Placemaking Seminar Series 2008
May 5, 2008
The Intersection of Art and Landscape Design
Speakers: Cynthia Smith, Halvorson Design Partnership and David Phillips, Sculptor
By telling the story of several park projects, including Quincy Square Park near Harvard Square and City Square in Charlestown, the nature of artist/landscape architect collaboration involving interdisciplinary design teams was explored. In each project, the client asked for a design that was authentic, related to its site and reflective of its context. Together with seminar attendees the presenters discussed different models of artist/designer collaboration and community engagement.
Celebrations of Place
April 28, 2008
Speaker: Justin Crane, Cambridge Seven Associates
Justin Crane, co-chair of Common Boston – http://www.commonboston.org, introduced the group and its Community and Architecture Festival. Featured as public programming for the AIA National Convention in May 2008, the festival celebrates Boston's neighborhoods through tours, exhibitions, discussions, and charrettes. Justin discussed the communities featured in the event, as well as other popular celebrations of place, from Open House New York and Illuminale Frankfurt to WaterFire and the Detroit Electronic Music Festival.
Reinventing Public Space: Contemporary Placemaking Practices in Berlin, Germany
March 24, 2008
Speaker: Christina Lanzl, UrbanArts Institute at Massachusetts College of Art and Design
Since the reunification of Germany in 1990, Berlin has seen immense public and private investment. The city's reunification and the reinstatement of Berlin as the main seat of government triggered an unprecedented wave of building activity, rivaled only by the rebuilding after WWII and carried out on a scale unprecedented in Europe. The architectural elite are designing the new Berlin, and the sites in the city center that stood empty until 1990 are being filled with new buildings and public places at a fast pace. What are the impacts of the rapid transformation from a neglected, ailing metropolis to a new cosmopolitan and globalized cityscape in the context of placemaking? Christina Lanzl's investigation stretched from the grand public spaces at Potsdamer Platz to smaller-scale sites in Berlin Mitte and Kreuzberg, among others.
SUMMER & FALL 2008
Enriching Public Space: Opportunities and Challenges in a Design Team Context
October 27, 2008
Speaker: Howard Ben Tre, Sculptor / Public Artist
Sculptor and public artist Howard Ben Tre is a pioneer in the use of cast glass as a sculptural medium. Mr. Ben Tre presented major projects, such as the fountain at Boston’s Post Office Square Park and Warrington Town Center in England, which won three national awards in urban design. In addition to numerous public and residential commissions, the artist has exhibited widely and his work is included in more than 85 museum and public collections worldwide. The presentation and subsequent discussion zeroed in on his experience, opportunities and challenges working with design teams.
A Place Busy with People: The Buffalo Bayou Master Plan
September 22, 2008
Speaker: Pratap Talwar, Principal, Thompson Design Group
“A place busy with people, drawing residents and visitors to enjoy its destinations and neighborhoods, its commerce and culture along the rediscovered waterfront.” The vision for the Buffalo Bayou urban corridor south of Houston, TX, characterizes an attractive and energetic district. Urban centers that offer these elements have been hailed for their extraordinary vitality and quality of life. Mr. Talwar, team leader of the Buffalo Bayou master plan, presented and discussed methods and tools on how to achieve this goal.
Interim for Learning on the Rose Kennedy Greenway’s Dewey Square Parcels
July 28, 2008
Speaker: Linda Jonash, Director of Planning and Design, Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
Linda Jonash gave an overview of the Conservancy’s initiative to experiment with bold, innovative public programming on Greenway Parcels 19, 21,22 in downtown Boston. The project, called an ‘Interim for Learning’ creates a temporary park armature system that can support a diverse array of creative public activities beginning summer 2009. All elements of the project are driven by environmentally sustainable principles and practices. The Conservancy invites the public to help test and evaluate what works and what doesn’t. This experimental period, lasting between 2 to 4 years, will provide real-life data to support the City of Boston’s master-planning process for this prime section of the Greenway.
Topography as an Architectural Tool for Place Making
June 23, 2008
Speaker: Franziska Amacher, Amacher and Associates Architects, Cambridge, MA
In her architectural practice, Franziska Amacher promotes sustainable building practices and environmentally sensitive, resource efficient methods, materials, and systems. The presentation and discussion delved into the environmental impact of select architecture and landscape architecture projects that minimize mass and eliminate barriers. This examination of local and international examples included Giardino Botanico Barcelona/Spain, and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, DC. Emphasis was placed on how to successfully distill the spatial character.