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retooling metropolis: working landscapes, emergent urbanism

Course report written by Chris Reed
Published on August 29, 2017 by The President and Fellows of Harvard College &
Harvard University Graduate School of Design
112 Pages

What is the status of the 20th-century metropolis? How do we rethink it (and retool it) in an era of significant climate change, considerable social and economic inequities, and cultural dissonance? And what of this in a disciplinary age when conversations on urbanism are likely to be better informed by ideas of indeterminacy, dynamism, operational ecologies and landscape, and emergence over time? These questions are at the center of this research and studio work, both of which examine possibilities for cultivating new landscape occupations and new forms of nascent urbanism in an area of Houston along the eastern stretch of the Buffalo Bayou. This is an area marked by large-scale abandonment, some active heavy industry, remnant poor neighborhoods, industrial ruins, denuded ecologies, contaminated lands, and a radically transformed hydrologic system. How does one act here, when contemporary environmental and social circumstances call for a shift in thinking and a need for change, yet where there is no obvious economic or political driver to initiate or sponsor transformation on the ground? Retooling Metropolis: Working Landscapes, Emergent Urbanism is a Studio Report from the Fall 2016 semester at the Harvard University Graduate School
of Design.


Codify: Parametric and Computational Design in Landscape Architecture 

Written by Bradley Cantrell, edited by Adam Mekies
Published on May 4, 2018 by Routledge
310 Pages

Codify: Parametric and Computational Design in Landscape Architecture provides a series of essays that explore what it means to use, modify and create computational tools in a contemporary design environment. Landscape architecture has a long history of innovation in the areas of computation and media, particularly in how the discipline represents, analyses, and constructs complex systems. This curated volume spans academic and professional projects to form a snapshot of digital practices that aim to show how computation is a tool that goes beyond methods of representation and media. The book is organized in four sections; syntax, perception, employ, and prospective. The essays are written by leading academics and professionals and the sections examine the role of computational tools in landscape architecture through case studies, historical accounts, theoretical arguments, and nascent propositions.

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Source Books in Landscape Architecture 7 released: detailed look at Stoss and The CityDeck project

Stoss Landscape Urbanism, the 7th volume of the Knowlton School's Source Books in Landscape Architecture series, explores the firm and The CityDeck project in Green Bay, Wisconsin though dialogue with Stoss principal Chris Reed, and highlights the influences and perspectives of several collaborators and colleagues including Scott Bishop, Associate Principal at Stoss, Charles Waldheim, Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, and James J. Schmitt, Mayor of the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Additionally, essays contributed by Jane Amidon and John Dixon Hunt position the work both critically and contextually.

Stoss Landscape Urbanism is edited by Knowlton School Clinical Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Jason Kentner. The book, as well as all other volumes of the School’s Architecture and Landscape Architecture Source Books Series, is available for purchase from the Wexner Center Store.

The Source Books in Landscape Architecture series has, since its first edition, featured the work of some of the most significant and prolific voices in the contemporary practice of landscape architecture. In the first six editions, the series featured the works of Michael Van Valkenburgh, Ken Smith, Peter Walker, Grand Jones, Poalo Bürgi, and Tom Leader, with each edition capturing a seminal work or transformative moment in the careers of each.


Staging Urban Landscapes: The Activation and Curation of Flexible Public Spaces

Written by Cannon B. Ivers 
Published on October 8, 2018 by Birkhauser
304 Pages

Open urban spaces are an ideal stage for public events. An important prerequisite for their design in an increasingly heterogeneous multicultural cityscape is the relationship between design, use, and social function.The book documents both temporary as well as permanent installations of various kinds – from the open-air courtyard of a museum to the design of a river bank promenade, through to a city park.


The New Landscape Declaration

Featuring Chris Reed on pg. 172
Written by The Landscape Architecture Foundation
Published on November 21, 2017 by Rare Bird Books
240 Pages

On the eve of its 50th anniversary, the Landscape Architecture Foundation asked a diverse group of the world's leading landscape architects to reflect on the last half-century and present bold ideas for what the discipline should achieve in the future. Well beyond the public conception of the profession as "gardener" or "park designer," these landscape architects discussed their role in addressing weighty issues like climate change, urbanization, management of vital resources like water, and global inequities.

