Ground 19 – Fall 2012 – Time

Page 1

19

Landscape Architect Quarterly 12/

Round Table Reflections on Change

10/

Features A Forest in Time

20/

Urban Vernacular

22/

Artful Sounds

Publication # 40026106

Fall 2012 Issue 19


Contents

03/

Up Front Information on the Ground Time:

08/

Time Capsule Recent grads speak out about the future COMPILED BY DENISE PINTO AND ADRIENNE HALL

10/

A Forest in Time TEXT BY LORRAINE JOHNSON

12/

Round Table Reflections on change MODERATED BY DONNA HINDE, OALA

16/

Consider This… The designed landscape over time COORDINATED BY ROB WALKOWIAK

20/

Urban Vernacular The front-yard tree PHOTOGRAPHS BY PATRICK CUMMINS

22/

26/

Artful Sounds Victoria Taylor, OALA, in conversation with Douglas Moffat Technical Corner Remotely sensed TEXT BY CAITLIN BLUNDELL

28/

30/

42/

Student Corner Revisioning post-industrial landscapes Notes A miscellany of news and events Artifact Guerrilla infrastructure

President’s Message

Editorial Board Message

President’s Message

Editorial Board Message

I trust that each of you had time to enjoy the marvelous summer and are looking forward to a productive fall.

The Editorial Board selects the theme for an issue a year in advance. After the articles and images are produced and woven together in the editorial process, particular aspects emerge. The theme of “Time” in this issue, it turns out, is about persistence. Ranging from a book that documents ancient cedars still living on the Niagara escarpment—some more than a thousand years old—to our Round Table conversation with Emeritus OALA members (much younger than the trees!) who have been practising since 1958, this issue of Ground charts the test of time in a number of ways.

This edition’s theme, “Time,” brings to mind a quotation from Euripides: “Time will explain it all. [Time] is a talker, and needs no questioning before [it] speaks.” As we all know, time is that precious commodity which, when managed by masterful planning, allows us to accomplish amazing goals and perhaps leaves us with some well-deserved leisure. As an Association, we are actively and routinely pursuing success through masterful planning. It will soon be time for us to take our place among allied professionals before that opportunity is lost. As we build towards this status, we are putting in place the components of a solid professional structure. Currently, we are developing the Mandatory Continuing Education program, which will ask each member to track time devoted to furthering working knowledge in each of our respective careers. The end goal, of course, is to further the profession as a whole. The foreseeable collateral benefit will be to demonstrate that the profession has implemented a mechanism to maintain competency in each area of practice in effect by landscape architects. I encourage you to follow the progress of the Mandatory Continuing Education Transition Committee (MCETC) and to offer comments as it refines the program in time for the next survey, which is scheduled to be issued at the end of this year. We must now all consider what might be suitable to offer our members as continuing education opportunities. These can be recommended individually or through the existing Continuing Education Committees (CEC), of which there are two active: one is serving the Golden Horseshoe area of Central/Southern Ontario, and the second serving the Eastern Ontario region. Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas with the MCETC or your area CEC representative. At this time, I’d also like to congratulate those who have made leisure time a thing of excellence: I applaud the golf tourney organizers, participants, and sponsors. I’d also like to salute those who organized, led, and participated in the various interpretive walks.

TEXT BY LORRAINE JOHNSON

Trees are a recurring marker of time. Lorraine Johnson writes about Douglas Larson and Peter Kelly’s book The Last Stand, which includes photographs of a 1,218-year-old cedar—rooted in a horizontal cliff crack less than five millimetres wide. Talk about persistence! We provide a glimpse into the impact of time on Toronto street trees, captured in Patrick Cummins’ “then and now” photographs of vernacular architecture from his book Full Frontal T.O. Paul O’Hara is tracking the fascinating existence of very old aboriginal trail marker trees in Ontario, trees which he describes as offering “a centuries old tap on the shoulder pointing us the way home.” Leaping into the present, Victoria Taylor’s interview with Douglas Moffatt about his unique sound installation for June Callwood Park in Toronto (currently under construction) reminds us that sound is a time-based medium that adds a rich layer to landscape design. Donna Hinde’s engaging conversation with two Emeritus OALA members, Brad Johnson and Alexander Budrevics, explores the changes they have experienced in the profession over time. Becoming adept at telling the story of a project and developing the business acumen of promotion while also gaining credibility for larger-scale strategic planning and not being pegged as “landscapers” were, and continue to be, important issues. At the other end of the practice spectrum, recent graduates of landscape architecture programs comment in the compressed form of tweeting, on their hopes and thoughts about the future of the profession, in just 140 characters. The impact of time on built works is examined in Robert Walkowiak’s assemblage of images from seven OALA members who contributed photographic records of projects built between 10 and 30 years ago. The piece ultimately poses the question: is there ever a point in time at which a designed landscape is “finished”?

Bravo to your imagination and commitment!

Fall 2012 Issue 19

JOANNE MORAN, OALA PRESIDENT@OALA.CA

We hope you will persist and take the time to let us know your thoughts about this, and any other, issue of Ground. NANCY CHATER, OALA CHAIR, EDITORIAL BOARD


Masthead

.19

Editor Lorraine Johnson

2012 OALA Governing Council

OALA Editorial Board Nancy Chater (chair) Eric Gordon Adrienne Hall Jocelyn Hirtes Fung Lee Leslie Morton Kate Nelischer Denise Pinto Maili Sedore Todd Smith Netami Stuart Victoria Taylor

President Joanne Moran

Art Direction/Design www.typotherapy.com Advertising Inquiries advertising@oala.ca 416.231.4181 Cover Satellite imagery generated using the near infrared, green, and blue bands. Courtesy of Digital Globe. See page 26. Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly is published four times a year by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. Ontario Association of Landscape Architects 3 Church Street, Suite 407 Toronto, Ontario M5E 1M2 416.231.4181 www.oala.ca oala@oala.ca Copyright © 2012 by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects All rights reserved ISSN: 0847-3080 Canada Post Sales Product Agreement No. 40026106 Ground is printed on 100 percent post-consumer, processed chlorinefree paper that is FSC certified. The paper is manufactured by Cascades in Canada with 100% postconsumer waste using biogas energy (methane from a landfill site) and is EcoLogo, FSC® and Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) certified.

Vice President Morteza Behrooz Treasurer Sarah Culp Secretary Doris Chee Past President Glenn O’Connor Councillors Alana Evers Jonathan Loschmann Associate Councillor—Senior Jonathan Woodside Associate Councillor—Junior Inna Olchovski Lay Councillor Linda Thorne Appointed Educator University of Toronto Elise Shelley Appointed Educator University of Guelph Sean Kelly University of Toronto Student Representative Todd Douglas

OALA

OALA

About

About the OALA

Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly is published by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas and information related to the profession of landscape architecture. Letters to the editor, article proposals, and feedback are encouraged. For submission guidelines, contact Ground at magazine@oala.ca. Ground reserves the right to edit all submissions. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the writers and not necessarily the views of the OALA and its Governing Council.

The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects works to promote and advance the profession of landscape architecture and maintain standards of professional practice consistent with the public interest. The OALA promotes public understanding of the profession and the advancement of the practice of landscape architecture. In support of the improvement and/or conservation of the natural, cultural, social and built environments, the OALA undertakes activities including promotion to governments, professionals and developers of the standards and benefits of landscape architecture.

Upcoming Issues of Ground Ground 20 (Winter) Chill Deadline for advertising space reservations: October 22, 2012

Ground Advisory Panel

Ground 21 (Spring) Politics Deadline for editorial proposals: November 12, 2012 Deadline for advertising space reservations: January 21, 2013 Ground 22 (Summer) Play Deadline for editorial proposals: March 11, 2013 Deadline for advertising space reservations: April 22, 2013

University of Guelph Student Representative Sarah Taslimi OALA Staff Registrar Linda MacLeod Administrator Aina Budrevics Coordinator Joanna Wilczynska

's environmental savings with Cascades paper Compared to products in the industry made with 100% virgin fiber, Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly's savings are:

.19

Andrew B. Anderson, BLA, MSc. World Heritage Management Landscape & Heritage Expert, Oman Botanic Garden Victoria Lister Carley, OALA, Victoria Lister Carley Landscape Architect, Toronto John Danahy, OALA, Associate Professor, University of Toronto George Dark, OALA, FCSLA, ASLA, Principal, Urban Strategies Inc., Toronto Katherine Dugmore, MCIP, RPP, Waterfront Project Manager, City of Thunder Bay Real Eguchi, OALA, Eguchi Associates Landscape Architects, Toronto Donna Hinde, OALA, Partner, The Planning Partnership, Toronto Ryan James, OALA, Landscape Architect, Peterborough Alissa North, OALA, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Principal of North Design Office, Toronto Peter North, OALA, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Principal of North Design Office, Toronto Cecelia Paine, OALA, FCSLA, FASLA, Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, University of Guelph Nathan Perkins, MLA, PhD, ASLA, Associate Professor, University of Guelph Jim Vafiades, OALA, Senior Landscape Architect, Stantec, London

15 trees

Erratum: 55,306 L of water 158 days of water consumption 838 kg of waste 17 waste containers 2,178 kg CO2 14,566 km driven 25 GJ 113,860 60W light bulbs for one hour 6 kg NOX emissions of one truck during 20 days

The photographs on pages 12, 13, and 17 of Ground 17 (Mobility issue) should have been credited to Metrolinx and VIVA. We regret the error. The CSLA Regional Citation Award for the South Yonge Street Corridor Streetscape Master Plan, on page 25 of Ground 18, should have listed EDA Collaborative Inc. as the consultant.



