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The Design Observer Group
Places

WEEKLY EMAIL: APRIL 20, 2011


Blue Urbanism: The City and the Ocean

FEATURED THIS WEEK : TIMOTHY BEATLEY

Blue Urbanism: The City and the Ocean

"One year ago this week the Deepwater Horizon, a massive drilling rig operated by BP off the coast of Louisiana, exploded, opening a sea-floor gusher that began spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster that unfolded — some five million barrels of oil would be spilled in the three months before the well was capped — was a gut-wrenching reminder of how profoundly American dependence on fossil fuels affects our marine environments." To planning professor Tim Beatley, the Deepwater Horizon disaster underscores the vital connections between our terrestrial systems and lifestyles and the health of the planet's oceans. Urban designers need to think not just green but also blue.
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RADEK SKRIVANEK

The Dying Sea

For several years photographer Radek Skrivanek has been documenting the ongoing death of the Aral Sea, widely acknowledged to be one of the great ecological tragedies of our time. Once the fourth largest lake on the planet, the Aral Sea is today mostly a toxic desert, a result of extensive irrigation-canal projects begun by the Soviet Union and continued by the Central Asian republics that share the Aral basin. Skrivanek describes a haunting landscape: "Walking on the desert that is the former sea bed, you hear a constant crackle under your feet, and are startled to find that you are stepping on piles and piles of seashells."
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STEPHEN LUONI, UACDC

Venture Design

For more than a generation university design centers have been dedicated to linking the intellectual and creative energies of architecture schools to their cities and regions. These days, given declining public budgets and mounting social and ecological challenges, the potential for productive collaboration — for the application of innovative ideas to urban practice — would seem greater than ever. To explore this potential, Places will feature, throughout the year, a series of profiles of design centers. We're pleased to begin with the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, based at the Fay Jones School of Architecture.
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FROM OUR SPONSORS

Felt and Wire: Impressions from the paper-obsessed Doyald Young: Appreciations from his friends and limited-edition artist prints from kate spade new york.
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Doyald Young remembered >>
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Being sustainable has never been so profitable. See how the country's most innovative companies are improving their bottom line by staying the course on sustainability. Look into Sappi's paper mills that are setting a new standard for environmental responsibility.
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ROBERT DAWSON

Public Library: An American Commons

The battle over government spending is exacting a brutal toll on public libraries. But what’s at stake is more than access to a room full of books. The American public library is reading room, book lender, video rental outlet, internet café, town hall, concert venue, youth center, research archive, history museum, art gallery, homeless day shelter, office suite, coffeeshop, seniors’ clubhouse and even romantic hideaway, all rolled into one. Since 1994 photographer Robert Dawson has been documenting this great — now threatened — American institution; here we present a selection of his recent work.
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RAY GASTIL

In Motion: The Experience of Travel

"In his latest book, Tony Hiss poses a provocative challenge," writes urban planner Ray Gastil. "Can we rethink the value we put on the accumulated years of our lives we spend in transit, all the 'wasted' time spent in-between the places we live and work and visit?" Gastil explores how In Motion might inform contemporary planning and design "in a world where our daily rounds grow longer and duller — and often as not through the failures of narrowly defined planning."
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PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2003

Portfolio: Timothy Hursley

Tim Hursley photographs the pro-bono buildings of the Rural Studio and the legal brothels of Nye County, Nevada.
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Miami

PARTNER SCHOOL

University of Miami, School of Architecture
The School of Architecture's mission is founded in the faculty commitment to community and its focus on the city as a work of art and architecture. The school is a forum for the work of New Urbanism, an international movement with a charter of 27 principles addressing issues ranging from the scale of a region to individual buildings. Those principles form a vision which guides the programs of the UMSA.

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