CMG Monthly :: January

USHERING IN 2016

CRYSTAL BALL
A heartening forecast for our next 52 weeks. A beautiful charge to infuse a little more inspiration, humanity + regressive evolution into each of the 365 days ahead.

http://www.metropolismag.com/Design-Forecast/

  1.       The End of Ownership
  2.       Production Laid Bare
  3.       Redefining Home
  4.       Blooming Technology (holography)
  5.       Free-Spirited Design (playful)
  6.       The Year of Slow Tech (did you know ”households with libraries containing at least a hundred books lead to improved scholastic performance (making even more of a difference than wealth)?!”)
  7.       China Values Design
  8.       Building for People
  9.       The Language of Symbols
  10.   Reframing Public-Private Partnerships
  11.   Sensing Spaces
  12.   Are We Too Late?
  13.   We Need to Begin to Think Big Again
  14.   Here Is There
  15.   Luddite Futurism
  16.   A New Design Equation
  17.  Seeking Common Humanity

1


MOBILITY

BIKESHARE AS PUBLIC TRANSIT
“’When cities are able to get bike-share up to scale relative to their population and have a really generous number of origin-destination combos it becomes transit,’ says Nicole Freedman, North American Bikeshare Association (NABSA) president and Seattle DOT active transportation director.”
https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/federal-bill-redefine-bike-share-us
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PUBLIC/PRIVATE BIKESHARE
Portland teams with Nike
https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/portland-bike-share-launch-nike-partnership
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MARITIME TRADE
Upsizing material mobility capacity at the Panama Canal expands monumentality of infrastructural.

“The expanded canal will be able to handle cargo vessels carrying 14,000 20-foot containers, nearly three times the amount currently accommodated.”

http://www.history.com/news/7-fascinating-facts-about-the-panama-canal
https://placesjournal.org/article/isthmus-panama-canal-expansion/
8

 

LITTLE THIS, LOTTA THAT

BACTERIA BRICKS
“BioMason injects sand with microorganisms to initiate a process like the one that creates coral. The technique takes four days, and when complete the bricks are strong enough for use in houses, commercial buildings, and other structures.”

"’I grew a deep love for coral,’ says Dosier, now 37. ‘I looked at how coral was able to make these incredible structural formations that could withstand water and erosion and began really researching how it was able to grow.’"

“. . . rang(ing) from biology to architecture, from fermentation to engineering . . . the company starts with sand packed into rectangular molds. The molds are then inoculated with bacteria, which wrap themselves around the grains of sand. With each bacteria-covered grain of sand acting as a nucleus, calcium carbonate crystals begin to form around it. An irrigation system feeds the bricks nutrient-rich water over the course of several days to facilitate the process. The crystals grow larger and larger, filling in the gaps between the grains of sand.”

Currently, “about 8 percent of all global carbon emissions come from (traditional) brick manufacturing, according to estimates from Dosier and the EPA.”

http://www.inc.com/kevin-j-ryan/best-industries-2016-sustainable-building-materials.html
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POST MODERNIST DEFENSE
“The author declares that ‘far from being Modernism’s opposite, Postmodernism in architecture was a momentary rediscovery of the raging heart of modernity, the scintillating brilliance of art forms and mentalities that harness the awful beauty of what the contemporary economy can offer, in all its monstrous abundance.”

“‘It was the pulsing of liberal politics through the veins of a new kind of beauty, one that was all about the responsibility to think for yourself, create for yourself, position yourself, stand up for yourself.’”

http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/10001436.article
http://www.adamnathanielfurman.com/projects.php?Auth=8449a0e16de4d26d6fa0df6f17c12f9e
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NYC’S DILLER ISLAND PROTEST
As the Army Corps faces a Go/No Go decision, the laundry list of protest arguments accumulates.
The question at the heart, can true democratic public realm be made with private dollars?