Up Front

03

.19

01 POLITICS

restoring parliament hill Lovers’ Walk circles around the back of Parliament Hill, threading along steep cliffs high above the Ottawa River. It was built in the 1860s atop rubble from the construction of the parliament buildings, and a forest of birch and other second-growth trees sprang up around it. In the 1880s the walk was touted as “one of the most delightful sylvan retreats imaginable.” By the 1930s, however, the woodlands around the walk were deteriorating, and the federal government launched the first in a series of restoration projects.

aphids in the elm, and Lecanium scale in other trees. Members of the public were also causing trouble: “A considerable amount of injury to the trees has been caused by vandals who have cut into the trees, removed the bark and broken off the limbs.” He advised that diseased trees should be removed, and others sprayed, and offered his services. E. I. Wood, the FDC’s Harvard-educated landscape engineer, defended the FDC’s restoration plans. He said the FDC was well aware of the problems (indeed, he noted, far more than half the birch were attacked by the borer), but removing all the diseased trees on such an iconic site was not an option. Instead the FDC intended to let the birch and linden die out and “take their pests with them.”

02

As the trees on the slopes declined, the Federal District Commission (FDC) was invited in the 1930s to take over maintenance of government grounds from Public Works. The FDC was well qualified, with proven experience landscaping a network of treed parks and parkways in Ottawa, and recommended a four-year restoration plan, “removing dead trees, putting in new earth, and doing a certain amount of

Up Front: Information on the Ground

planting.” They planted 12,000 seedling trees in 1935, and another 8,000 in 1936. White cedar and other conifers such as white spruce, white pine, red pine, jack pine, and Scotch pine predominated, with red maple and hard maple, plus willow, sumac, dogwood, and honeysuckle. Snow fencing provided protection. In 1936, Dominion entomologist Arthur Gibson weighed in on the condition of the woodlands at the request of R. B. Bennett, the leader of the opposition: “A large number of trees are evidently suffering from lack of nourishment due to the unfavourable conditions under which they are growing. Many of them have their roots exposed and are growing near rocks where the soil is too shallow for healthy development.” Gibson identified bronze birch borer in half of the birches, lilac borer in the lilac, heart rot in the linden,

03 01/

In the late 19th and early 20th century, Lovers’ Walk on Parliament Hill was touted as a “delightful sylvan retreat.”

IMAGE/

Courtesy Joanna Dean

02/

Lovers’ Walk was used as the cover illustration for the 1882 book Picturesque Canada.

IMAGE/

Courtesy Astrolabe Gallery

03/

Materials promoting Ottawa, such as postcards, sometimes included Lovers’ Walk.

IMAGE/

Courtesy Joanna Dean


Up Front

By 1938, however, only a small percentage of the thousands of seedlings planted on the slopes had survived, “owing to the poorness of the soil, the badly shaded and steep north slope, and the sulphurous fumes which blow across the river.” The FDC decided to replant with deciduous trees and shrubs, but fortune intervened. Landslides took out large sections of Lovers’ Walk, and the FDC’s chair, F. E. Bronson, recommended that the walk be closed. He suggested that it would not be missed: “Lovers’ Walk a decade or two ago was a popular strolling place for many citizens of Ottawa, but … it has lost its attraction to the responsible classes of the public with the result that it is now, it seems, the rendezvous of an unfortunate class of society.” Lovers’ Walk, it seems, was no longer attracting “respectable” lovers, and despite regular RCMP patrols had become a popular gay cruising area. By closing the walk, Bronson neatly removed what were seen as problematic lovers, as well as any influential witnesses to his landscaping problems. Although Bronson recommended erasing the walk from the landscape, the site was popular with politicians, and so Lovers’ Walk remained in a kind of limbo. Today the path is closed to the public but the crumbling concrete steps and stone walls remain, visible from the cycle path below. The woodland continues to evolve: invasive species have taken advantage of the failed replanting of the 1930s and a second restoration project in the 1980s, and Canada’s iconic hill is now dominated by Norway maple and Manitoba maple. The most recent plan proposed by Public Works was to replace these invasives with native sugar maples. The plan was supported by extensive reports into the geology and ecology of the slopes. However, Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose cancelled a $9.5 million replanting project in the fall of 2011. Such is the fate of a landscape made— and remade—by politics. TEXT BY JOANNA DEAN, AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT AT CARLETON UNIVERSITY WHO TEACHES ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY AND WRITES ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE URBAN FOREST.

.19

04

04

05 SPORTS FIELDS

professional soccer turf After a successful season and a number of high-profile tournaments under its belt, the University of Guelph Soccer Complex is proving its worth. “It’s like the Ferrari of soccer fields,” says landscape architect Brett Lucyk, OALA. The design of the FIFA 2-Star certified fields, opened in 2010, was led by Lucyk and fellow Stantec colleague Steve Bendo, OALA, along with the rest of the Stantec Sport Team. The members of the group are not only design professionals, but former athletes themselves, an insight which they believe helped lead the project to success. Armed with funding that resulted from a student referendum, the University of Guelph wanted high-quality, durable fields that would improve player safety and reduce maintenance costs—and artificial turf was the obvious choice. More and more soccer facilities are turning to artificial turf to meet these requirements, encouraged by the lower maintenance costs and extended playing seasons. However, natural turf is still favoured among many professional soccer players. (The BMO Stadium in Toronto

recently removed its artificial turf after finding that visiting European players preferred natural fields. Most major clubs use natural turf for games, but will install artificial turf on practice fields.) Bendo notes, though, that the professional stigma against artificial turf is changing. German and Swiss leagues are beginning to use the product for competition fields. The two artificial turf fields in the University of Guelph Soccer Complex were conceived with the goal of FIFA certification, and with the intent of minimizing the environmental impact of the entire Complex (which also includes natural turf fields). FIFA doesn’t require any environmental design considerations for certification, as the organization’s main concerns remain turf performance and player safety. All international soccer events, such as the Pan Am Games (a consideration for the University of Guelph), require FIFA-certified fields. The rigorous certification process guarantees consistency in the nature of the game. First, manufacturers of artificial turf must submit their systems to FIFA to be tested. Once their product is approved, a thumbprint is established to be used in the planning and design of specific fields. Samples of the product must be tested again upon installation. Lastly, companies acting as FIFA representatives must test the completed fields to ensure consistent levels through a series of ball tests and other assessments. A FIFA


Up Front

05

.19

1- or 2-Star certification is then issued, and the field is added to a central database of certified fields. For Guelph, the time and dedication required to receive the highest 2-Star rating was warranted—its Soccer Complex is now known as one of the best surfaces in Canada. Thanks to the extensive design, planning, engineering, and technical considerations, the fields are the envy of other universities. At the University of Guelph Soccer Complex, an elastomer layer (“e-layer”) resting under the turf and on top of compacted granular acts as a shock pad, providing consistent impact absorption across the fields. The “elayer” is one of the most cost-effective solutions in the complex; with a lifespan of 40 to 50 years, it allows for the easy replacement of the artificial turf layer on a more regular basis (every 8 to 10 years). The “e-layer” behaves like rubber but is inert and also completely permeable, allowing rainwater to quickly filter through the granular so the field can be used in light rain and soon after hard rainstorms. Water collected from the eastern part of the East Field drains through the underfield drainage system and is collected at various points and discharged into the adjacent protected woodlot. The balance of the water is collected in a cistern for reuse. The West Field, also equipped with a cistern, uses stored water to irrigate the two natural turf fields in the complex and to clean the artificial turf. Once construction of the next phase of the adjacent Field House is completed, this water will also be incorporated into a greywater infiltration system for the building.

07

08

and we have an appreciation for detail.” Furthermore, extensive design experience allowed the team to view the complex as a gathering space for the university community—not just as a series of sports fields. The park-like setting, with its dramatic green berms, creates a casual multi-use space that offers opportunities for non-athletes to enjoy the complex. 09

However, the composition of the “e-layer” itself can prove detrimental in terms of environmental impact. Often, Lucyk notes, the material is generated from shredded tires (or shredded sneakers, as is the case for Nike Grind surfaces). Used tires are often contaminated, and these pollutants can enter the water system when stormwater filters through the “e-layer.” Instead, Stantec chose to use a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) that was specifically designed for the Guelph fields—a plastic product that behaves and looks like rubber, but is far more environmentally friendly. Another innovation is the lighting plan for the complex. With multiple foot candle settings, the lights will use less energy over time by allowing university staff to change the lighting levels from their smartphones based on weather conditions and field usage. The lead role landscape architects played in this project is one of the main reasons for its success. “It’s a natural transition for landscape architects to work on field design,” says Bendo. “Landscape architects understand circulation and context, 06

“We have an understanding of the needs of the site that can make or break facilities,” says Lucyk. He describes how the team’s landscape architectural expertise allowed them to plan water movement through the complex, respect the environmental sensitivity of the adjacent lands, and strategically reuse overburden from leveling the fields. “We may not have all the answers, but we know the right questions to ask.” TEXT BY KATE NELISCHER, A WRITER AND LANDSCAPE DESIGNER AT THE PLANNING PARTNERSHIP AND A MEMBER OF THE GROUND EDITORIAL BOARD.

