SAID Happenings

A recap of events at UC's School of Architecture and Interior Design

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    A Cultural Practice

    Oct 16, '12 2:53 PM EST

    Recap of lecture on 10/15/12 - watch video here

    Walter Hood: A Cultural Practice


    - practice: 1 writer + 2 architects + 1 landscape architect + 1 product designer
    - mundane/everyday – commemorative – community design
    - process: periods of determination within an otherwise rigid design process allow for dreaming, reimagining the world – likened to jazz improvisation


    Bio line
    - installation at Art Institute of Chicago, where Hood enrolled in MFA program
    - parasitic sculpture – aluminum sculpture over air ducts in Sullivan Galleries allows plants to grow from ceiling, referencing Sullivan’s natural ornament




    Canned Spinach
    - temporary exhibit at Oakland Museum of California
    - observes city’s past as center of vegetable and fruit canning with Del Monte


    Baisley Park

    - Jamaica Queens – institutionalized community garden
    - ownership and education through planting own food
    - opening with 50 Cent and Bette Midler energizes space through cultural involvement


    San Jose Airport Gateway
    - 15 acres around highway interchange
    - community expected typical sculptural grid to recall agricultural geometries
    - instead, grew plants in a linear fashion, then created aluminum bales that suggest movement as people drive by – about car moving through



    Water Table Spoleto Festival

    - reflect dependence, cultural exchange – slaves and settlers combined knowledge and resources to grow rice
    - created wetland in school courtyard; conviction that wetland will always be a wetland, marsh will always be marsh – reversion


    Phillips Community
    - over 100 years, the community adapted to the marsh, remained mostly agrarian, but has changed in the last few decades with urbanism and development
    - new development is about itself, not about the landscape
    - lifeways plan – maintain minimum 40’ overgrowth between existing community and new development
    - maintain urban pattern, hydrology, habitat; prevent detrimental road development


    San Francisco Mint
    - wetland on roof – water, birds, animals
    - elucidate hydrology of the area
    - water on both sides; cultural and natural response


    Union Street Residence
    - garden and house equal footprints – unique for San Francisco
    - kitchen opens to garden


    Telegraph Hill Residence

    - floor raises up at end to block view of big boxes and direct view to landscape
    - collapse middle ground through greenery growing up from the floor, disguising the edge of the roof


    Powell St Promenade
    - installation created parklets over two blocks of busiest pedestrian area in San Francisco
    - planters, benches, and standing tables; aluminum furniture rises out of grating
    - typically, don’t see the design in images of the project, only people


    Splashpad Park

    - intended to create connection between parking under freeway and shopping center
    - originally a glorified crosswalk project, the community raised more money to create an actual place
    - now hosts one of the largest farmers market in San Francisco bay area


    Garden Passage
    - located in the neighborhood of Pittsburgh Penguins arena
    - function of catching water achieved through rain gardens; curtains of images of people and places in the Hill District accompany these gardens
    - overwhelming response of people bringing pictures to public barbeques, so an archive system was established to gather images, which would be put on glass curtains
    - highlight impact on community
    - understanding of rain gardens – rain songs – R&B – speak to musical history of Pittsburgh, once considered the Chicago of the east


    Greenprint - Hill District Pittsburgh

    - “inverted Central Park” – development on interior, green ring surrounding
    - residents don’t need to find the rivers in Pittsburgh – they need a greater association with their context
    - started by defining old coal paths, cleaning existing historic stairs
    - small interventions around existing places – enhancing sectional relationship
    - instead of a formal final presentation, designers took residents through paths,
    ended at the police station, historically contentious, but started a community conversation


    New De Young Museum
    - palm trees over underground parking garage – trees there in the past, brought back
    - ferns – understand cultural exchange with Australia
    - connections to Japanese Tea Garden, James Turrell skyspace, Golden Gate Park


    University of Buffalo Solar Strand
    - history of site – questioning of place
    - topsoil had been previously removed, so no significant tree canopy existed
    - car heavy culture – huge carbon footprint
    - stranded landscape – wrote a script to help organize panel layout in reference to DNA strand, shadow pattern
    - used torn up sidewalks on campus for site pathways
    - local nursery owner knew a way to grow trees without topsoil, so students helped plant trees around campus – beginning of pedagogical and cultural change


    Jackson Sculpture Terrace
    - donors wanted sculpture trail to museum
    - existing site overwhelmed by blacktop/parking
    - take out 1/3 of parking, change arrival sequence
    - push car away from building, more pedestrian character allows better view of landscape


    UVA Shadow Catcher

    - shadow and reflection
    - African American folklore – catching a ride to heaven through light; release of spirit
    - slump of graves – landscape once lived in


    All images from

    Next SAID lecture: Hagy Belzberg, 10/17/12 at 5:00 pm in DAAP 5401

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About this Blog

This blog will provide a recap of events - lectures, gallery openings, major reviews, etc. - at the University of Cincinnati's School of Architecture and Interior Design. Most entries are written by graduate assistants at SAID; other authors will be noted by post.

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