Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I love looking out the airplane window. The forms and patterns on land generated by development and human culture interacting with the natural terrain are a great source of fascination for me. James Corner’s work evokes a new reading of landscape, site planning and the interaction between man and terrain. A close study of maps, surveys and aerial photos can render formal architectural strategies that integrate and respond to the land far beyond the property lines of any given project. Every project should include a study of the context via aerial photos, maps, surveys, and Nolli maps of development patterns. Our projects can respond by developing various strategies that include references to these contexts.
The Shaker map and the Thiebaud painting illustrate a region and culturally specific representation of built form. I have always appreciated Thiebaud’s pop sensibility that is perfect for California. Obviously the Shakers no nonsense approach to life is reflected in the map. Project by project we should look for ways of representing and presenting our architecture that is consistent with the concept of the project.

... Robin Donaldson, AIA

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