04/

Two artificial turf fields side by side in the middle of the complex, flanked by two natural turf fields.

IMAGE/

Stantec

05/

The innovative lighting system allows staff to adjust the lights from their smartphones.

IMAGE/

Stantec

06/

Preparing the e-layer.

IMAGE/

Stantec

07/

The design of the complex includes public realm enhancements on campus.

IMAGE/

Stantec

08/

Construction of the artificial turf fields.

IMAGE/

Stantec

09/

Players benches flank the artificial turf fields.

IMAGE/

Stantec


Up Front

06

.19

11

10 TREES

aboriginal trail markers

Botanist and landscape designer Paul O’Hara has an unusual mission: tracking down aboriginal trail marker trees in Ontario. He first came across a reference to one (a photograph labeled “The Old Indian Trail-Marker Tree, Townline Rd. at Thorold-Stamford”) while perusing an online library, and he was hooked. Unlike trees that are naturally misshapen, historical marker trees were deliberately modified near the ground: the sapling was bent over, its leader was secured to the ground and, over time, the tree settled into

the bend, purposefully pointing in a particular direction. According to O’Hara, marker trees were used by Anishnabe (Ojibway) and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Peoples of Southern Ontario to point to villages and camps, water sources and river fords, or to mark boundaries between aboriginal nations. O’Hara has discovered many marker trees (for example, proximal sugar maples in north Burlington pointing in the same direction on a path that leads from the Niagara Escarpment to Lake Ontario), and has learned of others through friends and colleagues. His enthusiasm for the project taps deeply into something visceral and basic: “Marker trees have opened up a whole new temporal way of seeing the 12


Up Front

07

.19

10/

Many tree experts and enthusiasts, such as Gerry Waldron, shown here, have assisted Paul O’Hara in his hunt for aboriginal trail marker trees.

IMAGE/

Paul O’Hara

11/

A marker tree in north Burlington.

IMAGE/

Paul O’Hara

12/

Paul O’Hara with double sugar maple trail marker trees on the Bronte Creek.

IMAGE/

Paul O’Hara

13/

An aboriginal trail marker tree at Moraviantown, the Delaware First Nation along the Thames River.

IMAGE/

Paul O’Hara

14/

A 250-year-old sugar maple marker along the Fairchild Creek in Hamilton Region.

IMAGE/

Paul O’Hara

13

forest. Each one of them says, someone was here…It is incredible to think, in this age of frenzied, electronic communication, that living, natural messages so simple and practical are still standing on the landscape today—a centuries old tap on the shoulder pointing us the way home.” Paul O’Hara is keen to hear of other trail marker trees. He can be reached at blueoak@sympatico.ca. For more information on marker trees, contact the Great Lakes Trail Marker Trees Society or check out Dennis Downes’ book Native American Trail Marker Trees Marking Paths Through the Wilderness. TEXT BY BY LORRAINE JOHNSON, EDITOR OF GROUND.

14


Time Capsule

08

.19

Recent grads speak out about the future COMPILED BY ADRIENNE HALL AND DENISE PINTO

You can pack a great deal of insight into a short time or, in this case, small space. As part of the Time issue, Ground decided to embrace the power of brevity by using the popular micro-blogging tool Twitter. In its inaugural “tweet” (and via email) Ground asked students and recent grads

across Ontario to share their hopes and thoughts about the future of the profession in just 140 characters—short and tweet. In future years, perhaps we’ll revisit these ideas to see how far we’ve come. If you have a Twitter account, please send your thoughts and ideas for future Ground content to @GroundMag!

Clarence Lacy, University of Toronto A new, healthier, more sustainable, multi-use infrastructure system and a reorganizing of existing urban communities.

Vanessa Aykroyd, University of Guelph I hope developers include LAs at the onset of site design with engineers and architects. Multi-disciplinary firms with vision!

Teressa Peill, University of Toronto A profession that helps foster beautiful, functional and creative spaces at any scale and in any setting that improves our collective human and environmental condition.

Leila Fazel Todd, University of Guelph Hope: for (more) people to (truly) know about Landscape Architects!


Time Capsule

09

.19

Stephen Cushing, University of Guelph I think the profession of landscape architecture needs to further promote the irreplaceable value of the urban forest.

Karen May, University of Toronto My hope for the future of landscape is more openness to doing things other than ‘business as usual.’

Todd Smith, University of Toronto I see future landscape balancing non/human needs while being gorgeous.

Jenny Bukovec, University of Toronto Green infrastructure will cease to be just a novelty with the realization that nature can actually do things better.

Adam Leger, University of Guelph LAs must be at the forefront of the sustainable shift; it’s our duty to ensure other professions understand how important it is.

Charles Dillard, University of Toronto A reassertion of local, culturally based design solutions that create meaningful, beautiful and sustainable places.

Stephanie Cheng, University of Toronto The future of LA lies in understanding other related disciplines and bringing more awareness to the importance of interdisciplinary exchange.

Erika Richmond, University of Toronto LAs can bring adventurous technology and elegant design to the local food movement. We have the skills to be at the leading edge of urban ag.

Olga Kraus, University of Guelph I hope that the profession will strive to create experientially rich landscapes that punctuate our unity with all of earth’s living systems (both biotic & cultural).

Adrienne Hall, University of Guelph LAs will lead in redefining how we live+build to embrace diversity/sustain ecology of an increasingly urban and shifting world.

Denise Pinto, University of Toronto Hope that the profession captures optimism about large global issues by testing solutions that surprise and delight the public.

Justin Miron, University of Toronto Expansion into, and synthesis of, other fields (Geography, Manufacturing, Bio-tech, IT, etc.) and use of their methods. Simple collaboration isn’t enough.

Jameson Skaife, University of Toronto We need to move beyond luxury aesthetics and push projects that are ecologically and socially conscious.

Danielle Davis, University of Guelph I see a fusion of skills+disciplines and less tradition. LAs must call up creativity/gumption/ entrepreneurship in a precarious world.

Tom Chwieszczenik, University of Guelph I foresee LA as a keystone in the drastic shift towards a new condensed urban infrastructure; fewer in cars due to dwindling fuel resources.

BIOS/ DENISE PINTO AND ADRIENNE HALL ARE MEMBERS OF THE GROUND EDITORIAL BOARD.


A Forest in Time

10

.19

Really, really old growth

01


A Forest in Time

11

.19

04

02

05

consciousness. Their book is full of wonders: the 1,320-year-old cedar growing at Lion’s Head; the 879-year-old in Mount Nemo Conservation Area that germinated just as the Inca Empire was about to be born; the more than 600-year-old in Rattlesnake Point that predates Joan of Arc and yet is just three metres in length…

03 TEXT BY LORRAINE JOHNSON

On a clear day, you can see some of the oldest trees in Canada east of the Rockies from the CN Tower. Ancient white cedars, a few of which are more than a thousand years old, make up the surprisingly persistent forest that clings to the cliff faces of the Niagara Escarpment. You wouldn’t know it to see the trees, which confound the popular equation of size to age. One 430-year-old cedar, for example, dated after its death, was no bigger in circumference than a silver dollar. These twisted, bleached, gnarled, often bark-less, stunted cedars (the oldest no more than seven metres tall) cling to rocky outcrops, their roots finding purchase in the most unlikely holds. One 1,218-year-old cedar at Lion’s Head Provincial Nature

Reserve is rooted in a horizontal cliff crack less than five millimetres wide. Many of the trees excel at the gravity-defying feat of growing upside down, with their roots in rock above their crowns. Nestled precariously in the most populated part of the country, yet in effect “hidden” by virtue of their inaccessibility, somehow these trees persist, defying not only gravity but the natural adversity of their cliff habitat and the inadvertent depredations of adventureseeking rock climbers. Researchers at the University of Guelph, including Douglas Larson, who discovered the uniqueness of this forest in 1988, and photographer Peter Kelly, who with Larson has written a book about it, The Last Stand (Natural Heritage Books), have done impressive work to document these ancient cedars and bring the story of this forest into popular

This ancient forest offers many lessons, not the least of which is the seemingly contradictory revelation that isolated resilience does indeed surround us, nurtured by time and a distance that is both close and far. BIO/ GROUND EDITOR LORRAINE JOHNSON IS A BOARD MEMBER OF LEAF (LOCAL ENHANCEMENT AND APPRECIATION OF FORESTS).

01/

Although the tip is dead, the rest of this cedar, bordering Georgian Bay, is alive and more than 500 years old.

IMAGE/

Peter Kelly

02/

The cliffs at Smokey Head, Bruce Peninsula.

IMAGE/

Peter Kelly

03/

One can see Milton from this 500-yearold cedar’s perch.

IMAGE/

Peter Kelly

04/

Peter Kelly, co-author of The Last Stand, collects a core sample from a cedar at Rattlesnake Point.

IMAGE/

Doug Larson

05/

Growing “upside down,” this more than 350-year-old cedar is just 2.5 metres tall.

IMAGE/

Peter Kelly


Round Table

01

BIOS/

12

.19

02

Two Emeritus members— Alexander Budrevics, OALA, and Brad Johnson, OALA, discuss changes in the profession with Donna Hinde, OALA

01/

Alexander Budrevics in 1971.

