Enter now for the 2018 AZ Awards

AZURE, the influential contemporary design and architecture magazine, announces the opening of submissions to the 2018 AZ Awards. Now in its 8th year, the AZ Awards competition celebrates the best in architecture and design from around the world.
Entries are juried by a panel of architects and designers at the forefront of their professions. Each winner will receive the AZ Awards trophy, get international exposure through our media partners, and have their achievements recognized by AZURE in print, online and at the AZ Awards gala in June.
Submissions are open to architects, designers and firms of all disciplines, manufacturers and clients.
Categories include:
Architecture: Residential buildings; commercial and institutional buildings over 1,000 square metres; commercial and institutional buildings under 1,000 square metres; temporary and demonstration projects
Landscape Architecture: Public and private landscapes
Interiors: Residential; commercial and institutional spaces
Design: Furniture; furniture systems; lighting fixtures; lighting installations; interior products; architectural products
Concepts: Unbuilt buildings; concepts/prototypes
Experiential Graphic Design: Wayfinding; sign programs; information and map design; experiential brand identity
A+ Award: Projects developed by a student enrolled in a post-secondary design or architecture program in 2017. The winner will receive a $5000 cash prize.
Social Good Award and Environmental Leadership Award: All entries may be considered for the Social Good Award and /or the Environmental Leadership Award by election. A winner in each of these two categories will be selected. Projects may be entered in one or both categories.
Enter now and save! Earlybird deadline: February 1, 2018Final entry deadline: February 20, 2018.
Submit by February 1, 2018 at midnight EST to take advantage of our discounted early bird submission fees: $150/submission for the first two submissions,
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AZ Awards Support
AZURE PUBLISHING INC.
213 Sterling Rd., Suite 206
Toronto, ON, Canada M6R 2B2
@azuremagazine

Member Spotlight: Tyler Silvestro

01_Bio DrawingTyler Silvestro is a landscape architect working for W Architecture & Landscape Architecture in Brooklyn. Among other responsibilities, he has worked on various projects that focus on post-Sandy design and reconstruction, including a competition to reconsider ways in which vulnerable geographies can be more resilient through multi-disciplinary collaboration called Rebuild by Design. Tyler has written for numerous architectural publications and has co-taught design studios at Columbia University GSAPP and CUNY City College of New York in Manhattan.

Tyler is the co-founder and editor of Corridor, an annual journal that investigates the built environment of small cities tied together by the Northeast Corridor (Boston to Washington, DC). Each issue will focus specifically on one city and will pull resources from people who live and/or work there or have a perspective on an issue that affects that particular place. The first issue is Bridgeport Connecticut. It was printed in November 2017 and will be distributed widely along the eastern seaboard in order to attract the attention of cities and stakeholders, artists and community members, designers and activists, who call the corridor their home and are curious about their urban surroundings as they relate to the region. Visit www.corridoroffice.com for more information.

 

When did you realize you wanted to become a landscape architect?

As a draftsman and a field technician for an environmental engineering firm in Connecticut, I was exposed to the two worlds landscape architects; the site, where conditions can be analyzed and measured, and the drafting room, where a projection of that site is drawn in plan and section. My interest in becoming a landscape architect took root in that world where design and environment collide.

To further my understanding of environmental design I enrolled in the summer program of the Landscape Architecture Department of the Rhode Island School of Design. The four week course was called Design Foundations / Field Ecology, and was pioneered by Professor Colgate Searle. The course challenged students to search their environments for meaning and to understand ecological systems while pushing students to draw, build, collaborate, evaluate, and design. I was also introduced to a wide canon of literature on landscape architecture and ecology, including D.W. Meinig’s The Beholding Eye; Ten Versions of the Same Scene, which I often return to reread. I was encouraged by Colgate and my peers to apply to the full time graduate program at the culmination of that program, and it was that summer at RISD that I realized that I would continue studying landscape architecture.

 

What has been your career path since then?

I was fortunate to intern with the Architect’s Newspaper while in grad school in New York City. The opportunity to work with Bill Menking and Diana Darling enabled me to think about the role of landscape architecture in an urban context, and to witness the growing attention given to predominantly landscape/public realm projects. Landscape architects and their work have certainly received more attention in the architectural news outlets in recent years, and I was able to see the tide really start to change first hand. The experience allowed me to cover a handful of excellent projects in their conceptual or master-plan phases that I have followed ever since, such as Rail Park in Philadelphia, Waller Creek in Austin, the Naval Cemetery Memorial Landscape at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and the East River Blueway courtesy of WXY Studio.

