Monday, May 21, 2012

Creating a Sense of Place by Looking at Our Past
By Jeff Martin, RLA
The design and development of America’s cities, neighborhoods, public places and open spaces has had its share of peaks and valleys. Population explosions in the latter half of the 1800s and again after World War II meant that homes, factories and businesses needed to be built at break-neck speed. While it did provide much-needed homes and places of employment, it often led to shapeless neighborhoods, cities and regions that lacked a sense of place.

The antidote in the early 1900s was the City Beautiful movement, pioneered by leading architects, planners, business professionals and everyday concerned citizens. Its focus was to make cities and neighborhoods more attractive and livable by implementing bold plans and designs. The result was the creation of charming neighborhoods and cities that have withstood the test of time. Stroll through a 100-year-old neighborhood and you will notice timeless architecture, walkable streets, neighborhood roundabouts, a diverse mix of land uses, highly visible open spaces, and parks accessible by foot or bicycle.

Today, America continues another renaissance in how it plans, designs and markets the neighborhoods, cities, public places, open spaces and regions of tomorrow. And it does this with an eye toward the past.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Trends in Interior Office Design
By Sarah Kathro
The conventional office environment is evolving to accommodate new ideas and ways in which business is conducted in today's age. Technology is shaping how we learn, communicate, store information and carry out daily functions.

Every day we learn more about the logistics of how people work and its direct influence on the built environment. Companies have a genuine interest in the well-being and quality of life of their employees. These factors are challenging designers to pay attention to the logistics of these factors in order to accommodate for the ever-evolving work environment. The built environment is starting to mold itself around how human beings operate, not forcing individuals into a space.

As a society, we are taking steps in becoming more responsible individuals when it comes to how space is used, budgeting our dollars, and learning to not take more than what we truly need. With financial concerns and green initiatives as driving factors, the footprint of the office environment is shrinking. And with spaces shrinking and walls encroaching, the office is becoming more efficient in how resources are being used.