IMAGE/

Courtesy Alexander Budrevics

02/

Brad Johnson

IMAGE/

Courtesy Brad Johnson

ALEXANDER BUDREVICS, EMERITUS OALA, FCSLA, FASLA, FAILA, IS THE FOUNDER OF ALEXANDER BUDREVICS AND ASSOCIATES LIMITED, WHICH HAS BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR CLOSE TO FIFTY YEARS. ALEX WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OALA, AND HAS BEEN A LONGSTANDING FELLOW OF THE CANADIAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS.

practising now. How Expo might compare to designing for the Pan Am Games, for example. Was it simpler then? Was it less competitive? Did you have freer reign? Did you play a different role than landscape architects do today?

DONNA HINDE, OALA, IS A PARTNER WITH THE PLANNING PARTNERSHIP. SHE HAS PRACTISED FOR MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS, BUT SHE IS NOT OLD ENOUGH TO BE AN EMERITUS MEMBER! DONNA CONTINUES TO LEAD TEAMS (IN A YOUTHFUL AND EXUBERANT WAY) THROUGH THE DESIGN AND PLANNING FOR UNIVERSITIES, CITY CENTRES, URBAN DISTRICTS, TRANSIT CORRIDORS, AND WATERFRONTS. BRAD JOHNSON, EMERITUS OALA, RECEIVED HIS BFA IN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS IN 1958, AND HIS MLA FROM HARVARD IN 1964. HE WORKED AT PROJECT PLANNING & ASSOCIATES LIMITED FROM 1958 TO 1966, AND WAS HEAD OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE FOR THE FIRM FROM 1964 TO 1966. HE WAS FOUNDING PRINCIPAL OF JOHNSON SUSTRONK WEINSTEIN (1966 TO 1981) AND BRAD JOHNSON & ASSOCIATES LIMITED FROM 1984. HE IS A FELLOW AND PAST PRESIDENT OF THE CANADIAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS AND ACADEMICIAN OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN ACADEMY. HE HAS DONE ADJUNCT TEACHING AT UNIVERSITIES IN CANADA, AUSTRALIA, AND THE UNITED STATES.

Donna Hinde (DH): Did both of you start practising in the 1960s? Alexander Budrevics (AB): I started the firm in 1960. Before that I worked with Austin Floyd and I worked with some design-build companies. But it was in 1960 that I started on my own and in April 1964 that I incorporated the firm under my name. Brad Johnson (BJ): I started with Project Planning in 1958. DH: In the 60s and 70s, there was a huge investment in making incredible public places: Ontario Place, Expo, the Zoo, and universities. I’m wondering if you can talk to us about how practising then, on those kinds of projects, is different from how we’re

BJ: In the late 50s, when I was going to school, landscape architects had an uphill battle to prove themselves as being capable of doing design. We were very much trying to show our peers in the world that we can think logically, plan systematically, and organize things—that we’re not just tree planters. We were trying to counteract the public image of “the landscaper.” Site design and landscape design involved establishing relationships and looking at


Round Table

how things fit together—they’re very similar in a way. It wasn’t so much getting richness into things, but making things work in a systematic, logical kind of way. That’s what we were focused on. DH: Back in the 60s or 70s, when you would have been retained to do the zoo, for example, was the process different from what it is now? Was there anything different about getting big commissions back then? BJ: It was probably less complex. In those days, a lot of landscape architects were doing landscaping. I was more interested in larger systems and getting involved in strategies. Landscape architects really had to struggle to get to that position. I think that today, landscape architects have finally come into their own and are doing things that are using their unique talents and capabilities. Before, we were stifling all those things. Also, when the 70s came there was so much work that innovation wasn’t the big thing—it was getting the jobs done. There was so much work to do. DH: What kind of work? Was it due to the building boom, greenfield development? BJ: Yes, from the building boom, to residential expansion, to communities being redeveloped, all kinds of work. As a result there were parks and waterfronts— all those things we want to do. In the 60s, we were trying to change the way people thought about shopping centres. I said to a developer, “The shopping centres are obviously going to be the new communities’ focuses because the downtowns are struggling. The schools should be in the shopping centre, the libraries should be in the shopping centre...” And he said, “What are you talking about? Do the same thing we’ve been doing. Make a big building and wrap parking around it.” No one wanted a school at the shopping centre because “kids are going to hang around and smoke, or they’re going to hang around and get the wrong ideas.” Those kinds of notions that we were trying to push back in those days were just sort of pushed aside. And landscape architects didn’t have the real power to direct strategy.

13

.19

DH: Alex, what do you think is the single biggest difference in your practice from when you started to now? AB: I was born in 1925, in Riga, Latvia. When the war was on, I went to Germany and worked there for two years, went to school for two years, and after that I spent five years in England and went to school. I always wanted to be an artist. I was very good at illustration and quick sketching, but you can’t make a living out of that. So at the Institute of Horticulture in England, design was part of the curriculum. In 1952 I came here and got a job doing Christmas cards— all done by hand. But the next week I got a job with Ontario Hydro as an illustrator. At that time, the linesmen could not read the mechanical drawings very well. They had to do perspectives, and that was my specialty. But I always wanted to go back into landscaping. So I wrote everybody listed in the phone book— which was about ten people—who were in landscape architecture here, and the first firm was DuningtonGrubb, Floyd and Stensson. Floyd worked for City of Toronto. In the late 50s or so, there were a number of people with European education who were not recognized by the CSLA. The CSLA was a closely knit group and gave the impression that “if you didn’t go to Harvard like we did, you’re a second-class citizen.” So we got organized, about twenty of us. There were people working for CMHC (Karl Jenkins, etc.) who were doing landscape architecture work and some people worked for municipalities. We wanted to have some kind of organization. So we approached the American Institute of Landscape Architecture (AILA) and they accepted us as a chapter. In 1964, the University of Guelph [landscape architecture program] opened, and in 1964 the University of Toronto [program] opened. The CSLA wanted to have the name Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. But Helmut Schmidt, who was our man with lots of energy, he got to Queen’s Park first and got this name blocked. With that, we got together with the CSLA and said, why do we fight? For what? And so we formed this Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. I was on the first Board, as treasurer. Emiel van der Muelen was president, and Jack Milliken from Guelph was secretary.

DH: So it was in the late 60s that the OALA formed? AB: Yes, the OALA was incorporated in 1968. We had Milliken from Guelph and Bill Rock from U of T. We used to meet in the faculty club on Cumberland. DH: How many people were in the association when it first started? AB: At that time we had seventy or eighty. This was because of two groups: we had forty under our wing and about sixty who already belonged to the CSLA. I don’t know exact numbers... BJ: When I became a member of the CSLA it was the strangest thing. It was in Dunington-Grubb’s living room and the Examining Board was Austin Floyd and Don Pettit or someone. I was invited to go to this CSLA meeting by Macklin Hancock. I didn’t know what it was for. They said bring some drawings. Floyd says, “Well let’s have the Examining Board meeting.” So Floyd and whoever it was walked out of the room, came back and two minutes later said, “Okay, you’re in.” That’s how I came to be a member of the CSLA. AB: You had an education they could trace. Our group, most of them, they couldn’t trace those universities. BJ: The CSLA, like the ASLA, had this idea that if you were in business selling plants or actually doing contracting work, you couldn’t be professional. You couldn’t be objective because you’re going to want to sell a plant you can’t get rid of. DH: Alex, how is your practice different now from when you started? AB: Well, first of all, we drew everything by hand. DH: And was it largely residential? AB: I actually got established through swimming pools. At that time, in the early 60s, hardly anyone knew anything about swimming pools. I went to swimming pool conventions and became an expert in swimming pools. I got some big projects in


Round Table

Ottawa and so on. But where I really made a mark, was where I had a lot of work on the Bridle Path [in Toronto]. DH: What’s your practice like now? AB: Now we provide services for all aspects of landscape architecture. At the age of 65, I sold my company to [my son] Arnis and started to travel. Residential design was a good way to get established, but these types of projects cannot sustain a growing firm. In 1960 I opened an office in Don Mills. The OALA office was moved to our building while I was OALA president, from 1977 to 1979. BJ: To answer your question about how everything is different: In my case, I was fortunate to get a job at Project Planning, my first job. Even though I came out of a landscaping background—my dad was a landscape nurseryman at the garden centre who did the contracting work—that was really not my interest. After I graduated I was more interested in planning rather than the planting. Project Planning was the first firm to do really big work all over the world—big, complex projects. Macklin Hancock was going all over the world, jumping on planes and getting jobs. It was a dream world for someone like me who was just out of school and didn’t know beans about anything. The way the office functioned was that you didn’t have a mentor looking over your shoulder. Macklin didn’t come along and say, well, I think you should do this. They just said, here’s a project and just do it. And you sank or swam. It was a different world then. Landscape architecture was so broad—is so broad. You could have people spending their whole lives doing masterplanning of new cities, or doing wonderful gardens and swimming pools. That can be your life. AB: We had two schools in 1965 teaching landscape architecture in Ontario. Many graduates could not find jobs. At the time, John Day was working for the City of Mississauga as a landscape architect. He was instrumental (together with Wayne Nishihama), in insisting that Mississauga

.19

require every site-plan application to include a drawing by a landscape architect. I still remember personally lobbying Markham and other municipalities for the same requirement. We [the OALA] pushed through that every landscape drawing had to have a landscape architect’s stamp on it. BJ: There was a big downside to that, though, for me. Everyone was celebrating that municipalities were now recognizing landscape architecture as an important thing. But it would always rankle me when some guy would call up and say, “I’m a developer and I gotta use a landscape architect.” Well, go get somebody else. I don’t want to be doing something just because you’re forced to do it. AB: The thing is, we spent money on educating many students , and they came out of school and they couldn’t get work. DH: That’s happening now, too. AB: But at least things opened up. When we got name designation—I think Macklin Hancock was president at the time—the profession really got established. The public knew that landscape architects could make a contribution. DH: How have you found that your built projects have changed over the years? Is it rewarding to see something that you designed and built thirty years ago, and now it’s a fully matured landscape? BJ: It’s always disappointing. [laughter] Things for me are never as good as they could have been, for several reasons. One was, during the seventies, we were churning out work at a great rate. I regret, in some ways, not having a larger office. We had about 18 people. And then you have the budget issues. The best projects for me were the ones that never got built. I find that the best projects I’ve ever done were things I did without a client. DH: Of the built ones, what are the most memorable? BJ: The projects that I’m most interested in are the ones that have larger impact on the community. Doing a really nice landscape site plan is not as interesting to me.

