architecture · community

Landscapes Can Be Open-ended « The Dirt

University of Toronto
University of Toronto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An academic take on creating inviting, communal public spaces:

In Operative Landscapes: Building Communities Through Public Space, Alissa North, Assistant Professor in the Landscape Architecture Program at the University of Toronto, argues that the best contemporary landscape designs are concerned with more than just aesthetics. Instead of striving for fixed, static designs, the goals of these landscapes are “operational”: they aim to guide “the transformation of urban environments over time.” By moving away from fixed form, landscapes can be open-ended and non-prescriptive, changing in response to — but also influencing — the development of their communities.

continue reading Landscapes Can Be Open-ended « The Dirt.

community · creativity · design · environment · happiness · mental health · play

Remaking or “hacking” urban spaces

Great story from TreeHugger about self-proclaimed “Urban Hacktivist” Florian Riviere and some of the various “hacks” he’s done:

When it comes to redefining public space and objects, Florian Rivière is a master. The self-described “urban hacktivist” transforms parking spots into hockey rinks, sidewalk barriers into tables, and uncomfortable benches into lounge chairs for the homeless.

I absolutely agree with TreeHugger when they say:

I love it when people re-imagine how urban space is used; it’s a fantastic way to make cities more liveable, practical and fun, without needing major construction projects or the hassle of red tape.

Here are some of his best “hacktions.”

Visit Florian Riviere‘s site and see more of his work.

I particularly like these hurdles he’s set up:

parcourse

This is just one example of “hacking” public space in a fun creative way. I still remember the yarn-bombing movement that really took off a couple of years ago but seems to have died down for now.

There was also the Swing at the bus stop.

What other examples of urban “hacktivism” have you seen? Share them in the comments below.

anthropology · architecture · community · creativity · culture · design · environment · happiness

The Most Colorful Cities In The World

Living in the Pacific Northwest I can definitely appreciate the idea of adding more color to one’s life! Interestingly, it tends to be warmer climates that have the more colorful buildings, although Denmark and Finland has some of the most colorful interiors (and now exteriors) I’ve seen. Color has an amazing effect on human mental health and mood. People often talk about getting back into nature to see all the colors. Now, the colors can come to you (unless you live in a community with a rule against bright colors).

Urban life doesn’t have to be bleak and gray — in fact, many of the world’s cities pride themselves upon the bright palettes used to liven up their architecture. From the garish blue-walled buildings of Jodhpur, India, to the gentler pastels of Charleston, S.C., these cities are far from monotonous.

Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC
Nyhavn, Denmark
Buenos Aires, Argentina

More of The Most Colorful Cities In The World: Pics, Videos, Links, News.