  1.       The Trust is not in compliance with the Clean Water Act
  2.       The island is contrary to the public interest
  3.       The island would obstruct navigation in the river
  4.       The island would negatively affect fish and wildlife.
  5.       The island would erase historic resources
  6.       The island would block views of the Hudson
  7.       The island’s benefits would be limited and restricted based upon ability to pay
  8.       This is a new island, not a reconstruction of Pier 54
  9.       A private corporation, not a public Trust, is primarily in charge of the project
  10.   The “No Action” alternative to building the island is not rebuilding Pier 54—it’s no action

http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=8453#.VqAwBU-E3Pw
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16 17

 

Objects Inspire Objects
From embryonic parti to brick and mortar reality
http://architizer.com/blog/how-architecture-is-born/
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Details
Gifts underfoot
This Is Colossal :: The Beauty of Japan's Artistic Manhole Covers
22 23 24 25

 

 

IN MEMORIUM

David Bowie favorites have been circulating the studio—Starman, Heroes, Labyrinth + Life Aquatic soundtracks, Under Pressure, Space Oddity, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Black Star, Lazarus, etc.– pouring through earbuds and headphones during long-hour CAD sessions. His legacy of perennial creative evolution, open-hearted identity fluidity and dazzling musicality are a gift to humanity.
NYTimes :: David Bowie Allowed His Art To Deliver A Final Message
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“. . . there really should be a David Bowie Street somewhere. Few major music stars have proved so fascinated with city life, both its freedoms and its occasional desperation. As a boy from a grey suburb who tried to forge a creative life in the big city . . . .cities run like a seam of coal through Bowie’s music. It’s not every musician, after all, who writes songs about urban revolutionaries . . .”

“The fabric of cities also seemed to fascinate Bowie. In his later song ’Thru These Architects Eyes,’ he name-checks architects Philip Johnson and Richard Rogers and celebrates the dramatic cityscapes they’ve part created: ‘All the majesty of a city landscape/All the soaring days in our lives.’”

“Bowie is also great on a phenomenon that almost any city dweller over 30 will recognize: how urban change, whether it’s for the better or the worse, tends to make your memories homeless.”

But, “Bowie can hardly be said to have been stuck in backward-looking nostalgia, given that he managed to constantly reinvent and revise himself creatively right up until the last moment. Many of us are still shaken that that moment came so soon.”

Citylab :: David Bowie Was Really Singing About City Life
A woman places flowers outside the apartment house where David Bowie was living in 1976-78, in Berlin, Germany, January 11, 2016. David Bowie, a music legend who used daringly androgynous displays of sexuality and glittering costumes to frame legendary rock hits "Ziggy Stardust" and "Space Oddity", has died of cancer aged 69. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch - RTX21TZ8

Go forth and seize the liberating “responsibility to think for yourself, create for yourself, position yourself, stand up for yourself.”

Our dreams are a strong compass. Life is short.

CMG Monthly :: December

CLIMATIC CAUSALTIES + PROMISE

Rebecca Solnit gets inside Paris Climate Talks
“The 1.5-degree manifesto came with a proposed hand signal—a pinky finger (one) jutting from a fist (the degree point) and five fingers on the left hand outstretched—that participants can hold up during the deliberations. It’s painful that little solidarities and signals like this are being looked upon to save people from, to put it baldly, burning and drowning.”

“The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees may seem academic; however, while even the latter is a goal we will have to work hard to achieve, the former means the difference between apocalypse and survival in many parts of the world.” 

http://harpers.org/blog/2015/12/calculated-risk/
1

Climate Change Cheat Sheet
Awaiting ratification of the world’s first anthropogenic climate altering agreement from the Paris convening of over 150 countries, a little clarity about what’s at stake . . .

“How much is the planet heating up?
1.7 degrees is actually a significant amount.”

“​Will a tech breakthrough help us?
Even Bill Gates says don’t count on it, unless we commit the cash.”

“How much will the seas rise?
The real question is not how high, but how fast.”

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/28/science/what-is-climate-change.html?ref=world&_r=0
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Vatican Climate Change Light Show
“The installation, called ‘Fiat Lux: Illuminating our Common Home,’ is a prettier addition to Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical released in June, which called for swift action on climate change.”

Grist :: Crazy Vatican Light Show Illuminates The Popes Climate Message
3

 

Great Green Wall
“Once complete, Africa’s Green Wall will be a manmade forest of drought-resistant trees (principally acacia) stretching across the entire continent. Nine miles wide and 4,750 miles long, the vision for the project is as ambitious as it is necessary.”

The Leviathan scale of this landscape intervention is unprecedented in human history. What new ecologies will usher forth . . . only time will tell . . .