14

We won a competition for Milliken Park. The strategy for Milliken Park was this: Let’s look at Scarborough as a community. Scarborough has little good sense of itself as a historical place—it’s a sprawling suburb. I thought, maybe it’s a chance to give some sense of their own history, because it had a history, but nobody knows about it. So the idea of the park was to make a core that would celebrate the arts, history, culture, and recreation—community social activities as the heart of the park. And the history, too. Instead of plunking down all kinds of uses all over the park, we said, Let’s make it a place where people can create their own kinds of programs. All around the perimeter of the park would be a forest, which would buffer all the industrial schmutz on the outside and run trails around it. Everything else in the park would be undeveloped; it would be up to the people to choose. If you want to have a kite festival, you can do it. If you want to do a cricket match, or the world’s championship, you can do it. The park is just a big place the community can program. AB: I’d like to mention one thing about projects not getting built. We had this problem in the 70s. The projects were designed for subdivisions and, at that time, all those apartments were being built. Things were selling so fast that before the project was built everything was sold and the apartment building was occupied. The developers thought, “so who needs landscaping?” The builders just put down the sod and that was it. Although many projects had really fancy landscape designs, they were never implemented. You can still see all those apartments today with practically no landscaping. DH: What built projects are you proudest of? AB: We designed the Botanical Gardens for Oshawa. Our plan was partially implemented before the city ran out of money. Municipalities always run out of money… BJ: Many projects that were built, were not built the way they were intended. I did a masterplan for Philosopher’s Walk [on the University of Toronto campus], and the idea was to bring back Taddle Creek, which had been covered over and put in pipes, and put some water features in. They said, “No,


Round Table

we’ve got no money for all that water stuff.” So I designed it to be plantings like water— you know, blue things. But they didn’t do those either! So we ended up with a walkway…And the groundspeople stuck a few trees around, and that was the end of it. I’ve got too many projects like that, where there were lots of good ideas that never were realized. DH: What skills, what advice would you give to recent graduates? BJ: Well, landscape architects really have a unique approach to design. Unlike a sculptor, who creates something out of nothing, landscape architects have this ingrained sense, by training, and by inclination perhaps, to look at the larger picture and integrate. Because they can think in an integrated way, landscape architects are really well suited to being the strategists for larger, more complicated efforts. This is something we always wanted to try to do, even in the 60s. But there just was this struggling, struggling, struggling all the time to get things happening. AB: A young landscape architect really should decide whether he or she is a business person or not. Too many people start when times are good—but you know, it goes in cycles. When things are up, anybody can start a business, but you have to be a business person, too. We have seen so many young companies starting off and spending two or three years doing hard work and later on, they end up with nothing. They would be much better off to work for somebody else who has a business sense. You have to find what you are best at. DH: That’s good advice, because your business has been around for a while. Another thing is, it doesn’t matter what you do, there’s always selling involved. Somebody has to get a job, somebody has to sell the firm. Besides just being a designer and having your diploma on the wall—that’s one thing, it’s an accomplishment—but it does not mean you’re going to be successful. AB: That’s right. I have taken a number of sales courses. You have to know how to sell yourself and how to approach people.

15

.19

BJ: New landscape architecture graduates should challenge, or at least examine carefully the program they’re given. In other words, if the client says, I want this, you have to not necessarily challenge it, but question it and find out, by standing back and looking at the larger picture, whether that’s the right question to be asked. You have to maybe expand the problem. Say, maybe, what the real question the client should be asking is. That’s really important. DH: What advice would you give to landscape architects who have been practising for 15 or 20 years, who are at the midpoint of their career? BJ: Because landscape architects are so varied, and the profession is so broad, it’s hard to answer that question. But, as in any other form of endeavour, you can always sit back and take stock of what you’ve been doing. Can you be doing better? AB: First of all, you have to love what you’re doing. If you go there for money, that’s the wrong profession. You will never, ever get rich. If you don’t like what you’re doing, do something else. BJ: For people who are mid-career, I think the question is: How can you better tell the world about what you’re doing? Not just for self-aggrandizement, but for making a better world. If you can find ways to promote the profession, or your work, or a good idea—learn how to promote it. We’re terrible at that. Maybe there are a few people who are good at it, but mostly we’re terrible at it.

AB: The ASLA has been talking about this for years and years. We have to sell ourselves—promotion is a better word. But it’s not that simple. BJ: In Port Hope, there’s a big no man’s land between downtown and the waterfront. So I had done a project on my own, no client, to suggest a vision for that whole area, for the whole downtown community. I’ve shown it to maybe 40 or 50 people coming for dinner and so on, who are pretty interested in it. How do I get the larger community to know about it? If you leave it up to the municipality, it’s dead. So I’ve avoided going the political route and instead just talk to people who might be interested in pushing some aspect forward. That’s my approach. AB: I think we have come a long, long way. When I look back on the last fifty years or so, the practice has changed from nothing to really something. This profession has established itself. DH: What quality of the more experienced landscape architects do you think are at risk of being lost? For example, drawing? AB: Well, that’s a lost art. Only a few in our office have that skill, but maybe you don’t need it now... BJ: A lot of the younger people have never had or don’t have any confidence in drawing. At the same time, we didn’t have the confidence or the capabilities for dealing with all the wonderful things that computers can do for us. Aside from the technical, one of the potentials for advancing, creating new skills, is the skill of how to communicate better. That’s really important.

DH: So how do we get better at that? DH: What are other potentials? BJ: In the schools, part of the curriculum should be not just promotion but how to make people aware of good ideas. Students must know how to tell the story. And we don’t do that at all. When we were producing all kinds of interesting projects, nobody heard about it…But if we tell them, maybe the next layer of clients will say, we can raise our standards a little bit and do something better, bring more of those good ideas into play.

BJ: Celebrating the fact that landscape architects have the goods to be able to be in charge of strategies and create strategies for community development. As well as doing beautiful gardens, we can plan cities and plan communities and plan larger strategies. And we should not be afraid to push forward that way. WITH THANKS TO ADRIENNE HALL FOR TRANSCRIBING THIS ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION.


Consider This…

16

.19

1995

don valley brick works

2009

don valley brick works

1996

don valley brick works

The designed landscape over time

2010

don valley brick works

COORDINATED BY ROB WALKOWIAK

Curious about the evolution of landscape projects through years and even decades, Ground put out a call asking for submissions that document how designed landscapes change over time. Seven OALA members sent in examples of their projects. One was “completed” three decades ago; one was “completed” two decades ago; the others, within the past decade. Many thanks to the contributors who offered us these fascinating glimpses into the workings of time. Of course, the unspoken question posed by this exercise in retrospection/ introspection/dissection, is: Is there ever a point in time at which a designed landscape is “finished”?

PROJECT

Don Valley Brick Works, Toronto PROJECT IMAGES SUPPLIED BY

The Landplan Collaborative, Ltd.

01/


Consider This…

17

.19

2003

fletcher's creek

2009 (PRIOR TO REDEVELOPMENT)

greenwood cemetery

2006

fletcher's creek

2010

greenwood cemetery 2007

fletcher's creek 2004

fletcher's creek

2008

fletcher's creek

2012

greenwood cemetery

2012

fletcher's creek

PROJECT

01/

Greenwood Cemetery Reflection Garden

2005

fletcher's creek

PROJECT IMAGES SUPPLIED BY

Mark Taylor, OALA, Town of Halton Hills

PROJECT

01/

Fletcher’s Creek Naturalization, Brampton PROJECT IMAGES SUPPLIED BY

The Landplan Collaborative, Ltd.


Consider This…

18

.19

1981

YEAR FIVE

little etobicoke creek

private residence, waterloo

2012

little etobicoke creek

YEAR SIX

private residence, waterloo 1986

little etobicoke creek

YEAR SEVEN

private residence, waterloo

PROJECT

01/

Little Etobicoke Creek, Etobicoke PROJECT IMAGES SUPPLIED BY

The Landplan Collaborative, Ltd.

