to advance the profession internationally. And we’re not training our landscape architects enough to be culturally sensitive to working abroad. Students want to work internationally. They are not working for local firms; they are working for CIDA or for international development NGOs, where their work might be more meaningful. So it’s something we have to think about. We have to reposition our professional work. AA: I think one really important aspect of the schools here is the exchange program. GD: Jim, let me ask you a question. Are we going to see an international organization, an international accreditation? JT: Well, we’re working on that now— working on international standards in education, predominantly directed towards developing countries. FOR AN EXTENDED VERSION OF THIS ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION, VISIT THE GROUND SECTION OF THE OALA WEBSITE, WWW.OALA.CA.
NETAMI STUART, ASSOCIATE MEMBER, OALA, IS A LANDSCAPE DESIGNER AND CERTIFIED ARBORIST WITH PMA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS.
FUNG LEE, OALA, CSLA, IS A SENIOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AND PRINCIPAL AT PMA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS.
Notes: A Miscellany of News and Events 01/
Canada Blooms garden designed by Robert Boltman, OALA, Associate Member
OALA Winners of the Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association design competition
Andrew B. Anderson
schools Every year, numerous Ontario landscape architecture students choose to escape to distant shores to participate in international exchange programs with other schools around the world. For many students, this is their first in-depth exposure to traveling and living in a foreign country; the experience inevitably expands horizons and changes perspectives for a lifetime.
garden show Outdoors, the snowbanks were headhigh, but inside Toronto’s Convention Centre, thousands of visitors to Canada Blooms were basking in signs of spring. The OALA booth, for the first time located in the main garden area of the show, was designed and donated by Borrowed Spaces, and attracted many visitors. Marianne Mokycke, Shalini Ullal, and Alexander Budrevics volunteered their time as judges for the OALA Awards, and awarded Jane Hutton, OALA, of Plant Architect Inc. the OALA Recognition Award for the garden "Macroscope." A Rosette Award was presented to Stephen Rupert, OALA, for the Arbor Memorial Garden, and Shawn Gallaugher, Associate, OALA, was awarded two Rosettes: the Up & Coming Award and the Association Member Award.
in memoriam The OALA is saddened to announce the sudden passing of Donald Salivan in Florida on March 14, 2008. Mr. Salivan has been an OALA member since 1985.
The landscape architecture program at the University of Guelph offers more international exchange opportunities for its students than any other program at the university. Currently, landscape architecture students in Guelph have the opportunity to participate in exchange programs with the following schools: • University of Canberra: Canberra, Australia • Edinburgh College of Art/Herriot-Watt University: Edinburgh, Scotland • Wageningen University: Wageningen, The Netherlands • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences: Alnarp, Sweden • Agricultural University of Norway: Aas, Norway • Lincoln University: Canterbury, New Zealand • University of Adelaide: Adelaide, Australia • Univeristat fuer Bodenkulturn Wien (BOKU): Vienna, Austria • The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University: Copenhagen, Denmark • Lingnan University: Hong Kong (not a formal exchange agreement) • University of KwaZulu-Natal: South Africa (not a formal exchange agreement)
students The Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (OSSGA) sponsors an annual design competition for Ontario post-secondary students to prepare comprehensive restoration design master plans for an Ontario quarry or sand pit. The goal is to encourage compatible post-extraction uses of former aggregate properties and to promote public and academic awareness of that role. The site for the 2007 design competition was the Ayr Sand Pit, located in Wellington County. The three winning groups of entrants were all third-year BLA students from the University of Guelph. The winning entry was submitted by Brittany Barclay, Dave Reid, and Adam Rogers, who proposed reusing the site as Canada’s first natural burial cemetery. Pat Bunting, Danielle Bushore, Jeff Fenske, and Matt Sloan were awarded second place for their submission, “Art of Human Nature.” The proposed solution transformed the site into an arts centre with sculptural displays integrated into naturalized settings. The third-place winners
were Michael Eves, Luke Facey, and Zac Wolotachiuk, whose winning concept, “Balancing the Cutting Edge,” proposed reusing the site as a resource centre combining extreme recreation and environmental education. The design competition was integrated into the curriculum of the University of Guelph’s third-year BLA studio course by co-instructors Shirley Hall and Andrew Anderson, OALA, CSLA. All students in the class were required to complete the competition requirements as part of the course curriculum; formal submission to the OSSGA competition was optional. The awards were presented at the OSSGA Annual General Meeting Awards Banquet in Toronto on February 22, 2008.
