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Monthly Archives: September 2012

PARK(ing) Day was celebrated around the nation Friday, with people going beyond creating temporary parks by bringing communities together in new ways. Launched in 2005, PARK(ing) Day (http://parkingday.org/) was started in San Francisco when an art studio dedicated to environmental projects set up a park in a metered space. Since then, the event has spread, with temporary parks popping up in 162 cities and 35 countries over the past seven years. The third Saturday in September is designated as the day for creating temporary community-oriented public space or green space.

Color garden on 17th and Moravian in Philadelphia.

This year, in the U.S., there were 586 parklets. The top five states with the highest parks were California (195 parks), Pennsylvania (37 parks), Maryland (34 parks), Kentucky (31 parks) and New York (29 parks).

A temporary beach in Cincinnati.

Throughout the world, advocates for parks and public space created fun and innovative parklets. In Cincinnati, Ohio, artists replaced cars with stages and galleries. People engaged in a series of shows illustrating the benefits of serendipitous art in public places. Dancers from the Cincinnati Ballet dancers practiced at the barre. Pones, Inc., an innovative artists collaborative,  basked at a beach dance party with sand, swimsuits and music, Circus Mojo featured tricks in their center ring – and passersby tried to hula or toss a ring.

In Amsterdam, there were miniature parks to make a green corridor between two city parks, demonstrating the potential for improvement of the urban infrastructure. The Parks and Recreation in Dallas, Texas, rolled out a sod soccer field onto a Main Street parking spot.

“Lighter than Air” by INTERSTICE Architects and Public

“Lighter than Air” – an installation of colorful tall-tube balloons, inflatable balls, and a “flying bicycle” was put up in San Francisco on Valencia and 17th. Hosted by INTERSTICE Architects and PUBLIC, the organizations said riding a bicycle is the closest many people will feel to flying so wanted a whimsical bicycle-themed space where everyone could sit, eat, and play.

SWA’s Los Angeles office created a mini-urban forest

SWA Group put up parklets where they had offices in the U.S. In Houston, people played cards. In San Francisco, there was a bocce ball court and a grassland installation.

What did you do for PARK (ing) Day? Comment with your link to photos and we’ll post them on Facebook or our Pinterest page.

Check out our PARK(ing) Day photos on Pinterest.

More photos of PARK (ing) Day

SF Curbed

DC Streets Blog

Inhabitat

Advocating for a new sustainability. Julia Hughes, an associate principal for HMC Architects, blogs about her work with sustainable justice began in 2006 with a presentation about green juvenile facilities. Out of this evolved the AIA Academy of Architects for Justice (AAJ) Sustainable Justice Committee.

The committee has developed the Green Guide to Justice, which is designed to serve as a voluntary educational tool for early adopters of sustainable design, construction, and operations practices, and to encourage continuous improvement in the justice sector, continued leadership, and increased rigor associated with creating high performance justice environments.

Via HMC Architects Blog

Green Guide to Justice, via AIA Knowledge Network

Millennials leaving small towns. Brittany Shoot, who resides in the Bay Area, discusses her guilt on leaving her small hometown of Anderson, Indiana, and how most of her friends in the Bay Area come from small towns.

“It’s easy to find people who will sneeringly complain about how trapped they felt as teenagers. It’s harder to talk about our nuanced realizations that in such dire economic times, maybe we just got extraordinarily lucky.” –Brittany Shoot

Via The Atlantic Cities

Swiss Cakes and Shasta.  Doug Windall, president of HDR architecture, blogs about his love for junk food as HDR rolls out a wellness program for employees.

While Windall reminisces about his deep fondness for Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, he encourages people to enjoy the great things in life, but “never to the point that the great becomes ordinary. Too much of anything can take away the thrill (and in the case of junk food, put on the pounds).’’

Via Blink – Perspectives on Design Blog

Flying bicyclists. London Mayor Boris Johnson is seriously considering developing SkyCycle, a concept by landscape architect Sam Martin that proposes a network of elevated cycled paths between London’s main tube stations.

The SkyCycle would transform unused elevated rail lines and also include new infrastructure. Martin, who is director of Exterior Architecture, is already developing feasibility studies for a few open-air tunnels, which would be sided in glass or plastic. If all goes well, the sky-highways could be open by 2015.

Via The Dirt

Innovative Social Media

Favorite drinking fountains. Josselyn Ivanov of SWA blogged about how she loves drinking fountains, and how they are important as they are small urban elements that have an outsized impact, enhancing people’s lives or modifying users’ behavior in surprising ways.

Ivanov held a weekly quiz on SWA’s Facebook page featuring some of her favorite drinking fountains from around the world – people had to guess where the fountain was located.  WNPR found her articles and asked her to be part of their radio show called “For The Love of Fountains.”

