BEYOND NEW YORK: Playscape As Landscape – Joining Natural and Human Needs to Make Urban Space – 4.9.14
In addition to and as a part of its on-going series, Cocktails & Conversations, the AIANY Architecture Dialogue Committee (ADC) presents new and unusual design voices from domains outside of the committee’s normal reach. “Beyond New York” introduces the next generation of designers who are not practicing in New York City. As special opportunities arise to present fresh and unusual design perspectives to the New York Design community, the ADC strives to take advantage of them. This event, co-hosted with The American Society of Landscape Architects—New York, is one of its special events during “Landscape Architecture Month: Global Perspectives,” which focus on international projects. This fortunate alignment of shared interests gives the AIANY and ASLA-NY the occasion to present an unusually inventive way of thinking about, perceiving and designing urban space.
We host Ana Kučan, Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, who will discuss the work of Studio AKKA, founded in 2006 by Professor Kučan and Luka Javornik. Studio AKKA is dedicated to the public domain and design landscapes using what are generally considered low budgets. The studio’s effort is oriented towards the creation of what is described as “open work.” AKKA has focused its designs on principels derived from the concept of “how a landscape looks is how it functions.” For them, landscapes are inherently conceived from within and are informed by three theoretical issues—the social construction of nature, the human idea of play, and the intrinsic and the created character of the site. Their approach to design is simple and straightforward. It is achieved through the repetitive discipline of their method, applied consistently and methodically each time. But it inevitably and always leads to different and non-repetitive results. Phenomenologically, no two results can ever be the same, since the methodology is always applied to and placed in different contexts. Studio AKKA believes the elements of landscape design—its content, form, and function—are connected in a more complex way than other visual disciplines, because the field deals with the mutability and ineffability of nature. It is precisely nature, or our representations of it as a cultural and aesthetic construct, that is the most defining factor of AKKA’s work. To create lyrical spaces, ones yet unknown, is AKKA’s mission. They believe people fundamentally need to play—a beilf that is the moving force behind their creation. They too play when they design, while combining all required prosaic rationalities and objectives in the process of making legal, usable urban spaces. Landscape design gives shape to the material world that surrounds all of us.
Professor Kučan will present AKKA Studio’s design approach through projects that realized their theoretical framework. Special attention has been given to the role of nature—specifically nature designed by humans, in humanizing urban environments to the role of play as a form of freedom of speech, and to the role of the site as the potential for the narrative.
Organized by: AIANY Architecture Dialogue Committee
Co-sponsored by: ASLA-NY