02_REBUIILD BY DESIGN

At WXY I was exposed to Rebuild by Design, an international competition sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation that challenged architects to come up with design solutions for coastal communities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The purpose was for diverse and collaborative design teams, led by architects and landscape architects, to come up with ideas that could be implemented locally and applied regionally in an effort to rethink the typical response to catastrophic coastal storm events and to consider the future of our urbanized coastlines. This experience has been instrumental in my approach to thinking about resilience and regionalism with respect to design.

Today I work for W Architecture & Landscape Architecture whose bulk of constructed projects is on waterfronts throughout the country and we are currently developing plans for public projects of varying scales throughout New York City and elsewhere. Check out the new website to see what we have been up to; www.w-architecture.com.

 

What unique or standout work have you participated in? 

I believe that every element of work I have participated in, including the summer I spent working with a surveyor, has been valuable in terms of where I stand today. Surveying gave me a deep understanding of site elements such as topography, geography, hydrology, and forestry, as well as an awareness of cultural history and property law. Civil and environmental engineering reinforced these topics and created a deeper awareness of the built environment and the interface between the natural and the constructed landscapes. I regularly return to these themes to generate design concepts, and I rely on my understanding of engineering and biology to inform my design ideas. This backdrop, on top of my more recent engagement with the resiliency work of the Rockefeller Foundation (Rebuild by Design, Rockefeller Academies), has set the stage for the ideation of the journal, Corridor. The first issue was printed and made available in November.

03_BROTHERSCorridor is a journal that will investigate the architecture and landscapes of secondary cities tied together along the Northeast Corridor (as defined by Amtrak, Boston to DC). As landscape architects in New York City, we often are looking at other cities around the country who are investing in their public spaces, and it is incredible to see all of these places building world-class parks as a strategy to attract more people; Cleveland, Detroit, Raleigh, Los Angeles, Chattanooga, Vancouver, Austin, Pittsburgh, St Petersburg FL (yeah, W!). Corridor is a labor of love between my brother James, an architect in Chicago, and myself. We have been musing about this project for the better part of 3 years and are on the cusp of printing the first issue which will highlight Bridgeport, Connecticut.

 

04_BOOK LAUNCHAs a secondary city, Bridgeport has everything we find integral to a great city. Bridgeport has a stock of Romanesque civic buildings from the 19th Century, scores of industrial relics with uncertain futures, and two Olmstedian / Vauxian parks (including their largest maritime public commission, Seaside Park). It is also a major transportation hub for the state, serving as a multi-modal interchange sending commuters and its diverse communities from New York to Boston or Hartford, or vice versa via trains, buses, and ferries. In many ways, Bridgeport represents the challenges of a de-industrialized coastal city that we find fascinating, and Corridor will focus five issues on this topic. The first issue was recently released and we will be highlighting Providence RI in the second issue.

Separate from Corridor, I also had the opportunity to work directly with both Mierle Ukeles and Agnes Denes, on two distinct projects that were both located on properties of the NYC Department of Sanitation; Fresh Kills Park in Staten Island and Edgemere Landfill in Queens, respectively. It was an incredible experience to work with both of these iconic artists and to peek at the world through their perspectives. Merle’s project, The Overlook, which is a cantilevered walkway in the southern portion of Fresh Kills, was presented at her retrospective of the Queens Museum in 2016 and will be constructed in the coming years. Agnes’ project is a geometrical forest, designed in concentric ovals for the 119+ acre Edgemere peninsula which juts out into Jamaica Bay. I hope it is realized one day, as the city is certain to love and cherish it.

 

05_EDGEMERE AGNESWhat is the most challenging part of the work?

Early on there was this nebulousness about Corridor and its particular content focus. We originally wanted to focus specifically on the train stations of various cities and their design and impact on the immediate surroundings of their site. However, by expanding the scope of each issue to the built environment of the city at large, and allowing flexibility in the focus of each place, there has been a much wider interest in community members to engage in our request for submissions. It has also become far more relatable to other cities along the corridor and we have been contacted about creating an issue in more cities that are interested in this type of investigation. There is so much potential in these places, both hidden and in plain view that Corridor will work to convey.

 

06_DESIGN COMPHow will it affect your other work going forward?

