Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Harrison Square City Park

The new City Park at Harrison Square is coming along nicely.
The first two images below are renderings showing the features of the new park. Included in the design are a performance stage and amphitheater, a fountain designed to be both visually stimulating and interactive (bring your swimsuits), a lushly landscaped perimeter, and a grassy hillside for lounging and enjoying the green oasis among the concrete, glass, and steel. The park will open in April 2009 along with the ballpark.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fort Wayne's Second Newest Park

Thought I would share some photos of the nearly completed Buckner Park Phase I improvements. Most improvements should be completed this fall exluding wetland plantings, which we will be installed next spring. The splashpad is finished but will not be turned on until late spring. Grand opening to be announced...

Buckner Park is located on Bass Road just west of I-69.

Pavilion with restrooms (picnic tables soon to come)
Column detail
Splashpad (wetland theme)
5-12 year old playground Playground with poured-in-place rubber safety surfacing

Parking lot bioswale (will capture and filter stormwater before discharging into wetland)

View from Bass Road

The photos above are from Phase I. Phase II and III will be completed as funding allows.

The map below shows the master plan for all 3 phases.

Bring On the Rain

The Westbrook rain garden project is nearing completion so I stopped by and took a few photos. This is a Public Works project designed as a component of the city's flood control efforts.
Westbrook Avenue has been removed and replaced with a linear rain garden planted with a low-mow seed mix, native grasses and forbs (flowers). A berm was constructed along the west edge of the site to protect the remaining homes. The existing sidewalk remains as does the curb on the creekside of the project and most of the existing street trees. The curb was left to reveal the historical signifigance of the boulevard designed by George Kessler. George Kessler was one of the preeminent landscape architects practicing in the early 1900's and he developed park boulevard systems for Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, South Bend, and Terra Haute. He was also involved in designing the campus landscapes for Indiana University in Bloomington, Butler University, and Rose Polytechnic in Terra Haute.

View Looking NW from Clinton Street
View Looking SE from State Street Area
Former Westbrook Roadbed With Curb Remaining.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Do The Wave

Maya Lin's "The Wave Field"
on the University of Michigan campus

I get asked a lot, "What does a landscape architect actually do?"
My reply is usually something like "Well, they can do a lot of different things. From small-scale residential design to urban planning, from ecological restoration to regional land planning, from GIS spatial analysis to landscape art." The 'landscape art' thing often results in a bit of confusion. Many people conjure up an images of pastoral landscape paintings and as a matter of fact, do a google search on 'landscape art' and that is exactly what you get. I think perhaps 'landscape sculpture' better captures the idea of utilizing the earth and it's flora as an integral material in a work of art. The Maya Lin sculpture above illustrates that definition at it's most basic form. Manipulating topography as a means to reveal processes.
I am guessing that the guy or gal who has to mow this particular lawn is not terribly impressed. This particular form of art is intriguing to me because it is so experiential and often surprising.

Many visitors to the sculpture are so overwhelmed by the experience that they immediately pass out, as you can see in this photo.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Road Trip Field Trip

I am happy to serve as the Committee Chair for the 'MediaLab' which is 1/2 of a new non-profit art and science lab here in Fort Wayne. (the other 1/2 being the 'TekLab')
This exciting new facility will be called TekVenture and I encourage you to follow the link for a better description than I can give. I will say that it is going to be AMAZING! As we search for a permanent building we are in the process of putting together a mobile lab to showcase on a smaller scale what TekVenture is all about. It is called, appropriately enough, the 'TekMobile'.

Yesterday, my son Logan and I traveled with a group of TekVenture Board and Committee members to the Fab Lab, housed within the walls of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.
We were lucky enough to get a private tour and we participated in one of the "projects" that the Fab Lab offers. The 'project' - to create with a computer graphics program an 'object' which was sent to a laser cutter and fashioned out of the material of your choice. One might think that creating graphics on a daily basis as part of my job would make this exercise boring or routine, but no. I typically hand draw or computer generate 2 dimensional graphics rendered on 2 dimensional paper, so adding this 3rd dimension was a rush. Logan and I could have spent all day (all week) there making prototypes for the next big widget, but were kicked out for salivating all over the equipment. Actually, our time was over and the lab was closed to the public yesterday as there was serious work going on by some young geniuses working on a circuit board building curriculum for the lab and on the One Laptop Per Child Program.

The experience at the Fab Lab multiplied my desire to see TekVenture get off the ground and to provide a place for artists and scientists of every age to interact and to CREATE.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Green Man

This is an old post from my old blog, but I thought I'd share it with any new readers because it is that cool. Keep an eye out for a similar landscape art project in Fort Wayne next summer!

This public art installation was conceived by sculptor Kathryn Jordan and artist Cliff Wright and was commissioned by the Brighton and Hove Arts Commission in Southeast England. The commanding , living sculpture is intriguing to me as an amalgamation of our ideas of flesh, soil, flora, and soul. The idea that the sculpture seems to be reaching out from within the earth, to display the earth, is a powerful and intriguing image. This, in my opinion, is the type of public art that truly engages the public. It is living, growing, changing, integrating, and adapting to it's setting; unlike the iconic, monolithic sculptures made famous by artists such as Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Burren.

Here are a couple more of Kathryn Jordan's living sculptures (giant Chia Pets?)

Not Just A House

Architect Eric Clough took some liberties when designing the remodel of this Upper East Side $8.5 million apartment. Without his clients knowledge, yet alone permission, he designed into the house a series of clues which might lead the family to an unexpected and delightful surprise - if they ever noticed them.

Read the NY Times story here...

and see more photos here...

Would you not KILL to live in a place like this?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This the trailer for the upcoming documentary "Tag".
It was written and directed by my Minneapolis buddy Chad Calease.
It is being produced by Rick Fuller who you may know from the Flaming Lips doc "Fearless Freaks".
Chad, aka Waxieus is the founder of Thin Films.

Check out his first stab at film-making, the short titled "Whistle" and see if you are not as eager as I am to see "Tag" in it's entirety.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Trees Are Wearing Skirts

For reference, the first picture below shows what our Swinney Park looked like last Tuesday.
Yes, it is flooded. (see the swingset in the background)
By Thursday the temps has dropped to 7 degrees causing all the flooded areas to freeze solid. When the water receded it left the trees "clothed" with an ice tu-tu.
Amazing what nature can provide for eye candy.