SF Gate :: Wall-of-trees-being-planted-across-Africa-to-halt-6686653.php
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Photo courtesy of The Higher Learning.com

 

Groundwater, Deceptive Abundance
“ . . . the upper 1 1/2 miles of Earth’s crust contains 22.6 million cubic km of groundwater — nearly the equivalent of the Antarctic ice sheet, just beneath your feet. If that water were distributed on the surface of the planet, it would pool 590 feet deep over our current landmasses.”

“But . . . the world’s underground reservoir is not as large as it seems. The vast majority is old groundwater, which tends to be brackish, saline, low quality and difficult to access. . . .  Young (high quality) groundwater, which entered the earth sometime in the last hundred years, makes up at most 6% of the supply.”

“Groundwater use is fine in principle, but rapidly expanding megacities have not been careful to conserve resources. In Mexico City, for example, where 70 percent of water is withdrawn from the subterranean supply, parts of the city have sunk 30 feet over the past century as the aquifers fall and the earth falls with them.”

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/water-conservation-groundwater-running-out
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Photo courtesy of :: https://www.etsy.com/listing/76033855/large-geological-chart-cross-sections-of?utm_source=OpenGraph&utm_medium=PageTools&utm_campaign=Share

 

ODDITY + REVELATION

SCALAR SOLAR SYSTEM
“We are on a marble floating on nothing.”

This Is Colossal :: First Timelapse of the Solar System To Scale
6.26

 

Cinematic Magic
UC Berkeley Professor Chip Sullivan draws narrative parallels between film conceits and ingredients of making place beloved

  1. An Illusion of Depth
  2. A Multiplicity of Views
  3. A Sense of Mystery
  4. A Sense of Drama
  5. A Feeling of Community
  6. A Whole Universe

DIRT :: What Landscape Architects Can Learn From Hollywood
7.27.17

 

Lichen Walls
Just six months before our lichen wall at SF MOMA is scheduled to reopen (+ we are raring to see how the molasses-paced growth has progressed over the nearly 3 years of renovations), we are excited to see BiotA lab is advancing the technology behind lichen/moss gardens. If ours was the world’s first, BiotA lab could be proliferating the idea. Like spores, our ideas seed + spread . . . here’s to the conversation!

“Instead of developing surfaces resistant to moss and lichen, the BiotA lab wants to build facades that are ‘bioreceptive.’

BiotA lab, based in University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, was founded last year. The lab’s architects and engineers are working on making materials that can foster the growth of cryptograms, organisms like lichens and mosses.”

The Atlantic :: Bioreceptive Buildings
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Public Park Culinary
A new program for WWWW!  Bok Choy drying to make vegetable soup.
Found on Hang Ah Tea Room’s fb page:
“The neighbors are hanging Bok Choy over the fence on this sunny day to make ‘dried vegi’.  Once all the moisture is removed, the process is considered done and can be stored in a cool, dry place for a long long time.  These ‘dried vegi’ typically will be used in a soup.  The soup can help balance your chi, helps restore your healthy self when you have a sore throat, cough, etc.”
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Some more amusing images, not particularly related to WWWW:
http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/chinese-cabbage-drying-in-the-sun-on-a-public-bench-down-news-photo/45546306110 
http://www.chairblog.eu/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Cabbage-Drying-Chair-460×613.jpg
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http://1000daysbetween.com/gallery/rest/data/23345?size=resize
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Haibun :: Walking Poems
Haibun is a form of poetry that is a meeting of the inner and outer journey, the objective + subjective experience of place. Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) was the form’s master. Myriad translations of Basho’s Oku no Hosomichi, or Narrow Road to the Interior, bespeak its continued potency. Here, a 1966 translation of the opening paragraph:

Days and months are travelers of eternity. So are the years that pass by. Those who steer a boat across the sea, or drive a horse over the earth till they succumb to the weight of years, spend every minute of their lives travelling. There are a great number of ancients, too, who died on the road. I myself have been tempted for a long time by the cloud-moving wind—filled with a strong desire to wander.