 

As a landscape architect, I am constantly observing my surroundings and considering the potential to make our daily lives better through design. In many ways, cities are competing with one another to attract people and businesses. Landscape architecture and the design of the public realm are tools that cities can use to make an impact on the physical environment in an effort to accomplish these goals. Corridor frees me up to think about this collaboratively with other professionals in a variety of fields who also believe in the potential of these places. Ideally, Corridor will help cities identify opportunities for their built environments. My brother and I have always been fascinated and inspired by the work of the Yale Building Project (Charles Moore) and the Rural Studio (Samuel Mockbee), and their students, where there is equal measure of civic engagement and community input that coalesces to realize a built project. We highlight one of the Yale Building Projects in Corridor’s first issue.

 

07_YALE BUILDING PROJECTWhere do you go for the creative inspiration for projects or the work that you do?

I started running with regularity while in college, and have done it ever since. While in grad school I realized how impactful running can be on the creative process, especially when wrestling with a problem or a project for a while. Something about running has a tendency to unlock fresh ideas. To take it a step further, I will run in environments that are somehow related to the challenges that projects present, and let my mind wander on those places. Our office is on Fulton Street near Borough Hall in Brooklyn, so I might take a midday run to marvel at the engineering / horticultural feat which is Brooklyn Bridge Park. On weekends I’ll take my daughter to Prospect Park, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Pratt or the Naval Cemetery Landscape in the Navy Yard to observe the variety of landscapes in the neighborhood and watch how they change throughout the seasons. The callicarpa in BBG is doing some funky stuff right now.

 

Cities, in general, inspire me. Wherever you go in them there is a limitless fountain of culture and ideas to drink in.

What landscape architects that are currently active do you admire and why?

I am not sure if all of these firms are landscape architecture firms in the traditional sense, but here are a few that I admire. Gehl Studio and their approach to projects through consistent and focused research of the built environment and its impact on society is one that I think is admirable and very important. I have been to a handful of Hargreaves’ projects throughout the country and have enjoyed the spatial perspectives unique to their landforms and sculptural earthen topographies. It is like land art meets ADA requirements and you don’t have to travel to the desert to get there. I also appreciate the research-based and experimental mentality of groups like SCAPE, Port Urbanism, the Center for Urban Pedagogy, Hester Street Collaborative, Interboro Partners, Range, and Waggonner & Ball. I also admire groups who seem to do exactly what interests them like Family New York and PLAYLAB, INC. (+Pool), and my friends at Terremoto in LA.

What is your favorite landscape or place and why? 

Grand Army Plaza at the confluence of Flatbush and Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. I used to live near it and would make a daily pilgrimage to its fountain no matter the time of year. There is something specifically beautiful about it that I cannot quite define which may be the reason I continue to go. I would often take very late cab rides home from a former job and would ask the driver to do a loop around it prior to going to my apartment, and even in a taxi at 2 am it is mesmerizing. I think the key to its success is its scale, and its mix of grandiosity and simple materials that does it for me. But I’ll keep going and try to figure it out.

Follow Corridor

http://www.corridoroffice.com/

 


 

 

Kate Orff Selected for 2017 MacArthur Fellow

On behalf of the ASLA-NY Chapter, I am excited to announce that Kate Orff has been selected to receive a 2017 MacArthur Fellowships Grant. This is the first time a Landscape Architect has been awarded this prestigious grant in the program’s 36 year history. We are so proud of Kate and are thrilled that she will be pushing the envelopes of landscape architecture and increasing awareness of our profession with the work this grant will provide the opportunity to do.

Kate Orff, ASLA. Image courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The MacArthur Fellowship is a $625,000, no-strings-attached award to extraordinarily talented and creative individuals as an investment in their potential. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows:

  1. Exceptional creativity
  2. Promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments
  3. Potential for the Fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Kate was lauded by the MacArthur Foundation for her “resourceful design approach” that “calls attention to the most distinctive natural attributes of a given place, while her collaborations and community outreach strategies extend the boundaries of traditional landscape architecture.”

Kate Orff is a landscape architect envisioning new forms of public space that reveal and revive the hidden ecological systems underlying our built environments and encourage urban residents to become active stewards of their natural surroundings. Her research and design practice addresses the challenges posed by urbanization and climate change (such as biodiversity loss and rising sea levels) through in-depth collaborations with ecologists, engineers, educators, artists, and community members that aim to make our urban habitats more adaptive and resilient.