WNPR http://www.yourpublicmedia.org/node/21908

SWA Social Impact Blog

I first learned about the Be2Awards awards last year while researching our book, so of course we are really excited to have “Social Media in Action” shortlisted for the 2012 Be2 Media Award. I’ll say it up front … the awards are crowdsourced, so please vote for our book! Plus, if you journey to their website and start clicking you’ll discover some fantastic examples of built environment (that’s the B.e.) professionals, companies and organizations who are using new media in innovative ways.

The quality of competition here is no joke.  Mark Johnson’s social media PR campaign (which we recognized as one of our blog post favorites) and his competitor, #droptheban, make for a tough choice in the Best PR/Social Media Campaign category, as does ArchitectMap and Green Vision in the Best Community Category. The categories for the best social media and sustainability blog are ripe with great examples – and blogs to start reading religiously. I was thrilled to see Cesar Abeid’s Construction Industry Podcast, a series that I recently discovered and really enjoy.  The list gets me thinking of other sites, campaigns and communities to nominate next year.

“Social Media in Action” is in the Best Old Media/New Media category and I am honored to be among these prestigious candidates which include the UK’s construction search engine, a UK construction publication that makes all its content free online, the UK’s construction trade association live database of contract awards and The Guardian’s own built environment “hub” for sustainable development.

The Be2Awards are in their third year and aligned with the London strand of the global Social Media Week event series that takes place in a handful of cities worldwide. Be2 is also hosting Be2Talk, a speaker series on the built environment and social media as a part of the London Social Media Week. I sincerely hope these talks will be posted after the event. I’m interested to see Carlton Reid’s ”Cycling, the built environment and social media” presentation. This is hardly their first event – Be2 has hosted a slew of conferences, Twitter chats and more since the organization was established in 2008 by built-environment professionals Martin Brown  and Paul Wilkinson, Jodie Miners  and Pam Broviak.   I just joined the Be2Camp community to stay better connected to all their happenings and hope you will consider joining too.

Makeover for highway signage. Icon Magazine has offered up a new take on the ubiquitous green signs that line our interstates. Not only does the proposed refresh include a new color scheme and information layout, but it also makes the smartphone connection and may provide information about the current exit and the surrounding area to your handheld device as you approach.

While this refresh is exciting to see, do drivers need another distraction on the road? Will the new hierarchy and information structure be confusing to drivers used to the old standard? Does the removal of recognizable symbols (those Interstate shields and icons) make the signs less graphically legible.

Via Cannon Design Blog

related: http://www.iconeye.com/

Gen Y transforming the workplace.  Leigh Stringer, a hardcore Gen-Xer who works at HOK, blogs about how Generation Y is changing the workplace.

After reading an article on Gen Y and office culture that pointed out generational differences such as how Gen Y rates the importance of having an “engaging workplace” highest and the “quality of meeting rooms” lowest, Stringer was inspired to learn what Gen Yers at the office had to say. She interviews six HOK employees who share their thoughts on what’s important for them in the workplace.

Via HOK Life

related: CNN article, “Generation Y Set to Transform Office Life”

Architectural toy collection. Stashed away in a room in the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., is the United States’ largest public-trust collection of architectural toys containing household names that will be part of the museum’s big toy exhibit in November.

Stephanie Hess, who is curating the November exhibition “PLAY WORK BUILD,” is in the process of selecting and sometimes assembling these toys for the public that includes Erector Sets, Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs.

Via The Atlantic Cities

Waterfront for Corpus Christi. Schematic Design is nearly complete on a new 34-acre downtown waterfront redevelopment for Corpus Christi, Texas.  The city’s goal is to create a world-class urban park that will further ignite and enhance development in Corpus Christi’s downtown core.

Hargreaves Associates is leading the site master planning and landscape design effort, while Lake Flato is designing a fleet of park buildings and shade structures to be deployed along the waterfront’s new boardwalk promenade.  Buildings planned for the park will include a multilevel beach cafe, park arrival facilities, staff offices, a wine bar, event facilities, an outdoor concert stage, restrooms and changing areas, as well as a series of flexible vendor kiosks for food service, recreation equipment rental and retail.

Via The Dogrun

Innovative Social Media Campaign

Mark Johnson of Markitect.me Consulting shares a presentation about a pioneering social media marketing initiative for Formica Group, a global brand  from the AEC industry. The case study will be featured in “Business to Business Marketing Management: A Global Perspective”, a college textbook  by Jim Blythe and Alan Zimmerman,

to be released in early 2013.

The social media marketing initiative explores how social media networks, including Pinterest, Flickr, Paper.li, Twitter chat, Facebook, Google +, as well as live events and designer tools, were integrated to the web site and blog to create a content marketing message about their sustainable products.

http://www.slideshare.net/MarkJohnsonFAIA/social-media-marketing-for-the-aec-industry