Buffalo Commons II

The NYTimes discusses the impacts of 71 purebred Bison returning to the great plains of Montana after a 140 year absence. American Prairie Reserve and the Nation Wildlife Federation are the groups behind this effort.

But with several groups now navigating a complex and contentious path to return bison to these plains, agribusiness is fighting back. Many farmers and ranchers fear that bison, particularly those from Yellowstone, might be mismanaged and damage private property, and worry that they would compete for grass with their own herds…

“Within this sea of agriculture there is room for small islands of conservation,” said Sean Gerrity, president of the American Prairie Reserve, the charity that brought the group of genetically pure bison back to a pasture just north of the refuge…

The bison debate has dredged up old tensions between tribes and their neighbors. Before Ms. Greybull, a Sioux, spoke in favor of the animals last fall at a fractious meeting in Glasgow, dozens of farmers and ranchers walked out in protest…

“I took a lot of arrows for this, but it was the right thing to do,” Mr. Schweitzer said. “If you want to get into a fistfight in Montana, go into a bar and share your opinion about bison or wolves.”

See also: Buffalo Commons I

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Touchdown of Heizer’s Rock

Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass touched down on April 17th over its 15′ deep trench reported LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

“It landed perfect,” [Heizer] declared to Govan, observing that the rock hit the grout “exactly as it was intended.” Then, not missing a beat, Heizer turned to one of the seven engineers on the project to discuss the myriad ways in which the sculpture is being seismically secured…

Late last month… Heizer quietly arrived from his remote compound in the Nevada desert, where he has been working for the past four decades on “City,” a vast, Stonehenge-scaled project near Area 51, the secret military installation.

Since then, he’s been living with his wife and dog in an Airstream trailer on the LACMA campus, just a stone’s throw from his artwork, which will allow visitors to walk down the trench and under the boulder, positioned 15 feet overhead. Heizer’s expected to return to Nevada later this week[.]

Funny that the only picture of the artist is with Frank Gehry! What does Frank have to do with the installation or even LACMA???

aggragated april

Rodrigo Cruz for The New York Times

A bunch of articles have piled up in my browser over the past few weeks that I found interesting enough to share (and lack the time to write about each of them separately): Environmentalists feeling burned by rush to build solar projects | Why Trees Matter | Lush Walls Rise to Fight a Blanket of Pollution | A Vision of an Oasis Beneath the SprawlClimate Change Has Nothing to Do With Al Gore | Course Correction: L.A.’s Water Future Lies in Its Past | and just to be really, really geeky: Joint modelling of obstacle induced and mesoscale changes—Current limits and challenges

Narrative Los Angeles

For my 2nd year BSLA studio at Cal Poly Pomona this spring, I’m taking the students on a 3-day tour of narrative landscapes around the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

View 203L 2012 Narrative Landscapes in a larger map.

Here is the FINAL ITINERARY:  LA_203L_Field_Trip_LOS ANGELES [pdf]

From high art to outsider art, petroglyphs to historic places central to the founding of the city, the Southern California landscape is embedded with narratives. We’re avoiding most of the kitsch and crassly commercial in search of the authentic genius loci. Okay, the Getty Villa is perhaps one of the most gauche gardens in existance, but there is something worth learning about this over-the-top display of narcissism.

Tentatively, here is the itinerary: Continue reading

Ed Mazria at CPP

[Live blog notes from Ed Mazria's appearance at Cal Poly Pomona's
University Theatre on April 6th, 2012]

The next built environment today

Ed Mazria is a hero of mine, and I always try to catch his talks when he swings through. I’ve been wondering when there will be a ‘Landscape 2030’ or ‘Urbanism 2030’ to augment his work with Architecture 2030. So I’ll find out what his latest thinking is today.

10:16 – intro by Prof. Pablo Laroche. [the images will be re-arranged as the talk unfolds]

EM -you are about to be the most important group on the planet. What design is, thanks to a lecture by Louis Kahn at Pratt in 1959. In the lecture Kahn drew different things with both hands – wrote ‘silence’ to ‘light’ -“at the threshold of this crossing is Design (a calling on nature).” space time and the environment in the 1950s. We’ve tripled our consumption of fossil fuels since the 1950s, and taken silence out of the equation, to focus on space and form.

Marrakesh aerial photo – showing pre-industrial city – the urban fabric that had to work. dry climate that cools down – so buildings capture the cool air that settles into the fabric – pre-vehicle streets – the buildings shade each other. the masonry is a heat sink. all the buildings are square donuts – floor plates are narrow to allow daylighting. courtyards are intensely planted [image of courtyard]

[Vienna aerial photo] – streets are wide to allow sun light, but buildings are similar pattern to Marrakesh – no planting in courtyards to allow light and heat to get into buildings. narrow high windows – the longer the light throw/deeper the floor plates.  [circles church on the photo]

[Toronto flat iron bldg 1891] and now same image today – with conditioned space, architecture changes into big bulky masses that require lots of energy to inhabit.

Industrial revolution: +/- 1780

Crystal Palace (1851 Joseph Paxton) – first use modern materials but unconditioned. 1857 steam heating and the radiator are invented. 1882 Pearl Street P0wer Station by Thomas Edison. 1902 Willis Carrier invents air conditioning. 1908-1927 Ford Model T – so cities and towns start to sprawl. 1925 Bauhaus Dessau – structure moves inside, curtain walls offer flexibiluty.

CIAM 1928 – 1959 reacting to squalid housing conditions around Europe, coal was still major fuel in cities. Athens Charter (modernism is the enemy of sustainability!)

  • function based zones (separated zoning
  • free, efficient circulation
  • high-rise housing blocks

Plus Corb’s ‘Towards a New Architecture, columns, free plan, curtain wall, horizontal windows, roof gardens {the best part] – 1929 Villa Savoy expressed all five points. 1780 – 1932 Phillip Johnson’s international style exhibit arrives in the US.

1935 first highrise – Glaspaleis in Heerien Netherlands (first double wall facade)

1949 Johnson’s Glass house in New Canaan

1952 Lever house

1956 Brasilia – first modern planning Continue reading