As founding principal of SCAPE, a landscape architecture and urban design studio, Orff’s work ranges from large-scale coastal infrastructure initiatives to the design of city parks, as well as book-length publications, museum exhibitions, and self-guided podcast tours that invite city dwellers to explore the natural histories of their regions. She partnered with photographer Richard Misrach to produce Petrochemical America (2012), a two-part book that documents and visualizes the interrelated economic, environmental, and public health issues facing an area of intense chemical production along the Mississippi River, stretching from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. For the Rebuild by Design competition launched by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Orff and an interdisciplinary team of collaborators proposed a risk reduction and ecological revitalization concept for Staten Island’s southern shore called Living Breakwaters. In contrast to hard infrastructure, such as flood walls, that simply displace rising water to nearby vulnerable areas, the project employs a necklace of breakwaters designed to support the growth of oyster reefs and other marine habitats and to defend against wave damage and coastal erosion. Integrated into the concept are on-shore marine education and recreation centers that will connect students and neighboring communities to the shallow water landscapes and oyster reef restoration efforts protected by the breakwaters. Construction of Living Breakwaters is scheduled to begin in late 2018. SCAPE’s design for Town Branch Commons in Lexington, Kentucky, celebrates the region’s porous limestone geology. The project will open up Town Branch creek, which currently flows through culverts buried beneath downtown Lexington, at strategic points along its length to create a 2.5­­-mile network of trails, parks, pools, stream channels, and storm water management systems in the heart of the city.

Orff’s resourceful design approach calls attention to the most distinctive natural attributes of a given place, while her collaborations and community outreach strategies extend the boundaries of traditional landscape architecture.

Kate Orff received a B.A. (1993) from the University of Virginia and an M.L.A. (1997) from Harvard University. She is the author of Toward an Urban Ecology (2016) and co-editor of Gateway: Visions for an Urban National Park (2011). She is the founder of SCAPE and is an associate professor and director of the Urban Design Program in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. SCAPE has exhibited work at the Museum of Modern Art and will be an exhibitor at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale U.S Pavilion.

 

 

NY Upstate ASLA Annual Awards Submission Due Oct 27

2017 Annual Awards Program
Entries Due OCTOBER 27

The New York Upstate Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, in an effort to encourage the participation by and recognition of landscape architects, and to better familiarize the public with their activities and projects, announces the Annual Awards Program for 2017. The program recognizes a full spectrum of innovative projects and efforts executed by individuals, firms, agencies, and academic institutions.  More information online.

As a reminder, all awards will be announced and presented at the Annual Celebration and Awards Reception scheduled for February 9 in Ithaca New York.  Your entry fee will include one ticket to the Annual Award Banquet.  

AWARD CATEGORIES

  • Built Design
  • Unbuilt Design
  • Residential Garden Design
  • Planning & Analysis
  • Research and Communication
  • Historic Preservation
Freddie Gnomested

In addition to the six award categories, attendees will participate and select the Golden Gnome award at the reception. This is the Chapter’s 3rd Annual People’s Choice Award.

All submitted entries are included for consideration, the winner will be the caretaker of Freddie Gnomested for the year. Find Freddie on Instagram

More information available online

AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS CONVENES BLUE RIBBON PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND RESILIENCE

Top Left: ASLA 2016 Professional Analysis and Planning Honor Award. The Big U, New York, NY. BIG and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners. Top Right: ASLA 2015 Professional General Design Honor Award. Perez Art Museum Miami: Resiliency by Design, Miami, Florida. ArquitectonicaGEO / copyright Robin Hill. Bottom Left: ASLA 2016 Professional Communications Honor Award. Sea Change: Boston, Boston, MA. Sasaki Associates. Bottom Right: Living Breakwaters, Staten Island, NY. SCAPE Landscape Architecture.