It was only towards the end of last autumn that I returned from rambling along the coast. I barely had time to sweep the cobwebs from my broken house on the River Sumida before New Year, but no sooner had the spring mist begun to rise over the field than I wanted to be on the road again to cross the barrier-gate of Shirakawa in due time. The gods seem to have possessed my soul and turned it inside out, and roadside images seemed to invite me from every corner, so that it was impossible for me to stay idle at home Even while I was getting ready, mending my torn trousers, already dreaming of the full moon rising over the islands of Matsushima. Finally, I sold my house, moving to the cottage of Sampû for a temporary stay. Upon the threshold of my old home, however, I wrote a linked verse of eight pieces and hung it on a wooden pillar. The starting piece was:

Behind this door

Now buried in deep grass,

A different generation will celebrate

The Festival of Dolls.

Translated by Nobuyuki Yuasa

 

(The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches, 1966)

National Geographic returns to the geography that inspired the magnum opus. For the literary geeks among us, Poets.org. gives a Haibun how-to.

BUREAU OF PUBLIC SECRETS :: Nine Translations of the Opening Paragraph of Matsuo Basho's Oku no Hosomichi

National Geographic :: Bashos Trail

Poets.org :: Closer Look Writing Haibun
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HOLIDAY READS

SF Chronicle :: John King's (et al) Holiday Book Gift Guide
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POLAND’S GROVE MYSTERY

“The language of landscape has . . . become the native language of humans.” Anne Whiston Spirn
When we cannot speak our native tongue, we invent, imagine and spin myth. This mysterious Crooked Forest has raised “speculations about witchcraft and energy fields.”
Practical speculation about special coppicing techniques and boat-building motives match the myth making, “but the grove is hiding its secrets.”
Beautiful all the more for its mystery . . .

https://www.behance.net/gallery/31111579/The-Crooked-Forest
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REYKJAVIK WINTER LIGHTS FESTIVAL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt5GVvfpxXc
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CMG HOLIDAY COOKIE SWAP
We popped champagne & swapped mountains of cookies to celebrate a beautiful year & to delight in the creative culinary designs the holidays bring.
Sugar, ginger, chocolate chip…an artful array of cookies for all! 

IMG_2100 IMG_2089  IMG_2112 IMG_2114

 

Happy Holidays!

Whether its family or solitude, light or dark, sacred or profane, warm or cold, feast or fast that you chose for yourself, enjoy.

 

What Are You Smoking?

By Kevin Conger

 

I have recently had the pleasure of advancing some projects that I have been working on for over 10 years. It’s gratifying to see the promises I made to community members and clients becoming reality, and to see that the basic ideas and strategies about making social spaces, ecological landscapes and sculptural compositions are for the most part working well. It’s interesting to see how some of these just built landscapes, designed a decade ago, differ from what is being designed in the office today . . . and how they are similar.

 

01 Hunters Point wireframe 2006_2
Hunters Point Wireframe, 2006

 

02 Hunters Point composition 2009_2
Hunters Point Composition, 2009

 

03 Hunters Point overlook construction 2015_2
Hunters Point Overlook Construction, 2015

 

I would hope that the design strategies and concepts that remain constant in our work, from the past decade through today, are those which have been carefully articulated and developed as our “design manifesto,” while experiments that have not measured up to our intentions are critiqued and logged as an important layer of our body of work.

 

04 Headlands Center for the Arts Commons study 2015_2
Headlands Center for the Arts Commons study, 2015

 

It is not uncommon for a landscape project to take a long while to see built results. Designing landscapes often requires years, if not decades to get from ideas to construction, and then decades longer still to see if the ideas actually work as natural and cultural forces come to bear on the finished project, or should we say the “started” landscape. I liken this period of preparation, contemplation and negotiation to cooking a big rack of ribs in a smoker all day. It takes careful preparation, rubbing, discussion, drinking, and immense patience. If you’re in a hurry to just yank out the ribs and eat, you should order take out. The joy is in the ritual. There is a benefit to the extended ritual of landscape design, in that it allows us to think in terms longer than the fast paced trends of our culture. In fact, if a landscape design is trend-driven it’s likely that by the time the landscape is built, the trend will have come and gone.  Although some critics refer to good design as timeless, I really appreciate a design that reflects contemporary culture; a timely design. Somehow “timeless” sounds boring, or like you are using old ideas. I prefer to think of good design that can outlast trends as conceptually “durable design,” wherein the ideas and performance criteria will remain relevant for the lifespan of the landscape.