YEAR ONE (PRIOR TO REDEVELOPMENT)

private residence, waterloo

PROJECT

01/

Private residential redevelopment, Waterloo PROJECT IMAGES SUPPLIED BY

Adam Holland, OALA


Consider This… 2010—STEP ONE

rainproofing prototype project

19

.19

2010—STEP FIVE

rainproofing prototype project

2009

olympic village

2010—STEP TWO

rainproofing prototype project

2010 PROJECT

olympic village 01/

Riverdale neighbourhood rainproofing project, Toronto PROJECT IMAGES SUPPLIED BY

SCHOLLEN & Company Inc. 2010—STEP THREE

rainproofing prototype project 2007

olympic village

2011

olympic village

2010—STEP FOUR

rainproofing prototype project 2008

olympic village

2012

olympic village

PROJECT

01/

Suspended pavement project in South East False Creek, B.C., part of the 2010 Olympic Village PROJECT IMAGES SUPPLIED BY

PWL Partnership, with Peter MacDonagh, OALA, Kestrel Design Group


Urban Vernacular

20

.19

The Front-Yard Tree

TEXT BY LORRAINE JOHNSON

The growth of trees marks the passage of time in the landscapes of our cities. When we plant a small sapling in the front yard, it’s often difficult to project ourselves into the future of what that tiny stick will one day become. Photographer Patrick Cummins has spent three decades documenting the vernacular architecture of Toronto. In his recently published book, Full Frontal T.O. (Coach House Press), snapshots of streetscapes provide fascinating “then and now” glimpses into not only the subtle architectural changes of houses, storefronts, and garages, but also into the growth of the arboreal adornments we add, with such hope, to the city’s forest.

1998

2010

173 Gladstone 148 Huron 120 Pape 580 Richmond Street West 01

02


Urban Vernacular

21

.19

1988

2011

05 1988

03 2000

06 2010

04 1983

07

2009

08

01-09/

Patrick Cummins’ photographs, from his book Full Frontal T.O. (with texts by Shawn Micallef), reveal the changing streetscapes of Toronto over time.

IMAGES/

Patrick Cummins

BIO/ LORRAINE JOHNSON IS THE EDITOR OF GROUND.

09


Artful Sounds

22

.19

Victoria Taylor, OALA, in conversation with Douglas Moffat, about a unique installation for June Callwood Park, Toronto

01/

Early study for column placement in OKTA, Douglas Moffat’s and Steve Bates’ public art installation for June Callwood Park in Toronto.

IMAGE/

Field Sound

02/

OKTA column-field study at eye level test.

IMAGE/

Field Sound

03/

The 24 sound columns in the piece emit sounds based on the amount of cloud cover in the park at different times.

IMAGE/

Field Sound

04-06/

Sound columns for OKTA, in June Callwood Park.

IMAGES/

Field Sound

01

In 2009, Montreal-based artists Douglas Moffat and Steve Bates were awarded the commission to design Toronto’s first permanent public art sound installation for June Callwood Park, which is currently under construction in downtown Toronto. The concept for the park was conceived by gh3; the park design is based on an audiograph of Callwood’s voice. Thus, a sound work installation seemed an appropriate way to reflect Callwood’s vocal advocacy work and to uniquely animate the visitor’s experience of the park.

02

On a hot summer day, I visited Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood to meet one of the sound project’s creators, Douglas Moffat. His lofty studio is filled from floor to ceiling with a marvelous assortment of musical instruments, recording devices, speakers, computers, and design prototypes. We opened a bottle of Blanche de Chambly and sat down for a chat. 03

Victoria Taylor (VT): Could you describe the path you’ve taken to get to this point in your career, perhaps starting from your time as a young landscape architect to your current focus on working more with the medium of sound? Douglas Moffat (DM): When I was studying landscape architecture at the University of Guelph, I was always trying to find ways to include sound in my studio projects. When I “discovered” R. Murray Schafer’s book,


Artful Sounds

23

.19

04

Looking back it seems so obvious: sound is always an element of a constructed landscape, whether it is planned or not, whether it is considered, whether you are interested in it or not. There will always be a sound to any particular place. There will always be an ambient sound. But there will also be sounds that are intentional. From that perspective, could you imagine a different sound? And if so, how would you go about creating it? That was kind of the start for me. VT: Given this interest, what did you propose for your final design thesis at Guelph? DM: I presented a soundscape study of the Speed River in Guelph. I created a cultural and experiential mapping of a 30-minute walk along the river. I planned a series of subtle interventions as sonic constructions that would happen here and there, and would change the experience of the river walk and the mapped soundscape. I presented the work as a series of designed panels and included recorded parts in my models. This was 1998. VT: So instead of creating a barrier to sound you used landscape as a strategy to enhance an aural experience. After graduation, did you go on to practise as a landscape architect?

05

The Tuning of the World, in the school library I became really inspired to see what could be done with sound and landscape. My thesis advisor was Walter Kehm, OALA, FASLA, now a principal of LANDinc, who authored a section on sound in the TimeSaver Standards for Landscape Architecture. He is also a crazy, inspiring guy, so he was a huge influence in helping to focus my interest in sound.

DM: Yes. I moved to Vancouver to work with Phillips Wuori Long (now PWL Partnership). I was there for about two years and then moved to Montreal and started working with Myke Hodgins of Hodgins & Associés Landscape Architects. After several years of practice, I decided to enroll in Concordia’s MFA program to really focus on sound as art and learn more about making it. Montreal turned out to be a very sympathetic place to explore this area of study; there were a lot of sound artists around and a lot of projects happening. VT: I read that you had an experience in Las Vegas that influenced your thoughts about sound. When I think of Las Vegas, it’s usually the visual elements that dominate. What was intriguing to you? DM: I went to Las Vegas for the first time for a conference. When you get there (if you have ears!) you notice all the crazy sounds.

06

On the plane trip there I was reading Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi’s Learning From Las Vegas and was really charged to experience everything about this place. What was surprising was that there wasn’t much in the book about sound. When I was there I noticed that distributed sound systems were the thing the casinos used to project sound in the streets—the same type of basic system you see in grocery stores. In Vegas, these systems were strung out everywhere—across streets and streets, blocks and blocks. You can find this “built sound thing” in other places, but in Vegas they had it in a very special and intentional way. I planned a bunch of return trips and eventually decided to do my own study. I developed a mapping of the sounds of Vegas into my thesis at McGill in Architectural History. I guess it was like putting together my own version of how a sound chapter in Learning From Las Vegas would read. [laughs] VT: I’m curious about the use of sound from your perspective as a landscape architect. If we can describe sound as both an integral and created material of a built landscape, then should sound be considered another tool in our designer kit, or is it an element that operates on another level more like art? DM: For me, sound is a tool and a set of processes available to everyone. Then there is also the way I personally choose to engage with it. In my work, I try to use sound to experience what is possible in a place and also to develop original sonic components that add to a sense of a place. VT: It seems that sound landscape installations are being considered more frequently for public outdoor commissions. For instance, on the Thunder Bay waterfront


Artful Sounds

24

.19

07

the Winnipeg firm spmb worked collaboratively with Brook McIlroy on two massive steel beacons that emit a sound narrative on the site’s history. Did you encourage Toronto to make sound a part of their park programming? DM: We had never really considered going for a public art call before this one for June Callwood Park. Steven Bates and I had done sound installations together before; for example, we did one at the International Garden Festival in Métis, Quebec, and also a piece in Calgary. But when we saw this call for proposals from the City of Toronto, we knew we had to try. 08

07/

Rendering of sound columns.

IMAGE/

Field Sound

08/

Park context study.

IMAGE/

Field Sound

VT: Your winning concept for the installation in June Callwood Park is a sound piece called OKTA. From where did the idea come?


Artful Sounds

25

.19

DM: A sonic element was already strongly tied to gh3’s original concept for the design. The call stated specifically that the proposal should be a sound piece and relate to Callwood and her work, but the rest was left open. We thought about what might be a good sonic experience, thinking about where the park is, how people might use the park, and the relationship between the park and June Callwood herself, both in the physical form and as a memorial. VT: Could you explain more about OKTA and the technical side of the piece? DM: First the name. Okta is a Greek word meaning eight, and was an early unit to measure cloud cover. A mirror divided into eight squares is laid on the ground. The level of cloud cover at that particular location is read by how many squares are covered by clouds. If all eight squares have cloud, then it is an overcast day. It doesn’t seem very accurate but it’s a good story. VT: It’s also a good word. There’s an interesting connection between June Callwood and clouds. Can you explain that? DM: That’s right. Steve and I began our proposal research by looking through archives to understand who June Callwood was and what she was about. We found an interview where she was talking about a time when she learned to fly a glider plane in her 80s. She wanted to get out of Toronto and fly above it. She told the story of being up in the glider, seeing a cloud, and wanting to know what it might be like inside a cloud. She ducked her plane right into the cloud— something you’re not supposed to do when flying a glider. It speaks to her spirit of adventure, of going against the rules, and to a general spirit of people wanting to step into the unknown. At an urban level, it was for us the idea of escape, getting out of the city and finding refuge in a park. We starting asking ourselves: Why would you go to this park? Why would you want to go to this park and listen to some sound artwork? What would a visitor to this park want to listen to? From this, our proposal for OKTA became loosely based on the idea of listening to a cloud, or being able to walk into a cloud of sound.

09

VT: What does a cloud sound like? DM: This is an unanswerable question, but it is also a question from the history of music—from Debussy to Xenakis and Ligeti to Eno to Kevin Drumm. VT: It is forever compelling because we can never know. DM: Our next step was to design a series of sound-making columns that spread about two metres apart in one area of the park. We are just beginning the production of the columns. In total, there will be 24 aluminum and stainless steel plate columns. The stainless has a reflective quality so you can see clouds in it, and there is a grid etched into the surface that references back to okta as a unit of measure. The speakers are protected inside.