Multidisciplinary panel to make policy recommendations around climate change mitigation and adaptation
9/13/2017 – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, is convening a blue ribbon panel to make comprehensive public-policy recommendations for mitigating and adapting to climate change through resilient design.
Composed of 11 experts from across various disciplines, the panel will make recommendations that will ultimately save lives and affordably protect cities from future natural disasters. ASLA urges responsible policy makers to look to innovative urban design as they make infrastructure investments to make communities more resilient and better equipped to recover from disruptive climate events.
“ASLA has identified climate change as a key issue for its members, and for society at large,” said Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “The recent devastating and real impacts of natural disasters such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma highlight the need for policy makers, both state and local, to invest in thoughtful and climate-resilient solutions to systemic infrastructure issues.” 
ASLA has long advocated for sustainable landscape architecture at the intersection of design and smart policy, working with legislators and stakeholders on effective solutions that minimize the effects of climate change. Transportation and land planning that incorporates green infrastructure can provide critical services for communities, protecting them against flooding and excessive heat, and helping to improve air and water quality.
“We’ve reached a turning point in our history with regards to climate change, and the effects are undeniable at this stage,” said Dr. Jalonne White-Newsome, senior program officer with The Kresge Foundation’s environment program and a member of the blue ribbon panel. “We must take the appropriate measures and create low-carbon, sustainable and resilient communities.  This includes adapting our landscapes to changing climate conditions so we are best positioned to handle the anticipated consequences while ensuring that equity and the concerns of our most vulnerable communities are at the forefront of our planning.” 
The experts of the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel will gather for a two-day meeting starting on Thursday, September 21 through Friday, September 22, 2017. The panel will publicly present its findings and policy recommendations in the form of a report in January 2018.
The members of the panel include:
  • Vaughn Rinner, FASLA, ASLA President, Chair
  • Armando Carbonell, FAICP, FAcSS, Hon MRTPI, Senior Fellow and Chair, Department of Planning and Urban Form, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
  • Mark Dawson, FASLA, Managing Principal, Sasaki Associates Inc.
  • Tim Duggan, ASLA, RLA, Founder, Phronesis
  • Ying-yu Hung, ASLA, Managing Principal, Principal, SWA, Los Angeles Studio
  • Dr. Dwane Jones, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Sustainable Development + Resilience at the University of the District of Columbia
  • Diane Jones Allen, ASLA, Program Director for Landscape Architecture, the College of Architecture Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington
  • Adam Ortiz, Director for the Department of the Environment for Prince George’s County, Maryland
  • Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, Hon. AIA, SITES AP, Executive Vice President and CEO, ASLA
  • Laurinda Spear, FAIA, RLA, ASLA, LEED AP, IIDA, Principal-in-Charge, ArquitectonicaGeo
  • Dr. Jalonne L. White-Newsome, Senior Program Officer, Environment, The Kresge Foundation

 

For more info go to: https://www.asla.org/climatepolicies.aspx

 

ASLA to Host Security Design Panel on Facebook Live

From left: Bernie Alonzo, ASLA, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Leonard Hopper, FASLA, Weintraub Diaz, LLC, Richard Roark, ASLA, OLIN, and Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) will host an Aug. 31 panel of landscape architects via Facebook Live to discuss the security design of public places. In view of recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Barcelona and London, the panel will examine the urgent need to ensure the public’s safety on public, government and institutional properties. Key design goals and challenges will also be addressed from various angles, with a special focus on how to provide an adequate balance between addressing threats and the beauty of the public realm.

What:

ASLA Virtual Panel on Security Design

Who:

Moderator: Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, Executive Vice President and CEO, American Society of Landscape Architects, Washington, D.C.

Panelists:

Bernie Alonzo, ASLA, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Seattle

Leonard Hopper, FASLA, Weintraub Diaz, LLC, Nyack, N.Y.

Richard Roark, ASLA, OLIN, Philadelphia

When:

Thursday, August 31, 2017

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time

How:

To view livestream, visit ASLA on Facebook at:

www.facebook.com/AmericanSocietyofLandscapeArchitects/

 

The Big Pre-Oscar Snub

From the Huffington Post, 8/23/2017 by Charles Birnbaum, The Cultural Landscape Foundation
Publicity still for Columbus showing male lead John Cho in the Miller Garden.

Who got snubbed? That’s the question asked every year when the Oscar nominees are announced. Critics opine about the performances not recognized, and gossips wonder if those snubbed had meltdowns like the one comedic genius Catherine O’Hara’s character Marilyn Hack has in the brilliant satiric movie For Your Consideration (O’Hara, by the way, was snubbed for that performance. Sad!).

Well, it’s not Oscar season but we already have one of the biggest snubs of the year.

It’s pioneering Modernist landscape architect Dan Kiley in the recent motion picture Columbus.