 

05 Bay Meadows Landing Green Park 2015_2
Bay Meadows Landing Green Park, 2015

 

Of course, not every project gets smoked.  Sometimes we get the chance to design and build a landscape in a just few years, or even a few months, and these circumstances provide the opportunity to test and critique our ideas on a much shorter timeline, and to learn and iterate faster. 

 

06 Crack Garden_landscape in a day 1999
Crack Garden, landscape in a day, 1999

 

 

07 Parkmobiles_landscape in a month 2011_2
Parkmobiles, landscape in a month, 2011

 

 

08 Annie Street experiment 2014_2
Annie Street Experiement, 2014

 

But at the same time, I wonder if there is some risk of being pushed too fast to deeply understand the context of the landscape or to develop the nuances of our designs.  As we just now are seeing some of our long term projects coming to fruition, we will have the opportunity to see how design duration relates to design durability.

 

 

CMG Monthly :: November

LIVABILITY + AFFORDABILITY

Governor Brown Signs Art + Culture Districts Bill
“This week, the National Organization of Minority Architects is holding its annual conference in New Orleans . . . exploring how design and place-based interventions can drive social change..”

Huffington Post :: California Launches Effort Promoting Art + Culture Districts1

 

Bay Area’s Young Creatives, Transient?
“74% of millennials surveyed said they are considering a move in the next five years, largely because of concerns over being able to eventually afford a home in their desired neighborhoods.”

What happens for SF’s economy if they leave is not pretty.
How to make them stay? Affordable housing + public realm improvements!

Next City :: Bay Area Warned: Millennials May Flee
2

 

Congratulations SPUR in regional scope!
CMG has been honored to support SPUR for over a decade. SPUR's been at it much longer. After over a century of service to San Francisco, SPUR’s important urban research and initiatives are now scaling up to do justice to the size + interconnectivity of our regional Bay Area. We’re excited to see how this milestone change in governance expands SPUR’s impact towards better cities.
SPUR :: Its Official Spur Regional Organization

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SPUR’s Agenda For Change
“What’s wrong with the Bay Area, the report argues, is fixable, but it will require two main things: ‘Elegant density’ and diversity by design.”

http://www.spur.org/sites/default/files/publications_pdfs/SPUR's_Agenda_for_Change.pdf
https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/san-francisco-urbanists-bay-area-needs-to-change4
Image curtesy of Pixabay

 

To Densify or Not, that is the question, or is it?
SF Chronicle :: SF Explores Housing Density Bonus If Affordable Units Added5

 

Affordability + Inclusion Through More Housing

CMG had the privilege of hearing Gabriel Metcalf’s speech firsthand at SPUR’s Silver Luncheon 2015. We commend his stronghearted and levelheaded dose of wisdom in the face of ever-polarizing affordability and density debates.

His message is simple : “Want to Promote Equity and Inclusion? Build More Housing”6

 

HUD Gives to Neighborhoods
“As part of HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods initiative, grants of up to $2 million will be given for projects like reclaiming vacant properties, attracting new business and engaging communities in transformation plans.”

“’HUD’s mission of expanding opportunity extends beyond a family’s front door to the neighborhoods where they live,’ HUD Secretary Julián Castro said.”

“The agency cites everything from improving Internet access to beautifying storefronts on its list for what the funding can help achieve.”

Next City :: HUD Brings "Action" to Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants Choice Neighborhoods7

 

Gentrification Slowed, “Just Green Enough”
Gentrification was all abuzz at the ASLA 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago earlier this month. Some wisdom to balance environmental justice with skyrocketing property values . . . simplicity.

“Instead of creating “shiny new parks” that spur on redevelopment, they can work with existing communities to design public spaces that are “just green enough” and celebrate a community’s diversity.”

“The most damaging effect of gentrification is displacement, which can affect cultures, industries, and people alike, said Curran. ‘Ethnic communities and manufacturing factories can be pushed out, and low-income communities left out of the democratic process.’ Gentrification results in higher property values, eventual upgrading or homogenization of the environment, and the privatization of public spaces.”

http://dirt.asla.org/2015/11/07/ethical-design-practices-may-help-slow-gentrification/8

 

Eco-District Abundance
Debunking myths of mutual exclusivity between the ecological and economic.

