Celebrating a Legend
Sad to say, I will not be able to see this exhibition for myself. But if you live within striking distance of the New York Botanical Garden or have any plans to be anywhere near New York City between now and September 29, please do not fail to visit NYBG while "Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx" is up and running. This amazing event has
2017/7.1, July 12 — Colorado Dreaming, Poolside Flames, Vanishing-Edge Walls and more
Persuaded by the Past
As I see it, watershaping is ultimately about its emotional effects:  As designers and builders, it’s our job to bring a variety of technical and aesthetic elements together to create spaces and structures that leave our clients with enduring feelings of vitality, relaxation, comfort and luxury. In my case, the quest to realize this emotional component actually drives the process.  As I strive to generate spaces that have real meaning for my clients, I’m always putting my heart into the work and am fully aware that what I do is an extension of who I am.  Indeed, I’ve never been shy about letting my designs reflect my passion for art, architecture, history, color, form and even poetry. By working on this level, I find that I’m able to carry my clients along and make them as excited, inspired and engrossed by the process as I am.  It’s an unabashedly romantic approach, but it can be infectious – and clearly satisfies everyone who gets involved. Of course, there is plenty of perspiration that goes along with the inspiration.  For all of my enthusiasm, I spend a tremendous amount of time designing these spaces and selecting elements that will populate them, from the largest waterfeature to the smallest plant.  I also closely manage the construction process, never relinquishing control because with each and every project, I’m expressing
Echoes of Influence
I’ve always believed that creativity is a direct result of our ability to embrace the ways we are influenced by others. In my case, I grew up in Virginia in a family deeply involved in the art of landscaping.  My grandmother was a master gardener who had an amazing ability to craft beautiful outdoor spaces – a skill and affinity she passed down to my father, who shared it in turn with my mother.  In addition, I had an uncle who ran a spectacular nursery we’d visit several times each year. It’s no exaggeration to say
A Villa for the Ages
For the typical visitor, the newly-reopened Getty Villa is perhaps the most exquisite of all possible venues for viewing ancient works of art and craft - reason enough to plan a visit.  For students of architecture and design, however, there's much more, particularly the opportunity to immerse yourself in the living, breathing environment of a classic Roman villa and its abundant amenities. The Getty Villa site encompasses 64 acres of a rugged canyon rising above the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, Calif., and was once home to oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.  A fanatical collector of Greco-Roman antiquities, he dedicated part of his original ranch-style home as a public museum in 1954.  By 1974, less than a year before his death, he had completed and opened the original Villa on another part of the estate, realizing his ambition of creating a public monument dedicated to the arts.   The Villa's layout was inspired by the Villa dei Papiri, a first-century country house in Pompeii buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.  It was Getty's vision to display his collection in a setting evocative of its contents' historic origins and he realized it, but there were compromises:  The spaces were crowded, and the works on display also included samples of paintings and craftworks of much more recent vintage - Renaissance masters, baroque furnishings and other distinctly non-classical artworks. The Villa closed in 1997 at about the same time the
The Anxiety of Influence
A teacher I respect once told me that there's a fine line between research and plagiarism.  He explained that using the ideas of others to construct your own creative expression is perfectly acceptable - desirable, in fact - and a practice that's been part of
A Mexican Master
In his column for the November 2001 issue, David Tisherman mentioned a number of designers who have influenced him through the years.  Even with my degree in landscape architecture, I have to concede that I was familiar with only about half the people to whom he called our attention. One of the designers I was unfamiliar with was Luis Barragan, so I picked up Luis Barragan:  Mexico's Modern Master, 1902-1988 (published by Monacelli Press Inc. in 1996 and written by Antonio Riggen Martinez) to find out something about him.     Barragan is now world famous, but that
Powerful Influences
There's a new wrinkle in this issue of WaterShapes.   Just inside the back cover, you'll find "Book Notes," a brand-new column by landscape architect and watershape