Dan Kiley and the U.S. Air Force Academy “Air Garden” in Colorado Springs, CO, part of the Academy’s campus he designed. Photograph © Aaron Kiley, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

The movie, which takes place in Columbus, Indiana, a mecca for mid-century Modernism, features many scenes in the landscapes of key Modernist sites, and we learn from the movie’s characters that Eero Saarinen is the architect at each site: the Miller House and Garden (1955), North Christian Church (1964), and, Cummins Inc. Irwin Office Building(1964, originally Irwin Union Bank and Trust). Architects for other sites, including First Christian Church (1942) by Eliel Saarinen, Columbus Regional Hospital Mental Health Center (1972) by James Polshek, and Irwin Union Bank’s Creekview Branch by Deborah Berke (2007), are also acknowledged.

Cummins Inc. Irwin Office Building, 2013. Photograph © Matthew Carbone, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

However, landscape architect Dan Kiley is never once credited, though his landscapes are frequently the movie’s pivotal “supporting actors” along with the buildings for which they were seamlessly designed. Indeed, the film’s advertising includes a still image of male lead John Cho in the Miller Garden (a key dramatic moment in the film).

Miller Garden allée, 2013. Photograph © Millicent Harvey, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

And, one scene shows the Miller Garden’s widely acclaimed and influential allée, where we learn that a barely visible empty plinth once held a Henry Moore sculpture that was sold at auction at Christie’s. We’re told about a sculpture we can’t see and get some ersatz product placement for Christie’s, but nothing about Kiley-designed landscape that’s on screen.

Why does this matter?

Kiley is one of the nation’s most important post-War landscape architects and his influence is monumental. All three of the Kiley projects cited above, along with several other Modernist sites in Columbus, are National Historic Landmarks (NHL), an elite designation. While there are some 2,500 NHLs, only about 75 have significance in “landscape architecture” – in fact, Kiley ranks just behind Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., the father of landscape architecture, for shear number of NHLs.

The Art Institute of Chicago, South Garden, 2013. Photograph © Tom Harris, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
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Kiley designed more than 30 landscapes in Columbus, more projects than any architect. Nationally, his significant commissions include the Art Institute of Chicago, South Garden(1962), Jefferson National Expansion Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, MO (1947, with Eero Saarinen), the John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, MA (1978, with I.M. Pei), the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Garden at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO (1988), and many others.

Miller House and Garden, 2013. Photograph © Millicent Harvey, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

The Miller House and Garden, now owned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, is acknowledged as one of the greatest Modernist collaborations. This thirteen-acre property was developed between 1953 and 1957 as a unified design through the close teamwork of Kiley, architects Eero Saarinen and Kevin Roche, interior designer Alexander Girard (who is acknowledged in the film), and clients J. Irwin and Xenia Miller. According to the NHL designation: “The Miller Garden and ‘its status as an icon of Modernism in American landscape architecture’ are the result of a fusion of ideas that cross boundaries between architecture and landscape.”

North Christian Church, 2013. Photograph © Matthew Carbone, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

So how did Columbus become a Modernist mecca? It’s due to J. Irwin Miller. Starting in the late 1950s Miller, through his foundation, paid the design fees for new buildings (generally about 10% of a project’s total cost) provided the architect selected was one on his pre-approved list.

In a recent videotaped interview with landscape architect Joe Karr, who worked with Kiley from 1963 to 1969 on important projects including the Oakland Museum of Art in California and the Ford Foundation Atrium in New York City, it was revealed that while there were a great number of A-List architects on Miller’s pre-approved list there was only one A-List landscape architect: Dan Kiley.

Nevertheless, Kiley’s integral contribution is not only absent from the movie, but from recent coverage about Columbus, the place and the movie, in the New York Times – Columbus, Ind., Renews Its Big Design Legacy” – the Washington Post – ‘Columbus’ explores a city’s personal relationship with its architecture” – and others, too. Also snubbed in the film is landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, designer of Mill Race Park (1992), which is featured in several key scenes.

Hamilton Garden, Columbus, IN, 2013. Photograph © Millicent Harvey, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

To learn more about Kiley, visit the Chicago Architecture Foundation, which is currently hosting a traveling photographic exhibition The Landscape Architecture Legacy of Dan Kiley that features 45 newly commissioned photographs of 27 of Kiley’s more than 1,000 designs (it was organized by The Cultural Landscape Foundation of which I am president). In a 2015 Wall Street Journal review, critic Julie Iovine wrote that the exhibition, “shows how modern landscapes often make a better case for modernism than the architecture itself.”

To be generous, the film’s female lead Haley Lu Richardson does make an observation that could explain the omission of Kiley: “When you grow up around something, it feels like nothing.”