The New Landscape Declaration asserts the vital role of landscape architecture in solving the defining issues of our time. Relevant to designers across the globe, the ideas cross disciplinary boundaries and challenge current silos of thought and practice, underscoring the need to diversify, innovate, and create a bold culture of leadership, advocacy, and activism.

"When taking on ecological, environmental, social, political and economic agendas, we need to lead with design first..." (172) Chris Reed

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30|30 Landscape Architecture

Edited by Meaghan Kombol
Published on September 21, 2015 by Phaidon Press Limited, NY
320 pages

In 30|30 Landscape Architecture, 30 of the most renowned landscape architects explore the work of the 30 of the world's top emerging architects with more than 500 illustrations.

This book captures the essence of how the world is designed around us. A global and influential group of landscape architects will divulge fascinating details about their work - including their inspirations and design processes - as well as debate the key issues for landscape architects today and in the future.

This up-to-date overview of contemporary landscape architecture offers students, practitioners and enthusiasts an inspiring and insightful look at global landscape architecture today. Catherine Mosbach, George Hargreaves, Martha Schwartz and Adrian Geuze as well as the best and brightest of the next generation of designers engage with a diverse range of projects, demonstrating both the importance and creativity of landscape architecture.

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30 Years of Emerging Voices

Featuring Chris Reed
The Architectural League of New York 
Published in 2015 by Princeton Architectural Press, New York
302 pages

The prestigious Emerging Voices Award was created in 1982 by the Architectural League of New York to showcase the work of early- to mid-career North American architects. Each year, through an invited competition, a jury selects practitioners or firms with a significant body of realized work that represents the best of its kind and has the potential to impact the future of architecture and landscape design. Emerging Voices 30 documents and critically assesses the first three decades of the League's Emerging Voices program. Essays by Reed Kroloff, Ashley Schafer, and Karen Stein, and concise observations by leading critics, architects, and historians complement the presentation of work from the more than two hundred individuals and firms that have been selected for the program. Emerging Voices 30 is an ideal lens through which to interpret the lasting impact of this influential group of architects.


Rebuilding the American City: Design and Strategy for the 21st Century
Urban Core

Featuring “The CityDeck” project
Edited by David Gamble and Patty Heyda
Published on December 23, 2015 by Routledge
264 pages

Urban redevelopment in American cities is neither easy nor quick. It takes a delicate alignment of goals, power, leadership and sustained advocacy on the part of many. Rebuilding the American City highlights 15 urban design and planning projects in the U.S. that have been catalysts for their downtowns―yet were implemented during the tumultuous start of the 21st century. The book presents five paradigms for redevelopment and a range of perspectives on the complexities, successes and challenges inherent to rebuilding American cities today. Rebuilding the American City is essential reading for practitioners and students in urban design, planning, and public policy looking for diverse models of urban transformation to create resilient urban cores.


projective ecologies

Edited by Chris Reed & Nina-Marie Lister
Published in 2014 by Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Actar Publishers, NY
379 pages

Projective Ecologies takes stock of the diversity of contemporary ecological research and theory and speculates on potential paths forward for design practices. It is an explicit recognition of a plurality of ecological theories and applied research underpinning contemporary understandings of cultural and natural living systems. The book includes new and reprinted essays and drawings that trace various relationships between ecological thinking and design thinking over the past two decades, and moving forward. Contributors include Daniel Botkin, James Corner, Peter Del Tredici, Erle Ellis, Richard Forman, GROSS.MAX, Christopher Hight, Sanford Kwinter, Sean Lally, Nina-Marie Lister, OMA, Chris Reed, Charles Waldheim, West 8, Jane Wolff, and
many others.

