architecture · creativity · design · environment · Nature · play

Giant Living Sculptures At Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ Exhibition | Bored Panda

Beautiful sculptures, and a great way of being playful with gardening and making gardens more engaging for everyone.

Mosaiculture is an excellent art form for those among us with the green thumbs and the space to do it. An excellent example of this complex but beautiful artistic process would be the “Imaginary Worlds” mosaiculture exhibition at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens – these elaborate and massive green structures create mystical and fantastic worlds that are lush with living foliage.There is more to these amazing works of living art than meets the eye. Most of them begin with a steel frame of some sort, which is covered with steel mesh. This mesh is then covered with sphagnum moss and soil, which is seeded with all sorts of plants. Underneath the mesh, a network of irrigation channels supply water to the plants on the surface, helping them grow.

more via Giant Living Sculptures At Atlanta Botanical Gardens’ Exhibition | Bored Panda.

community · Nature

Grown in Detroit

Veggies can be a powerful tool to fight obesity, food deserts, and create beautification and community engagement. This blog post is a great example…

THE DIRT

lam
On a modest site downtown, Lafayette Greens yields a good deal more than just food.

By Linda McIntyre

Detroit is having quite a moment in the media at a time of renewed interest in the trials and tribulations of cities, but it’s still kind of surprising to find a small, trapezoid-shaped edible garden thriving among the towers of its downtown. This is Lafayette Greens, designed by Kenneth Weikal Landscape Architecture, on a block that, until now, was best known for its homegrown fast food rivals American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island (“Coney Island” is Detroitspeak for chili dog). Now the Coneys are improbably sharing the neighborhood with vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers, all grown on a scant half-acre at a busy intersection across from the historic Book Cadillac Hotel (now part of the Westin chain) and the city’s federal office building and courthouse.

lafayette
A little more than a…

View original post 2,078 more words

architecture · design · environment · happiness · health · mental health · Nature · psychology

Dennis Bracale’s Garden Compositions

Creating organic, peaceful spaces can be arguably one of the most powerful, important acts for human wellness, both physically and mentally. These gardens are also peaceful just to look at, even if you can’t experience them firsthand.

THE DIRT

bracale
“It took me two years to find the stones for this project,” says Dennis Bracale, a landscape designer based on Mount Desert Island, Maine, while giving a lecture at his alma mater, the University of Virginia. Image after image showcased Bracale’s work on private gardens. The talk showed the audience the artistic heights landscape architecture can achieve when time and monetary constraints aren’t an issue.

The crux of Bracale’s philosophy is an image of a stone Buddha with a carved flowing robe framed by two stones, one of which accents the robes with its own layered flow pattern. That philosophy is the skillful combining of rough nature (found objects made through geologic and biologic processes) with refined nature (objects modified through craft) to create meditative spaces.

With a client base primarily on Mount Desert Island, Bracale knows his fellow islanders move to and stay on the island for the…

View original post 407 more words

architecture · behavior · community · environment · Nature · play

Exploring some of London’s most playful spaces and places

Interesting exploration of the playful spaces around London:

an example of a playground toured in London last fall.

I’m still buzzing after last weekend’s Open House play space tours. Why?

Simple: I saw some inspirational work, and had some immensely rewarding conversations.

We took a meandering and surprisingly green route across most of the NDC area to Radnor Street Gardens.
This is one of London’s best examples of a ‘playable space’ – in other
words, a space where offering opportunities for play is only one of the
jobs that has to be done. My work for the GLA
[pdf link] helped to embed this idea in London’s planning system. In my
view, it is fundamental to the success of public play facilities in
almost any urban area.

What struck me was how the programme combined park, amenity space and
play projects, along with streetscape and highways initiatives, so that
the whole far exceeded the sum of its parts. The ingredients we saw
included [*deep breath*]: new play spaces and toilet blocks in parks and
estates, new public squares from reclaimed street space and car parks, ‘home zone’-style
shared road surfaces, landscaped road closures, greening up an
adventure playground, estate-based allotment projects, cycle lanes,
shared use ball game areas, pushchair-friendly pavements, even (on one
estate) new refuse bin sheds with green roofs. Her approach to
engagement was revealing. Local people were closely involved at all
levels, right up to the NDC board. However, they were seen not simply as
‘stakeholders’ or ‘consumers’, but as people who needed to be inspired,
debated with, and (hopefully) won over.

Read more of Exploring some of London’s most playful spaces and places.

I think this is a great idea; just as we have garden tours, we should have playground tours! Areas that introduce parents and officials alike to playful, fun spaces to take their kids.

This blog actually has some great conversations about play and the need for children to get outside and play more.

via Exploring some of London’s most playful spaces and places.

architecture · design · environment · health · Nature · Social

Rehabilitating Vacant Lots Improves Urban Health and Safety

Humans are greatly effected by the greenery in their environments, but remember how a few weeks back I was lamenting that not much robust analysis or study had been done on this kind of positive impact? Well, voila!

ScienceDaily (2011-11-17) — Greening of vacant urban land may affect the health and safety of nearby residents. In a decade-long comparison of vacant lots and improved vacant lots, greening was linked to significant reductions in gun assaults across most of Philadelphia and significant reductions in vandalism in one section of the city. Vacant lot greening was also associated with residents in certain sections of the city reporting significantly less stress and more exercise.

more at ScienceDaily

Journal Reference:

  1. C. C. Branas, R. A. Cheney, J. M. MacDonald, V. W. Tam, T. D. Jackson, T. R. Ten Have. A Difference-in-Differences Analysis of Health, Safety, and Greening Vacant Urban Space. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2011; DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwr273