architecture · community · play

Seattle may get a new neighborhood. How will they incorporate green and playful space?

The National Guard is moving out of its long-time location in Interbay, a historically industrial part of North Seattle. It is near two very posh neighborhoods, close to the tech and business center of Seattle, and right next to the new light rail being developed and built over the next decade.

Seattle wants to be proactive about how they design this new space. There is a sense of inevitability hanging over this project that it will be dominated by high-density condos and be catered to the young urban techies working at Amazon, Google, and Facebook all just two miles down the road.

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But it doesn’t have to be. Or rather, that high-density urban development doesn’t HAVE to preclude itself from ALSO including green spaces and playful design incorporated into the end product.

The location itself is also a serendipitous mix amazing natural features like water and parks in a central location to many in Seattle, at least those north of downtown.

Lots of different consultants and teams are already weighing in on what this area could look like.

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Plan above from of the KUOW article that cued me into this. Notice there isn’t a lot of incorporation of play structures or green space, other than the trees lining the light rail path and a couple of smaller parks.

Interested to learn more? The city is having an open house Wednesday May 15, 2019, to discuss options. It would be GREAT to have voices go and support the need for open play spaces in the new development, whatever it may look like. Bring your ideas and let your voice be heard:

Interbay Public Development Open House

architecture · design · environment · happiness · health · Nature

Singapore Opens New Garden Airport

Singapore is famous for its greenery, dedication to parks and green spaces, and impressive architecture. They have combined all of that into their new international airport.

REPOST from ASLA blog The Dirt:

The new Jewel Changi airport features a 6-acre indoor forest, walking trails, and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. This restorative mecca filled with 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs not only revitalizes weary international travelers but is also open to the public.

This includes an inside bamboo forest, canopy-level train system, and an incredible water feature that also recycles rain water.

Jewel Changi provides that nearby natural respite with a 5-story-tall forest encased in a 144,000-square-foot steel and glass donut structure. During rain storms, water pours through an oculus in the roof — creating the 130-foot-tall Rain Vortex, a mesmerizing waterfall sculpture that can accommodate up to 10,000 gallons per minute at peak flow. Stormwater is then recycled throughout the building.

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As anyone who experienced the stress of air travel can attest, the onslaught of digital signs, loud speakers announcing departures, shops blaring music, and carts flying by quickly leads to draining sensory overload. Now imagine if there was a natural place to take a break amid the cacophony. As many studies have shown, just 10 minutes of immersion in nature can reduce stress, restore cognitive ability, and improve mood.

With Jewel Changi, Singapore has reinvented what an airport can be, just as they re-imagined what a hospital can be with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, which is not only a medical facility but also a green hub open to the community. Now let’s hope Singapore’s biophilic design culture spreads around the world. International airports are in fierce competition for passengers and regularly one-up each other with new wow-factor amenities, shops, and restaurants.

I realize that Singapore has a lot more support, both culturally and financially, than other places in the world to implement this kind of space. However, hopefully the value from a cultural, health, and tourism dollar standpoint will make it worth it for other countries to invest in adding even small elements of this to their public spaces like hospitals, airports, and other spaces.

See original post.

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In Copenhagen, You Can Ski Down This Power Plant

Why not invite the public to use space that would otherwise appear unwelcoming? It also encourages physical activity and fitness, and brings attention to the facilities in a positive way.

THE DIRT

Copenhill / Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST

Eight years ago Danish architect Bjarke Ingels came up with a fantastical idea — build a ski slope on top of a power plant. Well, now, it has actually happened — the $660 million Amager Bakke is preparing to welcome adventurous ski bunnies in Copenhagen. Known to locals as Copenhill, this cutting-edge renewable energy system converts waste into energy while giving sports lovers access to a 2,000-feet-long ski slope, a 295-feet-high climbing wall, and hiking and running paths. The project is the most visible demonstration yet of Copenhagen’s determination to become the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025.

According to Babcock & Wilcox Vølund, the engineers of the power plant, Copenhill will convert 400,000 tons of waste each year into heat for 250,000 homes and energy for another 62,500 while producing zero toxic air pollution. Some 100,000 pounds of ash collected…

View original post 440 more words

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Shadow-Casted Artwork Tells the Story of Time on an Indian Street

Art is an important part of a community’s landscape. It stops and makes us reconsider the environment and structures around us.

THE DIRT

We can feel the passage of time as we watch the sun chart its course across the sky. But we have also become accustomed to the daily arc of our closest star. To bring the movement of the sun — and the progression of time — into the foreground, Indian street artist Daku leveraged the sun’s shadow-casting power to create a temporary installation — Theories of Time — for the St+art India art festival along a commercial street in Panjim, Goa.

Theories of Time / Daku

A street-long awning holds up stenciled adages that project shadows forming a tapestry of words on the ground: “Things take time; time is a great teacher; time heals all wounds; lost time is…

View original post 142 more words

community · creativity · culture · play · Social

For Lunar New Year, MonkeyShine Artists Create Art Treasure Hunt in Tacoma, WA

Looking for a way to get outside on a cold, gray day in the Pacific Northwest? And find fun art pieces? AND celebrate Lunar New Year?

How about treasure hunting for #monkeyshines! Volunteer glass artists create small glass tokens or pendants and then hide them all over Tacoma for people to find, just around the Lunar New Year.