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Beyond Urbanism

Featuring “Detroit Future City” project, interview with Chris Reed
Written by Jeanette Sordi
Published in June 2014 by List
218 Pages

Landscape urbanism emerged in the late 1990s as a critique of urban design's inability to deal with the expanded character of urbanization. Landscape has been intended as the medium through which to interpret the contemporary city and to develop a more ecologically informed urbanism. In the last fifteen years, several books, academic programs, and design projects have been developed under the landscape urbanism banner, contributing to blurring the boundaries between the spatial disciplines and multiplying and enhancing urban strategies. It is the project of a "school," whose main advocates are recognizable and whose intellectual history can be traced. Beyond Urbanism reassembles this story, starting from the main figures who developed the discourse and exploring the main cultural and academic contexts in which the field of landscape urbanism has emerged and been defined: from its origins to its new recommitment as "ecological urbanism" at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A series of interviews conducted with Mohsen Mostafavi, Charles Waldheim, James Corner, Stan Allen, Sanford Kwinter, Ciro Najle, Eva Castro, Alfredo Ramirez, Chris Reed, Pierre Bélanger, Alan Berger, Kelly Shannon, and Manuel Gausa, lets the protagonists speak of the discourse's origins, of their main references and research projects. An atlas of recent projects looks at the emerging practices, which are forecasting innovative relationships between the urban and the environment, and beyond traditional urbanism.

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Next New York: 40 Ideas for the Future of the Built Environment

Featuring "Let the Water In" by Chris Reed
Published in 2013 by Forum for Urban Design
112 Pages

During the spring of 2013, the Forum for Urban Design invited distinguished civic leaders, developers and designers to pitch bold visions for a more competitive, livable and sustainable New York. The result was Next New York: 40 Ideas for the Future of the Built Environment, a collection of forty courageous proposals imagining rebuilt infrastructure, reformed government, and an animated public realm.

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Representing Landscapes A Visual Collection of Landscape
Architectural Drawings

Featuring "Mat Ecologies: Landscape Representations" by Chris Reed
Edited by Nadia Amoroso
Published on March 14th, 2012 by Routledge
264 pages

What do you communicate when you draw an industrial landscape using charcoal; what about a hyper-realistic PhotoShop collage method? What are the right choices to make? Are there right and wrong choices when it comes to presenting a particular environment in a particular way?

The choice of medium for visualising an idea is something that faces all students of landscape architecture and urban design, and each medium and style option that you select will influence how your idea is seen and understood.

Responding to demand from her students, Nadia Amoroso has compiled successful and eye-catching drawings using various drawing styles and techniques to create this book of drawing techniques for landscape architects to follow and - more importantly - to be inspired by. More than twenty respected institutions have helped to bring together the very best of visual representation of ideas, the most powerful, expressive and successful images. Professors from these institutions provide critical and descriptive commentaries, explaining the impact of using different media to represent the same landscape.

This book is recommended for landscape architecture and urban design students from first year to thesis and is specifically useful in visual communications and graphic courses and design studios.



Featuring “Erie Street Plaza” and “Safe Zone” projects
Published on February 1, 2012 by Dopress Books
320 pages

Landscape design plays a unique and important role in environmental planning and public visual interaction. It can build a distinguishable image or local characteristics as the landmark for a certain place, promote the value of commercial development projects, combine human being and the environment together, as well as arousing people's mutal feeling for art and nature. However, many landscape designers are facing a rough challenge: many aspects of landscape design including materials, techniques, artistic expression, professional knowledge and skills are gradually getting similar. 

Fresh ideas will always be highly adored! This set of books which is full of creativity and inspiration is divided into two volumes: Art+Scape! emphasizes art installation, sculpture and artistic landscape architecture as well as the designs with creative ideas built in the nature and renovated environment, on the other hand, Nature+Scape! tends to stress on natural waterscape, vertical planting and the layout of vegetation as well as designs with natural concepts. All these highly innovative and professional projects featured in the set of books come from notable contemporary landscape designers and artists worldwide. These talented designers along with their acclaiming works make this book a practical and priceless reference for landscape designers and project developers. Furthermore, this set of books also obtains a joint recommendation from a group of world-renowned senior landscape designers and in which they have shared their newly outstanding works.