Over time the visitor will always have a new experience of sound. People who visit the park often will be the ones who most benefit from the full experience of the work. Only by experiencing the site in different conditions will someone fully understand what the work is about. VT: I like the way that it has elements of being a permanent installation but also offers the more dynamic qualities of a temporary installation. You could say that it is close to the experience of landscape or place. DM: The piece definitely has a physical presence, but there is a strong emotional and ephemeral element. Not only will the visitor experience it in a different sonic way each time they visit the park, but how the experience unfolds will be unique.

VT: Did gh3, as the landscape architects of the park, have influence in certain areas of your design?

VT: Its qualities align to the true experience of landscape: always changing, no beginning, no middle, no end. Never the same.

DM: It was a very collaborative process. gh3 indicated a preferred location where they felt there was less programming, and they also recommended stainless steel as a material element as it would tie in with the material language of the park.

DM: Yes, exactly.

There is a “cloud camera” integrated into our piece, which gives us a cloud-cover measurement every 30 seconds that feeds into an audio patch. That measurement determines what sounds will change and which column will project the sound. The sound in the park will change as the cloud cover above the park changes.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OKTA AND DOUGLAS MOFFAT, VISIT WWW.FIELDSOUND.CA. BIO/ VICTORIA TAYLOR, OALA, IS A TORONTO-BASED LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT.

09/

Site Selection and Siting Coordination Drawings.

IMAGE/

Field Sound


Technical Corner

26

.19

A

B 03

format, it is surprising that the root products of remote sensing—the raw images—are so dramatically under-used in the design professions.

A

E

D C 01

Landscapes from above 02 01/

True colour satellite imagery with a key showing detailed sectons.

TEXT BY CAITLIN BLUNDELL

IMAGE/

Digital Globe

02/

False colour image generated using the near infrared, green, and blue bands; this type of imagery is used to quickly highlight vegetation in red.

IMAGE/

Digital Globe

03/

Three classes of land cover were created in this satellite image: permeable surfaces, impermeable surfaces, and water.

IMAGE/

Caitlin Blundell

04/

The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) provides information about vegetation density.

IMAGE/

Caitlin Blundell

Landscape architects and urban planners often use pictures captured by satellites orbiting the earth to help familiarize themselves with a site and to provide context for a project. Google Earth, Bing Maps, and other web-based tools have given us the remarkable ability to fly all over the world from a desk or on a mobile device. The Internet has quickly become an indispensable source for accessible, scalable geographic information. Given the ubiquity of satellite imagery in this, its least powerful

Web-based tools, while useful, have significant limitations. It’s impossible to know exactly when an image was captured, or when an area was last updated. A user cannot control the season shown, or see seasonal changes in an area. This means that fluctuating water levels, for example, can’t be visualized. Often, especially in remote locations, the imagery is years out of date or obstructed by cloud cover, or pulled together from different satellite passes, resulting in a patchwork image crudely mosaicked together. There is also no detailed elevation information available on web-based tools; while you can make out hills and valleys, you cannot download accurate contours or spot elevations. All this information is available from the multitude of satellites currently in orbit around earth. It is possible to download for free (or to purchase) imagery sourced from a particular day, season, or year, or access data at regular intervals to assess changes over time. Digital Elevation Models derived from satellite passes give us accurate surface information that can be used to generate contours, section cuts, or detailed 3D models.

B

04


Technical Corner

27

.19

C

05

C

06

Satellites do not simply photograph the true-colour images most of us are familiar with. The visible spectrum of red, green, and blue light represents only a small slice of the overall range of energy emitted from the sun and reflected back off the earth’s surface. Another set of values, in the infrared part of the spectrum, also contains valuable information about the surface water and vegetation on the land below. This infrared energy is undetectable by the human eye. Each satellite, before it is launched, is programmed to record reflectance values at set intervals along the spectrum and send that data back to us in distinct bands. Red, green, and blue light are each recorded in a separate band, as are near-, mid-, and short-wave, or even thermal infrared values. These bands can be rendered visible by specialized software, allowing us to visualize and understand this important information. The ability to perform multispectral analysis can have a transformative effect on a project. Using the relationship between the red and near infrared bands, it is possible to classify each image pixel according to vegetation density in order to capture the wooded or vegetated areas quickly and accurately, or even to see the dispersion of a particular species of flora. This vegetation index allows for a direct comparison of vegetation values in different places and at different times of year.

Since water absorbs infrared energy, it is possible to use this range of values to identify the areas lacking reflection, in order to understand the range of a floodplain or wetland, track a water body’s path, or assess its surface area. Each band recorded by a satellite captures distinct information about the land, and these bands can then be analyzed alone or in combination to answer some of the questions landscape architects address every day. Resolution in satellite images ranges dramatically depending on the hardware on board and the altitude of the orbit. They range from very low resolution, with pixel sizes up to one kilometre, to very high; currently, imagery is available for purchase at up to a 50-cm pixel size—similar resolution to the sharpest Google Earth imagery. Moderate to low-resolution imagery (at around 10-30m pixels), suitable for use at a regional scale, is available for free online at www.geobase.ca for Canadian data and www.earthexplorer.usgs.gov for global coverage. High-resolution imagery is available for purchase from a number of suppliers, representing a number of satellites. Costs depend on the resolution, the size of the study area, and the availability of images in the archive. Generally there is a minimum purchase area of around 100 square kilometres, and a cost of $12.50$14/square kilometre.

D

07 05/

Pixels for vegetated surfaces were converted to polygons, shown in semi-transparent burgundy, which can be used as part of a GIS map or with other software.

IMAGE/

Caitlin Blundell

06/

The tree canopies have been isolated from the grass lawns, and the proportion of canopy cover can now be calculated.

IMAGE/

Caitlin Blundell

07/

Close-up of the tree canopy image.

IMAGE/

Caitlin Blundell

E

08

Of course, the higher the resolution, the larger the file size. In many cases, specialized software is required to view and manipulate the image. This Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or remote sensing software further capitalizes on the data contained in the image; the files contain a spatial reference that specifies where in the world they were taken. When loaded in software that recognizes this reference data, other GIS datasets such as road, parcel, or census data will align itself automatically. By turning to satellite imagery and GIS data, previously onerous tasks such as manually aligning data and creating and editing north arrows and scale bars are rendered automatic. Mapping is, and always has been, an essential part of landscape architecture. Successful projects incorporate as much data as possible about neighbourhoods, watersheds, regions, site features, and the connections between places. More and more of the data that feeds into design is available from satellite imagery or in vector GIS formats. Turning to these powerful new technologies not only brings valuable new inputs into design, but can save time and energy that would otherwise be wasted doing manually what can easily be automated. By adopting satellite imagery in design practice, a simple background image can be converted into a valuable source of spatial information and an important new tool in the user’s arsenal. BIO/ CAITLIN BLUNDELL IS THE DIRECTOR OF GEOGRAPHIC DESIGN, A TORONTO-BASED REMOTE SENSING AND GIS CONSULTANCY. SHE WORKS PRIMARILY WITH URBAN DESIGNERS AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS, HELPING THEM INTEGRATE THE LATEST GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGY INTO THEIR PROJECTS.

08/

The NDVI has been recombined with the visible and near infrared bands to create a composite image that highlights different vegetation types.

IMAGE/

Caitlin Blundell


Student Corner

28

.19

manages water relocation, stockpiling, roadway networks, and on-site processing. An understanding of phasing was integral to determining the layout of final design features. Living Machine: The Living Machine will be a grey water filtration system located in our educational centre on-site. It mimics the purification properties of a wetland to cleanse dirty water for reuse in the building. The feature illustrates not only the natural mechanisms of a wetland but functions as a model of green technology that can be applied to other building designs.

University of Guelph students win four of five prizes in gravel pit competition The annual Ontario Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (OSSGA) Student Design Competition provided the structure for the BLA third-year design-studio project at the University of Guelph. In this design studio, students focus on exploring the role of design in balancing human use and enjoyment of the land with the conservation, restoration, rehabilitation, and development of post-industrial landscapes. These landscapes tend to be highly manipulated and disturbed, and the resulting spaces and features are large in scale, presenting unique design challenges in adapting them for human use while restoring some of the former conditions to the site.

01

02 COMMON KNOWLEDGE

For the competition, the OSSGA chose the Lafarge Guelph Plant, located within Wellington County, just west of Guelph. The Student Design Competition Guidelines and Criteria were used as the Terms of Reference for this project. The total site area is 150.7 hectares; it is both a gravel pit and a quarry, and was previously agricultural land. Ultimately, the extraction depth will be 18m below the water table. Working with instructors Shirley Hall and Karen Landman, University of Guelph student teams won the top four of five prizes. The prizes were awarded by the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, at the annual OSSGA general meeting. The following four projects won top prizes in the competition.

01/

Ingrid Cheng, Audrey Fung, and Louise Thomassin

Concept & Master Plan: Our design concept is encapsulated in the title, Common Knowledge. Diverse programming will draw users with varied interests and backgrounds. Our site will be a resource base to showcase “everyday” ecosystem principles and sustainable living, enabling ecological knowledge to be accessible and common to all. Phases of Rehabilitation: The phasing diagrams demonstrate the gradual rehabilitation of the gravel pit. Both extraction and re-vegetation occur in an efficient sequence that is most conservative in terms of money and time. To guarantee that the process minimizes the amount of resources, we had to undertake research into how the gravel pit industry

03

01/

Concept and masterplan for project Common Knowledge.

