Eric F. Kramer, principal at Reed Hilderbrand, will present how Landscape Urbanism has been an effective vehicle for reasserting the significance of landscape architecture as a design practice, leveraging the discipline’s systems-based approach and a contemporary interest in environmental issues to take on increasingly complex urban projects. Relying on mapping, dynamic modeling, and the extensive use of metrics, Landscape Urbanism has embedded a sense of scientific certainty in the process of design.
As a practice that describes itself as working at the intersection of nature and culture, we ask how cultural value, meaning, and significance - the human systems which are harder to quantify, map, and manipulate - find a place in shaping our environment in an era of landscape urbanism, or its more recent progeny, ecological and even tactical urbanism. Humanism, a concept that reasserts human agency and the link between physical experience and intellectual development, may be a model for reinserting ourselves, as designers and dwellers, into the matrix of values that shape our landscape and our public realm. Because, in the end, it is the experience of our environment, the social interactions that take place there, the memories we develop there, and the ideas we imagine in a space that make it meaningful, lasting, and significant.
This presentation aims to set the stage for a vibrant discussion of how design of the public realm today engages cultural values on even footing with more easily identified environmental and economic values. Respondents will include David Grissino, Senior architect and Urban Designer at the BRA; Elizabeth Sisam, Associate Vice President for Planning at Harvard University; Patrick Tedesco a Principal with NBBJ; and Meera Deean an urban designer with Utile.
A number of Boston-area projects which will serve as a basis for this discussion can be previewed and visited utilizing the following link, a cell-phone web-app designed for the 2013 American Society of Landscape Architects Annual Meeting, which was held in Boston:
Eric Kramer, a principal with Reed Hilderbrand, in Cambridge, MA, has overseen the design and implementation of significant projects that utilize rigorous technical and horticultural systems to accommodate intensive programmatic requirements. Recent projects include the Clark Art Institute, Central Wharf Plaza, the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion and Greenway Carousel, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, MO, Harvard’s Institutional Master Plan for Allston, and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Master Plan in Lincoln. He received his MLA from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and his BA from Amherst College. He currently teaches at Rhode Island School of Design.
To learn more about the Urban Design Committee, visit architects.org/committees/urban-design-committee.
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