“. . . the data on both sides agreed: The eco-districts were valuable in fueling growth in the industry.”
https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/measuring-stockholm-eco-district-success9

 

CMG STUDIOSGIVING
CMG's first annual Studiosgiving was a delicious (if not stomach-expanding) potluck success. Three cheers to all the culinary creativity and YouTube fireside cracklin' . . .101112131415

 

 

MUSE + MUSINGS

Urban Odes
Literature flings ours doors open to the elusive unknowable. A welcome complement to the fact-seeking lines on our maps, diagrams + analytics in the making + remaking of cities.

A (personal) favorite to add to the author’s list:

“Arriving at each new city, the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places.” Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/best-poems-about-cities
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21st Century Colossus of Rhodes
Seven wonders of the ancient world is back in contemporary time. The 30-meters tall Greek God Helios once stood over the Rhodes port city as a conspicuous symbol of the people’s victory-over General Demetrius. In 2017, Dan Pearlman is bringing the idea back. With 20 different giants in 20 different cities. And, they’ll move. And, be lit up. And, be projected upon. And . . . just kidding. Hmm.

Coming to a city near you?

CLAD Global :: Giants are planned for 20 cities worldwide
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Charismatic Fauna :: The Otter
This furry finned creature’s charisma quotient is a chart-topper, plus, they are intelligent (they use tools!)

Otter Facts :: Protect the Oceans

1. Sea Otters are one of the few animals that use tools. They mainly use rocks, but have been seen using glass soda bottles and cement blocks.

2. Sea Otters have built in pockets under their arms.

3. A group of Sea Otters resting together is called a raft.

4. Sea Otters’ fur has 10x # of hairs per square inch than we have on our entire head. (humans 100,000; otters 1,000,000)

5. Wild adult Sea Otters eat 25% or more of their body weight a day, or more than 12 pounds of seafood. A 150 lb human would need to eat 37 lbs of food a day!

Cute Pics :: Daily Otter
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Home Is Where You Cave-Carve
“A mile deep in the wilderness of New Mexico, 70-year-old Ra Paulette is working alone on his ‘Magnum Opus’, an extraordinary livable artwork buried in the geology of a rare type of sandstone. Ra has been digging caves for 30 years, spending most of his time working in solitude, running only on passion, instinct and the company of his dog.”

buzzworthy :: Man Isolates Himself For 30 Years To Create Magnificent Underworld202122

 

Landscape Chimera
Artist J. Frede fuses time and space in his collages of found photographs.

“Arranging these into new landscapes that never existed speaks to the stitching together of human behavior and how we relate to time and the past: How many people have stopped at that rest stop and taken nearly the same photo of the plain hillside? All locking their own associations into the view, first road trip with a new love; last road trip to see grandma; one of many road trips alone.”

Visual News :: Fictional Landscapes Created From Old Flea Market Photos232425

 

Golden Gingko Rain
“This towering ginkgo tree is located within the walls of the Gu Guanyin Buddhist Temple in the Zhongnan Mountains in China. Every autumn the green leaves on the 1,400-year-old tree turn bright yellow and fall into a golden heap on the temple grounds drawing tourists from the surrounding area.”
 

ThisIsColossal :: Ancient Chinese Gingko Tree Drops An Ocean of Golden Leaves2627

CMG Monthly :: October

DESIGN ACTIVISM

 

New Orleans Gets Radical

“This week, the National Organization of Minority Architects is holding its annual conference in New Orleans . . . exploring how design and place-based interventions can drive social change..”

Next City :: Urban Design Activism Socially Engaged Art Design As Protest

1

DIY Urban Wayfinding

Can we discover anew in the familiar? Insider tips made public, in hopes to catalyze pedestrian discovery

Next City :: Civic Instigator

2

 

STREETLIFE

GOOD, BAD + the FUTURE at the Crosswalk

“African Americans may have to wait in a crosswalk about 32% longer than white people before drivers stop.”

"’That's what makes contemporary forms of bias so pernicious—we may not be aware that we have these biases,’ says Kimberly Kahn.”

Futurity :: Racial Bias at the Crosswalk

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Improv Everywhere :: Ballroom Crosswalk

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Coming To The Bay Area Near You . . .

“CCTA’s long-term goal is … autonomous vehicle service will serve as the first mile/last mile connection…”

Next City :: San Francisco Driverless Bus Text Pilot

5

 

RESILIENCY

Glacial Melt In Our Own Backyard 

This is no polar bear, far-flung tale, this is climate change at a stone’s throw (albeit a harrowing 30+ mile stone’s throw through treacherous terrain).

