Landscape Futurist 2018

Had the pleasure of being the final speaker in CPPLA’s spring 2018 lecture series with a talk titled “Landscape Futures” that covered my recent scholarship visualizing the interface between infrastructure, ecology, and culture.

You can watch my entire talk on Facebook:

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The rest of my slides are below.

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DCxMA Sea Level Rise Strategies

Over ten weeks in the winter of 2017, sixteen BSLA students my LA402L Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio at California State Polytechnic University, in collaboration with AHBE Landscape Architects (Los Angeles), developed site-specific strategies and tactics to assist the City of Long Beach’s efforts to plan for sea level rise (SLR).


Sea Level Rise strategies and tactics identified by the students of LA402L provide a range of short term mitigation tactics of the impacts and/or long-term adaptation opportunities for the community and waterfront. These strategies and tactics can be categorized as:

Centralized: defined by top-down policies or regulations, neighborhood or community-wide deployment, and reliance on public funding to implement.

Decentralized: implementable by individual property owners and occupants to protect a single building, parcel, or block. These strategies and tactics may require changes to the zoning or building code, and/or innovative construction approaches.

Together with the mitigation and adaptation strategies and tactics (below), the matrix of Decentralized/Centralized and Mitigation/Adaptation is abbreviated as “DCxMA”. Continue reading

AF Exhibit


Exhibit Flyer

Days from the printer’s deadline for completing the exhibit and everything is coming together with the help of Jonathan Linkus and our great closing team of research assistants (Jane, Ernesto, & Kevin).

One change worth noting is is the public reception has been shifted to Tuesday, December 3rd, 9am-11am!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Fall mid-review

The public is invited to attend the fall mid-review presentations for LA301L and LA401L at Cal Poly Pomona on Monday, October 29th.

301L teams are identifying culturally relevant sites along the LA Aqueduct and discussing the landscape character. 401L students have mapped the water-energy nexus for Los Angeles and are selecting sites to enhance the resilience of the Aqueduct (plus there is a team who are hoping to win the EPA’s Campus RainWorks Competition).

Guest Jurors

  • 301L: Andrew Kanzler, Perry Cardoza
  • 401L: Robert Lamb, Jonathan Linkus

Cal Poly central campus map [pdf]

Please send a note if you are interested in being a guest juror for either mid-review session or final presentations (November 28th)

Beth Meyer – CELA Keynote

[This post is my notes from CELA 2012 at the University of Illinois
Urbana-Champaign blogged live - so pardon the rough grammar and 

Elizabeth Meyer, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Virginia. Professor Meyer is one of the leading theorists in landscape architecture today. Meyer has lectured on four continents, and published essays on practice and theory of contemporary landscape design, notably “The Post-Earth Day Conundrum: Translating Environmental Values into Landscape Design” in Environmentalism in Landscape Architecture (Dumbarton Oaks 2001), “Sustaining Beauty: The Performance of Appearance,” in the European Journal of Landscape Architecture (Spring 2008), and “Slow Landscapes: A New Erotics of Sustainability,” featured in Harvard Design Magazine (Winter 2010). Meyer’s teaching and scholarly interests focus on three areas: modern landscape theory, contemporary practice of landscape criticism, and the idea of site interpretation. In 2011, Meyer was named one of the year’s “most admired educators” in the annual Design Intelligence rankings.

-CELA program [PDF]

Beyond Sustaining Beauty. Musing on a Manifesto

Published in raw form as a manifesto, it was not a very scholarly essay. Didn’t know what she was getting into. Republshed from JoLA in LAM – response was unexpected – tears of joy, shouts of disgust – so here are musings about unexamined assumptions. An intellectual and political work in process. Parts will be a new book shortly. Close readings of landscapes and immersion in cultural and ecological theory. Musings and reflection are of value for finding voice in non-academic work. Intended to provoke as much as persuade – so manifesto allowed challenge to status quo. Manifestos allow students to ground themselves into the theory.

The tenets of the manifesto:

  1. Sustaining culture through landscape
  2. Cultivating Hybrids: Language of Landscape
  3. Beyond Ecological Performance
  4. Natural Process Over Natural Form
  5. Hypernature: The Recognition of Art
  6. The Performance of Beauty
  7. Sustainable Design = Constructing Experiences
  8. Sustainable Beauty is Particular, Not Generic
  9. Sustainable Beauty is Dynamic, Not Static
  10. Enduring Beauty is Resilient and Regenerative
  11. Landscape Agency: From Experiences to Sustainable Praxis

Post-generative sites don’t engage entanglement such as  AMD Park, pictures of Tear Drop Park, Allegheny Riverfront Park, Royal Botanical Gardens (Australia). 10th point least substantiated, based on Ann Spirn and Dewey’s.


1. Beauty isn’t mailable – public taste is fixed, only pleasurable and insipid. Kantian disinterest. Ohlmstead’s Fens example. Barbeiri’s photos of interchanges, inspiring enrique

miralles. Fashion has changed over last 100 years and the idea of female beauty. Ugly is the origin of beauty – dissonant beauty can be seen in AMD Park.

Conchelieu (sp?), naturalization of plastic and plasticization of humanity. Plus conversation with John Beardsley – magical circumstantial. To the strangely familiar – between found and constructed nature. Inspired by photomontages of Hannah Hoch and Emmet Gowen’s photos.


Question of understanding beauty in relationship to aesthetics from folks not knowing post-modern writings of sublime, and stretching of categories into new forms.

Tangled forcefield of effects, rhythms and flows that make up the modern world. Aesthetics requires a pause, a duration – terry egleton: ‘whole of our sensate together.. rooted in the gaze and gut.’ Virginia Pastrel ‘ art of creating reactions without words… a force that generates… commonality’ into social aestherics ‘own intrinsic value’. Beauty is just one of many aesthetic experiences. Need to understand and name them and their agencies. Sarah Goldhargen’s ‘Park here’ in New Republic about Laurie Garden, Highline and ?


Aesthetics are beyond the immediate, the view or the glance. aesthetics are slow that mix cognition and perception. neuroscience of emphatic responses. delayed requires duration. it is what you know, not what you experience. Beauty is connected but not exhausted by appearance. Opening when beauty stirs the soul.  Andre Bearsten (sp?) on aesthetic intuition – feeling that supplement intuition – its own form of cognition. Neuroscience is backing up these 100 year old philosophy. marks of the creator (brush strokes) create empathy with the making of the art – so made things may provoke more response then the natural.

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Tactical Infrastructure – LA402L 2012 Final Projects

I’m pleased to share the final projects from LA402L Winter 2012, the tactical infrastructure studio at Cal Poly Pomona that explored the opportunities in the Northeastern San Fernando Valley.

Rico Molden, Carly McNeil, and Garret Reger’s The River That Could

The Urban Quilt of San Fernando Valley from Yorvin Moreno, Jonathan Alarcon, and Rene Orta

A New Vision for Hansen Dam from Karla Benitez, Kelly Espinoza, and Rey Rebolledo

Reconciled Ecology – San Fernando Road by E. Cortes, M. Okada, J.H. Wang

(to view this video you need to enter password: Infrascape Design)