Read more happening in Tacoma, WA:

We are local artists and lovers of all things Tacoma. Our identities are secret-that is part of the magic of Monkeyshines.

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Rogue monkeys have been busy and there are more wonderful gifts to be found this year than ever. I will be featuring monkeys in another blog post tonight or tomorrow.

And don’t forget all of the amazing things that our monkey friends and rogue monkeys are creating.  It gets better and better every year.  The best part of this Tacoma tradition is how everyone is out exploring our city,  making new friends, picking up trash and thinking about what they can create and share with others. How will you give back?

Check out the #monkeyshines2019 hashtag on Twitter for real time updates on what monkeys, monkey friends and rogue monkeys are creating and hiding; You can also find that hashtag in use on Instagram and Facebook. You can also follow a certain Naughty Monkey @ANaughtyMonkey on Twitter at  https://twitter.com/ANaughtyMonkey

Share your finds on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #MonkeyShines2019

Be Safe, Have fun, and remember…. “TAKE ONLY ONE”

The artists have chosen to remain anonymous, but the collective of artists have agreed to continue doing this for another 12-year cycle!

You can listen to a podcast with two of the monkey artists (their voices were even anonymized to keep them a secret!).

Also check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MonkeyshinesTacoma/

 

 

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Forest Bathing Goes Global

There are numerous studies that find going for a walk or sitting outside in nature, or just being able to see nature from your window, has measurable immediate health benefits.

THE DIRT

Shinrin Yoku: The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing / Timber Press

One can argue that humans have purposefully immersed themselves in forests in order to revitalize their spiritual, mental, and physical health for thousands of years. But in 1982, Tomohide Akiyama, director of Japan’s forestry agency, put a name to this, coining the term shinrin yoku, which can be translated as forest bathing. Since then, interest in the practice has skyrocketed among both the public and scientific researchers. And last year, forest bathing may have hit a tipping point, with four books published on this natural therapeutic approach. Forest bathing seems poised to go global, as interest expands beyond Japan into the rest of Asia and throughout the West.

In Shinrin Yoku, The Japanese Art of Forest Bathing, Yoshifumi Miyazaki — who is a professor at the Chiba University center for environment, health, and field sciences; coiner of the…

View original post 897 more words

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A Model Plan: How to Protect Vital Coastal Habitats

Part of playing in and with nature also involved protecting it. Just as you protect your toys from rain, you must also protect the environments you play in. This also hits close to home as several of those spots marked in red are just a few miles from where I grew up.

THE DIRT

cover Conserving California’s Coastal Habitats / The Nature Conservancy

Sea level rise is coming, and its impacts will be far reaching. For the state of California, the threat of sea level rise may prove existential. More than two-thirds of its population lives in the states’ 21 coastal counties, which are responsible for 85 percent of the state’s GDP. 

However, sea level rise will not just impact human activity. Rising tides will also drastically alter, and in some cases destroy, important coastal habitats. Conserving California’s Coastal Habitats, a new report from The Nature Conservancy, provides a startling analysis of the future of California’s coast and charts a path forward for coastal conservation efforts.

The California coast represents the most biodiverse region in the country’s most biodiverse state, lending nationwide significance to coastal conservation efforts there. “The state of California has been a leader in environmental policy for over a century,”…

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Want to teach trainable skills? Go mountain biking!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At Christmas dinner this year, a family friend was discussing his new job as an electrician’s apprentice.

“Yeah, it’s great pay and I enjoy the work,” he said. “It’s crazy how this guy hired me to help dig fence posts for him, and was so impressed by my digging abilities he hired me right there that day to be his [electrician] apprentice.

The reason this man could dig such great holes is because he’s a long-time mountain biker. And in Washington State at least, that means going out and creating your own jumps, bridges, and other trails around various mountains.

A few cousins who also mountain bike chimed in about similar stories; getting jobs as carpenters or doing well in engineering classes because of their passion for mountain biking. Most mountain bikers also pick up first aid skills, native plant knowledge, and insight into local seasonal weather patterns which are applicable for all sorts of things.

These guys (and gals but mostly guys) all inadvertently trained themselves how to do complicated tasks and work hard doing them all in the pursuit of play! Play is a key driver for everyone as they grow and learn, from the time we are a few months old to the time we are in our 90’s.

Just a friendly reminder that “goofing off” and playing outside can be one of the most crucial skills you’ll ever learn!

community · creativity · play · Social

An Artist Invites the Public to Join in her Process

It’s always a brave choice to let the public inform an artistic process, especially in a public space. But that is what makes art meaningful to others.

  • Jan 25 & Feb 22, 2019
  • Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle WA
  • PACCAR Pavilion
  • 7 PM – 9 PM

Become part of an artist’s creative process during our Art Encounters.

In collaboration with the yǝhaẃ exhibition at King Street Station, the Seattle Art Museum presents an artist residency that will activate the Olympic Sculpture Park throughout the winter and help grow the artistic practice of contemporary Pacific Northwest Native artists. Multi-disciplinary Chugach Alutiiq artist

Christine Babic will take residence to research, workshop, and realize an immersive project exploring the gap between contemporary and traditional Indigenous works. Babic will combine performance and installation to create a site-specific experience with collaborating artists Mary Babic (Chugach Alutiiq) and Alex Britt (Nansemond/White).

Get inspired by learning about meaningful artistic practices and participating in two programs led by Christine Babic.