IMAGE/

Ingrid Cheng, Audrey Fung, and Louise Thomassin

02/

Living Machine for Common Knowledge.

IMAGE/

Ingrid Cheng, Audrey Fung, and Louise Thomassin

03/

Phases of rehabilitation for Common Knowledge.

IMAGE/

Ingrid Cheng, Audrey Fung, and Louise Thomassin


Student Corner

29

.19

09

06 GEOMETREE

01/

Marlise Akazawa-Eguchi, Eric Conway, and Fraser Vanderwel

04

Concept & Masterplan: Our design invokes geometrically designed spaces with a variety of naturalized areas. This combination inspires people to reflect upon human impact on the environment and question whether naturalized designs can ever replicate nature. 10 05

ECOLOGICAL OUTREACH

01/

Meghan Austin, Mandy Sullivan, and Laura Paaren

Concept: Ecological Outreach strives to create a successful biodiversity strategy through education, research, and recreation, ultimately establishing harmony between industrial, rural and urban environments. Ecological Outreach creates an ecological framework for the encouragement of habitat for declining species, provides an opportunity for education about rehabilitation and habitat restoration, and also creates an overall ecological node and biodiversity precedent for future quarry rehabilitation.

Inventory: The site had already been partially rehabilitated and still contained a concrete and asphalt plant. The prospective future extraction of dolostone beneath the water table required that we identify the legal areas for extraction and assess the most appropriate methods of rehabilitation. Axonometric View of the Extreme Play Pond: Extreme Play includes the development of the area closest to the site entrance into a place where active recreation meets the unexpected cultural forms of the circle to invoke thoughts of how nature and cultural form can come to a balance.

Perspective: With the implementation of an overhanging boardwalk along the quarry cliff face, site visitors can observe, learn, appreciate, and experience the successful rehabilitation Ecological Outreach provides. Design Section: This section demonstrates the versatility of habitats throughout the entire site. It displays a swamp boardwalk, floating islands, deepwater and underwater cliff habitat, alvar habitat, marsh, meadow, and also a recreational area. 04-05/

Concept and boardwalk perspective for project Ecological Outreach.

IMAGES/

Meghan Austin, Mandy Sullivan, and Laura Paaren

07

08 06-08/

Geometree concept, inventory, and axonometric view.

IMAGES/

Meghan Austin, Mandy Sullivan, and Laura Paaren

MIND THE GAP

01/

Jillian Bailey, David Duhan, and Marina Signer

Analysis Maps: Three areas of analysis were particularly critical to the design and planning of the site: local and regional nodes, hydrology and vegetation, and depth to the water table. The constraints and opportunities on the site were largely dictated by these areas, especially with the quarrying process going on below the water table. Rock + Water Play: Bringing people into the new landscape was a major objective of Mind the Gap. By providing access opportunities at the edge of the new lake, a diversity of activity options can be accommodated. Habitat Cross Section: Creating new habitat was critical in the Mind the Gap concept. This competition gave us the chance to invent new methods of bringing life into the site through layers in the landscape. With the process of quarrying, a layer of the land is removed. Rather than allowing this to inhibit biodiversity, we saw the opportunity to bring new layers in. For example, with the ground layer removed, the water and the sky provided new spaces for life.

09-10/

Habitat cross section and rock and water play area for Mind the Gap.

IMAGES/

Jillian Bailey, David Duhan, and Marina Signer


Notes

30

.19

Notes: A Miscellany of News and Events

02

exhibitions 01 01-04/

Janet Rosenberg + Associates contributed an installation called THREAT to the 3ByLAND component of the Common Ground Project.

IMAGES/

Jeff McNeill

A recent exhibition in Cambridge, Ontario, the Common Ground Project, showcased the work of landscape architects in multisite-specific installations in various locations. Along with artist-designed mini-golf courses scattered throughout Cambridge, landscape architects were featured in three installations curated by Esther Shipman, collectively titled 3ByLAND. Ontario-based Janet Rosenberg + Associates, for example, contributed an installation called THREAT, which referenced both the agricultural heritage of the area and the importance of textile mills to the history of Cambridge. For more information, see www.projectcommonground.ca.

03

04


Notes

31

.19

05

students Until December 15, 2012, visitors travelling through Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, will have the chance to see an exhibition of student work from the Waterloo School of Architecture. Presented by the non-profit organization No.9: Contemporary Art and the Environment, and curated by Andrew Levitt and Victoria Taylor, OALA, An Invitation to Create explores ideas for the design of an urban park on the site of the existing Toronto Island Airport. Thirteen panels by architecture students from the University of Waterloo’s third-year studio are on view in the departure area of Terminal 1. For details about the project, visit www.no9.ca. 07/

Analysis map for Ecoplans/MMM Group team submission to the Morph My City Challenge-2040 Prize.

IMAGE/

Ecoplans/MMM Group

08/

Waste treatment station and Wascana Creek environs.

IMAGE/

Ecoplans/MMM Group

06 05-06/

Sonja Vangjeli’s contribution to the exhibition An Invitation to Create reimagines the Toronto harbour throughout the seasons.

IMAGES/

Sonja Vangjeli

08

awards Congratulations to the Ecoplans/MMM Group team for being selected as one of three finalists for the Morph My City Challenge—2040 Prize. The Challenge received overwhelming global interest 07

from more than 100 countries, with 58 teams submitting detailed proposals. As a highlighted feature of the 2012 National Infrastructure Summit, hosted by the City of Regina, participants in the Challenge presented their view of how they could improve the City of Regina.


Notes

32

.19

09

arboriculture The Toronto non-profit organization LEAF is holding a multi-day training course for people who want to gain tree-related knowledge and skills. Each session will provide basic arboriculture training, including a combination of indoor and outdoor instruction, and the course counts towards ISA Continuing Education Units. Sessions include two evenings (October 17 and 18) and a full day (October 20). To register, visit www.yourleaf.org. 10

health On October 17, Gil Penalosa of the nonprofit group 8-80 Cities will be leading a York Region event focusing on healthy community design strategies. Participants will engage in developing strategies for improved land use and active transportation to increase physical activity, reduce environmental harm, and improve the health of York Region residents. The event takes place at the Markham Civic Centre from 7pm to 9pm.

magazines Scapegoat: Architecture/Landscape/Political Economy recently launched its fourth issue, REALISM. The journal is available for free download from scapegoatjournal.org. Hard copies can be purchased from the website, as well, or from bookstores. The latest issue examines the histories, influences, and strategies of realism in architecture and landscape.

09/

The Toronto non-profit group LEAF hosts tree training sessions.

IMAGE/

LEAF

10-11/

A recently launched website features information about Complete Streets policy and design.

IMAGES/

Toronto Centre for Active Transportation

11

transportation

new members

The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) recently launched the Complete Streets for Canada Policy and Design Hub. This website serves as the “go to” site for information on the growing Complete Streets movement in Canada, with a particular initial focus on Ontario communities. Included on the site are case studies, policy expertise, news, and the latest research, such as TCAT’s Complete Streets Gap Analysis report and Complete Streets by Design resource. For more information, visit completestreetsforcanada.ca.

The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new full members to the Association: Patrick Bunting* Tara Coley* Greg Costa Scott Covell* Jennifer Harvey* Nathalie Sanschagrin Beatrice Taylor David Taylor Carina Thulin Lood* Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members not having custody and use of the Association Seal.











Artifact

42

.19

Ephemeral interventions in public space

01

02

03

04

01-04/

As part of the larger guerrilla-art project cARTography TO, Mark Sherman installed a bench and a planter box on one of the ubiquitous InfoPillars in Toronto.

IMAGES/

Mark Sherman

TEXT BY LORRAINE JOHNSON

Guerrilla-style interventions in public space spring from many motivations, and often range in tone from stridently political to slyly humorous. With Mark Sherman’s recent, ephemeral addition to the Toronto streetscape, it’s time to include politely gracious in the tonal repertoire.

anything; the functionality of the InfoPillar wasn’t compromised,” Sherman, who has a degree in urban and regional planning from Ryerson University, notes. Indeed, if anything, functionality was improved with a seating area and an aesthetic contribution to the streetscape.

As part of a larger project—cARTography TO—which, for a weekend in June, took over more than thirty InfoPillars in the city, Sherman offered a gentle critique of Toronto’s street furniture at the same time as he provided a welcome public amenity: a comfortable bench and an attractive planter box. “I don’t like breaking the law,” explains Sherman. So while others involved in cARTography TO used special screwdrivers to open up the InfoPillars and subvert the advertisements contained therein, Sherman instead built out and up, attaching a barn-board bench to the pillar, for seating, and placing a blackeyed Susan-filled planter box on top. “My intervention didn’t destroy

The folks at Astral Media, the company responsible for the InfoPillars, didn’t quite see it that way. Sherman’s bench and planter box were removed in two days. “I was kind of hoping they’d contact me to do more projects,” says Sherman, clearly disappointed that the company didn’t appreciate his resourceful ecological design or his respectful intervention. “I was simply aiming to use existing resources in a smarter way.” For a scant two days, when there was a bench and flowers just east of University Avenue on College Street, many would agree that Sherman achieved his timely goal.. BIO/ LORRAINE JOHNSON IS THE EDITOR OF GROUND.




Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.