Placemaking Presentation Focuses on the Details

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Seattle-based consultant Paula Rees shares her experiences in enriching real estate developments with art and design “It’s all in the combination of great details,” said Paula Rees, principal of the Seattle-based firm Foreseer, while revealing her secrets to placemaking to a large audience at the Montgomery County Planning Department. Rees showed image after image of public artworks, quirky signage, “tattooed” facades and inviting storefronts to demonstrate her points. Her lively projects at Pike and Rose in North Bethesda, Santana Row in San Jose, Assembly Row in Boston and other locations were part of an inspiring presentation that drew a standing-room-only crowd to the Planning Department’s auditorium on December 2. Rees started her talk with a basic definition of place as… Read more »

energy and beauty in symmetry and repetition

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I think there is a particular kind of aesthetic beauty in the simple repetition of forms over large expanses of contrasting landscape. Even more so when those repeated forms provide sustainable energy.  The just-approved off-shore wind farm is one such example, solar “farms” are another. The well-heeled opposition to the mentioned wind farm has only posed the aesthetic argument that this visual intrusion into the seascape must by definition be negative.  I disagree.  I think it’s quite attractive, calming, and interesting.  I think the connotations only increase our appreciation of the natural environment that serves as the backdrop (or, more appropriately, the visual context/physical participant).  My interpretation is built on the “purely artistic” cues from the vocabulary of the landscape… Read more »

Darker Skies = Brighter Future

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In honor of the upcoming Earth Hour on March 27, we offer a random assortment of efforts to reduce light pollution, conserve energy, and protect migratory birds by minimizing wasted photons. Learn more at the International Dark-Sky Association. Earth Hour’s website, sponsored by WWF, has a clock counting down the seconds until March 27 at 8:30pm when everyone partaking will shut off their lights, especially exterior lights. Check out these awesome examples from last year. A good summary of recent (and not so recent) legislative efforts in Maryland has been provided by Dr. Harold Arlen Williams, director of the Montgomery College Planetarium. In DC, City Wildlife has spearheaded a campaign to help migratory birds. On a side note, public art… Read more »