new members The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new full members to the association: Emily Grant * Kenneth Hale Gina McFarlane * Barry Murphy Matthew Sweig * Martin Tavares Asterisk (*) denotes a Full Member not having custody and use of the Association seal.
council Working on members’ behalf, the OALA Governing Council meets monthly to deal with association business. As well, the Executive Committee and other Council committees hold regular meetings, working on various issues, events, and other tangible benefits of membership. Council meetings are open to members (except for in camera items) and are regularly scheduled for the second Monday of each month, from 6:15-8:30 p.m., at the OALA office. For details, contact the OALA at 416-231-4181.
In 2008, the OALA reached a significant milestone: forty years as an association. To celebrate this achievement, the OALA launched an anniversary logo at the conference and Annual General Meeting in April.
Congratulations to Janet Rosenberg, OALA, CSLA, on two recent honours. The Canadian Urban Institute has selected Rosenberg to receive a 2008 Urban Leadership Award, in the City Livability category, in recognition of her significant contribution to the public realm. In June, Rosenberg will receive an Honorary Doctorate from Ryerson University.
The OALA Council selected this logo design from forty-one submissions from the membership. The selected design was conceived by concept i design of Bangkok, Thailand. Congratulations to Geoffrey Morrison, OALA, CSLA, and Hidemizu Kanamoto for creating this logo. The OALA also extends thanks to all participants in the logo competition.
exhibitions In February, students from the University of Toronto’s Masters of Landscape Architecture program hosted PUSHING SITE, the second annual MLA Student Design Exhibition featuring current studio work. The exhibition explored ways of representing landscapes that push boundaries to respond to natural processes and dynamic programs. Exploring sites at various scales, students showed examples of immediate and long-term strategies that encourage diverse habitats and manage/recycle material flows. Sponsored by the OALA and the Faculty’s graduate student union (GALDSU), the show sought to push people’s perspectives on the urban landscape, reveal landscape opportunities at various scales, and share conceptual ideas and representational techniques among students, faculty, and the broader design community. To encourage the transfer of ideas between landscape architecture students, the show was launched at LABash at the University of Guelph and then opened for a two-week run at U of T’s Larry Wayne Richards Gallery.
According to the Sports Turf Association (STA), construction specifications have been the missing link in the creation of highly effective and functional sports fields. “Specifications could have saved grounds maintenance personnel and others thousands of dollars in corrective action when poor construction methods were used, partly because pertinent information was not readily available,” says Michael Bladon, former grounds superintendent at the University of Guelph. In an effort to solve this problem, the Sports Turf Association recently developed construction specifications, published in The Athletic Field Construction Manual. According to Lawrence Stasiuk, OALA, CSLA, “The Athletic Field Construction Manual provides standards for five categories of field construction that will help designers determine the appropriate field design for the intended level of use.” Primarily based on the root zone material and the provision of drainage, irrigation, and light, the specifications for each category of field are based on current scientific information. The manual is available at www.sportsturfassociation.com.
In an effort to raise awareness about Toronto’s urban forest, the non-profit group LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), in conjunction with the Toronto Public Space Committee, is hosting a series of tree tours this summer. The walks are led by knowledgeable local experts and cover diverse areas of the city, from Withrow Park (June 15) to the Rouge Park (June 21) to Downsview Park (July 20). The Cedarvale Ravine tree tour (June 14) has a particularly enticing bonus: it is being held in conjunction with the Cedarvale Strawberries and Asparagus Festival. For more information, see www.treetours.to/events. 03/
Exhibition of studio work by University of Toronto students
Tonya Crawford and Victoria Taylor Construction specifications may lead to more effective sports fields
Sports Turf Association Maple syrup crafted for a design audience
people Dr. Nancy Pollock-Ellwand, OALA, former associate professor of landscape architecture at the University of Guelph, has assumed the roles of Head and Chair of the School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and professor of landscape architecture at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia. She and her family are adjusting to life (and the heat) in Australia, and are starting to develop a fondness for vegemite. Nancy extends an invitation to all her northern landscape architecture colleagues to come to Adelaide, where the earth is red, the skies are blue, and the wine that comes from the nearby Barossa Valley is always white (in her case).
