Tom Smith is an urban designer and a landscape architect that has worked on prestigious projects such as the London 2012 Olympics and currently the Rio 2016 Olympics. He talked about how he won the competition through his concept of creating a lasting legacy. Smith wishes to not only create a beautiful and functioning environment but to better benefit the community in the long run. In order to first do so, he looks at the land as an entirety in order to understand a bigger picture. In London, he analyzed the structure of the city and how it may grow in the future. Smith described London as an industrial wasteland full of pollution. This inspired him to restore balance into the city and to promote healthy lifestyles.
When Smith started working on the Rio 2016 Olympics site, he realized that the funding this time is 1/3 that of London's. Meanwhile London's funding is 1/3 that of Beijing's. This makes it more crucial to maximize the use of the Olympics investment. Just as the beginning stages of the London Olympics, Smith looks at the larger picture of the site in order to begin designing. He explains the inspiration of his design is a snake-like line that runs along the central axis of the city. The exact form of the shape is modified according to the traffic and movement of the citizens at certain times of day. Other than making the structure function, he is also working towards the future of the city. Smith mentions the creation of temporary buildings made for the Olympics. These buildings are made to function well and to be able to be disassembled and rebuilt onto another site. These structures can be moved to somewhere else where it is needed such as poor schools.
As an aspiring landscape architecture student, I found this lecture very inspiring. Landscaping not only looks at making a design speak to the environment but to cure communities as a whole. I love the idea of making temporary buildings and then moving it to a different place where it is needed more. Not only does this method fulfill the purpose of the building but it gives the structure a long lasting legacy.
(Author: Cynthia Miao)
Guest speakers visiting from different places coming together and lecturing about their projects, groups, and firms at the University of Hawaii Manoa: School of Architecture.