“The glacier has lost about 90 percent of its volume and 80 percent of its surface area from 1883 to 2015.

“‘I’m getting the feeling I may be the last geologist to study these glaciers,’ Stock [a naturalist + geologist] said. ‘Pretty soon, there won’t be any ice here at all, just a rubble-strewn basin. I’m starting to think like a biologist, somebody who is studying an endangered species, something that can disappear.’

“‘In just a week, you can see the difference,’ he said.”

SF Chronicle :: Glacier was once Yosemite's largest; now it's almost gone

6

 

Green Infrastructure Solves Our Carbon Budget

“As a planet, we can only risk emitting 1000 gigatons (Gt) of C02 into the atmosphere this century.”

“That means cities have a crucial choice: build green infrastructure instead of traditional, and avoid locking in 45 Gt C02 by 2030, eight times the US’s current annual emissions.

“Green infrastructure is also more economical in the long term. According to the C40 report, building low carbon infrastructure in the next five years will be four times less expensive for cities than building high carbon infrastructure that will need to be replaced in the future.”

Next City :: Can Cities Stop Runaway Climate Change

Image from Grosvenor Resilient Cities Research

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Mashable :: Sea Level Rise Submerge US Cities

8

 

 

INSPIRATION

Love Letters Wrap Post Office

This Is Colossal :: Love Letters Building Ha Schult

9

 

10

 

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Golden Gate Bridge Book

McSweeney's :: This Bridge Will Not be Gray, by Dave Eggers Illustrated by Tucker Nichols 

12

 

Oehme van Sweden Exhibition in DC

Wishing to switch coasts for an afternoon to pour over these luscious plant palettes at the National Museum’s newest exhibition . . . ah, the frustrating constraints of geography. Happily, we have our very own Northern CA treasure at Cornerstone

Huffington Post :: The New American Garden

The Cultural Landscape Foundation :: The New American Garden

 13

 

VnA Museum for London Design Festival

Core 77 :: Highlights From The VnA Museum for London Design Festival

14

 

 

CMG HAPPENINGS                                                            

Public Art to Hunters Point  

Early sneak-peek to Hunters Point Parks! Public art stroll on our newly laid paths, overlook, seating and more. This weekend (Oct. 17-18)

SF Gate :: Sculpture Suitable For Framing At Hunters Point

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We Launched Our New Website

Welcome to the new site! We are proud to have completed a comprehensive process in which we have improved they we communicate our identity and ideas, elevated the quality of our imagery, set new graphic standards, started a blog, and joined modern technology on WordPress. We are a firm that is proud to express our many voices, and we’re excited to use this new website as a tool to do so.

Three cheers and a huge thank you to Futurepruf, dstl, and Boon design.

Oyster Monitoring at Point Pinole

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The Watershed Project focuses on driving grassroots action, education, and advocacy for developing healthy watersheds in the San Francisco Bay Area, from the upland to the Bay. In addition to leading multiple community education programs on watershed structure, health, human impacts, The Watershed Project manages the Living Shoreline Initiative, bringing together community members, students, and scientists to physically build a healthier Bay by constructing an artificial oyster reef. 

 

In 2013, The Watershed Project launched 100 reef balls into San Pablo Bay at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline.  These reef balls are hollow domes made out of oyster shells, bay sediment, and cement that form a craggy surface conducive to the growth of the Olympia Oyster, the only oyster native to the west coast of North America, which was nearly destroyed by over-harvesting, pollution, and sedimentation.  Working with scientists at the San Francisco Bay Native Oyster Working Group, The Watershed Project is using these reef balls to begin restoring the lost habitat of these oysters in hopes of eventually improving bay water quality and improving habitat for other species. 

 

The Oyster Monitoring and Restoration Program brings adult volunteers to the reef to help collect data on the oyster communities, and in August a few CMG-ers took part in the counting.  Volunteers perform a careful sample count to track the number of oysters and other species growing on each reef ball.  The monitoring process not only allows scientists to better understand role of oysters and their habitat, but also builds a civic ecology — a community of stewards that will support improving oyster habitat and watershed health over the long term.  