books Working in other countries can lead to cultural missteps. To help navigate these potentially unfamiliar waters, Ground asked Jane Cooney of the Toronto store Books for Business to recommend some guides. Here are her picks, with comments: The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, by Thomas L. Friedman “This classic by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The World is Flat is used in college business courses and enjoyed by readers looking for a spirited and imaginative exploration of our new global world.” Kiss Bow or Shake Hands, by Terri Morrison “Covering all areas of the world, the author outlines local customs and rules of etiquette for traveling business people.” Behave Yourself! The Essential Guide to International Etiquette, by Michael Powell “Forty-five countries are covered. It’s
considered vulgar to chew gum in Italy; in Brazil avoid giving sharp gifts such as letter openers.” Culture Smart! A Quick Guide to Customs & Etiquette “This current series of little books, covering most countries of the world, provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour in different countries.” When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures, by Richard D. Lewis “The book offers practical strategies to embrace differences and work successfully across increasingly diverse business cultures in sixty countries and every major region of the world.” Why Mexicans Don’t Drink Molson: Rescuing Canadian Business from the Suds of Global Obscurity, by Andrea Mandel-Campbell “This is a scathing, cautionary tale about Canadian timidity and lost opportunities in confronting international markets.” Books for Business also stocks many foreign-language dictionaries and teaching tools, as well as a good selection of atlases. For information, see www.booksforbusiness.com.
products It’s a perennial dilemma: finding the right gift—something quintessentially Canadian—for colleagues or associates in another country. Many a business traveler has eyed those kitschy bottles of maple syrup arrayed at airport stores and thought, if only they looked less, well, kitschy. Now, industrial designers Richard Brault and Dianne Croteau have rebranded maple syrup for the design market. Their line of maple syrup, sugar, and chocolates, under the label Ninutik—the Ojibwa word for maple syrup—transforms Canadian cliché into design classic. In fact, Ninutik recently won a Design Exchange Award for industrial design. A hand-blown glass globe (created in collaboration with artist Brad Sherwood) cradles syrup, while an artist-crafted porcelain bowl (Alissa Coe and Carly Waito), complete with spoon, holds sugar. “An architecture firm recently put in an order for forty of the sugar-filled bowls,” says Brault, “to give to international guests.” That’s sweet thinking, Canadianstyle. For more information, visit www.ninutik.com.
Interested in being involved with Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly? The OALA Editorial Board is looking for volunteers who can help out with various tasks, such as research, transcription, and writing. Any level of commitment is appreciated, from researching upcoming events for the Notes section to transcribing Round Table discussions... Fun, satisfying work—and the best part, no need to attend meetings! To get involved, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Referencing Culture Going global close to home The Japanese Zen garden on the roof of the Canadian Museum of Civilization is based on the theme of Wakei No Niwa, a reference to the Japanese and Canadian peoples. Most of the materials for the garden are from the region, with native plants and stone selected from the nearby Gatineau Hills. The museum building, designed by Douglas Cardinal, takes it inspiration from Canadian landscape forms, as does the front courtyard (originally designed by Julie Mulligan of ESG International, and currently being redesigned by Claude Cormier). Across the river, the gothic design of the Parliament Buildings—the country’s iconic ground zero—is itself a stylistic import, though rarely is it described as such. Do impositions of cultural references add meaning to designed built form? Or do they elide the hybrids that often represent us and, perhaps, define us? 01 01/02/03/
The design team for the Japanese Zen garden at the Canadian Museum of Civilization included Shunmyo Masuno, a Zen Buddhist monk from Japan, Patrick Mooney from the University of British Columbia, Ueto Construction from Japan, Massie & Associates Ltd. from Hull, Quebec, and Vaughan Landscape Planning and Design of West Vancouver.
Canadian Museum of Civilization