 

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CMG Monthly :: August

HERE + NOW

Market Commons, selling for $990mil!

“That means it would be among the highest prices paid for an office complex in S.F.'s history.” 

BISNOW :: Twitter HQ Under Contract

Sure is a beauty; we're proud of the new plaza space.

 


 

 

3 Mules

Thanks to CMGer Rayna Deniord for sharing this profoundly poetic saga of a contemporary nomads. Mule and his pack are making a pilgrimage as a cautionary to contemporary culture. Check out their route + citations in Menu.

 

Last seen in Woodside, CA (peninsula), and it looks like the pack passed thru our fair city last week. They proceed south, and where to is anyone’s guess. So, if you have Monterey, Big Sur, or LA plans this Labor Day, keep your eyes peeled for these dusty heroes.

 

http://keepvirginiabeautiful.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Pacific-Crest-Trail-near-Warner-Springs-1024x768.jpg

“This interstate system shall be developed for pedestrians, cyclists, and equestrians with freedom to stop and rest outdoors for the night.”

 

 

John King Critiques Berkeley's Latest Architectural Trials

“The problem isn’t the scale of what’s proposed, or the architectural mishmash in the mix. It’s the way that a confusing process encourages checklists over creativity, while opponents would rather fight to stop nearly all change, rather than find ways to make that change enrich downtown’s sense of place.” – John King

 

BAM:PFA. Photo- Paul Chinn, The Chronicle

 

 

CA gets drought relief, Boston gets hammered (again)

CITYLAB :: A Very Early Yet  Highly Accurate Guide To This Coming Winter

Image MISHELLA / Shutterstock

 

 

 

 

FUTURISTIC MUSINGS

CITYLAB :: How to build a city on the moon

 

Image AP Photo/Julio Cortez

 

 

THE REGISTRY SF :: Bay Area Data Centers Move Quickly On Expansion Plans

How do these new, quick-to-erect, floating data centers integrate with SLR, intertidal wetlands, shoreline shadowing . . . we're curious where BCDC falls on this issue.

 

Nautilus-barge-DC-concept

“For some firms concerned about Bay Area land costs for data center construction, a new option has recently emerged: floating data centers.”

“Magcale said that Nautilus’ patented cooling technology is 5x more efficient than conventional land-based data centers and is up to 70% cheaper to build. It also reduces annual energy costs by 35%, he said. According to the firm’s Web site, waterborne data centers can be configured and operated with up to 800 server racks and can be deployed in less than six months anywhere in the world.”

 

 

BISNOW :: 5 Ways Technology Is Going To Change A City's Infrastructure

Clearly, more research is needed and only time will tell, but the predictive future of infrastructure is still a fun musing. Surprised the driverless car didn’t make the list.

 

1. LinkNYC

 

 

AESTHETIC PLEASURES

Colossal :: Ella Pitr Nuart Mural

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0572.JPG

 

Jealous Curator


 

Penda: Soundwave Plaza


 

Dezeen :: The Sequence By Arne Quinze


 

Berlin’s Bike Storage

Bike Storage Building, Berlin: Bike Storage Building, Berlin

 

CITYLAB :: This Mexican Neighborhood Lives Inside a Huge Mural


 

Cousin to Kristin Jones' work on Rome’s Tiber

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/8d/d5/14/8dd51405ee5417014295e8e5a24f38c2.jpg http://www.andrewginzel.com/JONES/PROJECTS/installations/shewolves/Lupa-1.jpg

 

COLOSSAL :: Record-Breaking Quinquennial Sail Amsterdam 2015

(Time-lapse :: boats flood in around 1:20, pun unavoidable)

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Happiness Is.

(If you can effectively ignore GoPro promotional)

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CMG DAY-IN-THE-LIFE/WORK

Austin Charrettes

Welcome back to the mighty Austin team! Congrats on heroically surviving marathon public charrettes (inside for 12-hr days, they at least averted the 100-degree weather).

 

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Treasure Island Arts Master Plan Visioning

Much of the public art in this edition’s Monthly is courtesy of TI’s Arts MP Visioning workshop, led by the San Francisco Arts Commission. CMG's Pamela Conrad pulled another miracle out of her back pocket this week to lead a successful first-round group brainstorm for making TI a world-class arts destination.  More public art wonders on our new Pinterest page.