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A World of Gardens

Written by John Dixon Hunt
Published in April 2012 by Reaktion Books/Chicago Press
368 pages

A Japanese garden is immediately distinct to the eye from the traditional gardens of an English manor house, just as the manicured topiaries of Versailles contrast with the sharp cacti of the American Southwest. Though gardening is beloved the world over, the style of gardens themselves varies from region to region, determined as much by culture as climate. In this series of illustrated essays, John Dixon Hunt takes us on a world tour of different periods in the making of gardens.

Hunt shows here how cultural assumptions and local geography have shaped gardens and their meaning. He explores our continuing responses to land and reworkings of the natural world, encompassing a broad range of gardens, from ancient Roman times to early Islamic and Mughal gardens, from Chinese and Japanese gardens to the invention of the public park and modern landscape architecture. A World of Gardens looks at key chapters in garden history, reviewing their significance past and present and tracing the recurrence of different themes and motifs in the design and reception of gardens throughout the world. 

A World of Gardens celebrates the idea that similar experiences of gardens can be found in many different times and places, including sacred landscapes, scientific gardens, urban gardens, secluded gardens, and symbolic gardens. Featuring two hundred images, this book is a treasure trove of ideas and inspiration, whether your garden is a window box, a secluded backyard, or
a daydream.

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Playground Design (Architecture in Focus)

Featuring "Safe Zone" project
Written by Michelle Galindo
Published on January 3, 2012 by Braun Publishing
208 pages

Playgrounds are places where children can slide, swing, jump, skate, climb and do all those things which their motor control development requires. Furthermore, the social skills which children acquire on the playground develop into capabilities which they take with them into adulthood. Studies show that playgrounds are among the most important locations for young people outside the settings of home and school. This title is dedicated to the international “kidscapes” of today and presents the most innovative concepts and current trends of this demanding area of design. The projects lead to the knowledge that constructive collaboration on the part of architects and designers, landscape architects and municipal planners, artists and toy manufacturers is the key to the well-being of the children.

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New Concept Urban Landscape

Featuring "The CityDeck" and "Erie Street Plaza" projects
Published on December 1, 2012 by Phoenix Publishing Limited
287 Pages

New Concept Urban Landscape collects 56 excellent landscape design works around the world, which all reflect four essential landscape elements (public open space with humanized functions, layout with regional characteristics, the artistic style of architecture and garden, and returning to nature) and put forward reasonable solutions according to the actual conditions.

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Digital Landscape Architecture Now

Written by Nadia Amoroso
Foreword by George Hargreaves
Published on October 1, 2012 by Thames & Hudson
304 Pages

Despite its importance to place-making, urban planning, and the environment, landscape design has often played an inferior role to architecture. Typically, as little as three percent of a project’s construction budget is allocated to the space that surrounds a building, but that is changing. A greater desire to blend buildings into their contexts, ecological considerations, legislation, and new definitions of “scaping” have opened up exciting possibilities. Coinciding with heightened social sensitivities, advances in material application, data-driven mapping techniques, and digital technologies and construction methods, landscape designers are producing a new wave of work around the world, reshaping gardens, public squares, leisure areas, and industrial parks. Among the practices included in this survey are designers who have bridged modernism with newer forms (Emergent, West 8); architects whose work fuses with the earth’s contours (Zaha Hadid, MVRDV); and a generation of designers only just emerging from universities. Nadia Amoroso is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto and has lectured at Harvard and Cornell universities. c. 700 color illustrations

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Deconstruction/Construction: The Cheonggyecheon Restoration Project in Seoul

Featuring "The Ecological (and Urbanistic) Agency of Infrastructure" by Chris Reed
Edited by Joan Busquets
Published on September 19, 2011 by Harvard Graduate School of Design
86 pages

The restoration of the Cheonggyecheon River that runs through Seoul, Korea, in a mere twenty-nine months—transitioning from an outmoded highway into a multipurpose performative infrastructure piece of unprecedented size—merits recognition as a seminal project in contemporary urban design. This remarkable achievement recovers the biological and social ecology of the city and demonstrates the profound ability of design at the urban scale to provoke positive transformation effectively over large territories. The project also signifies a broader sea change in Asian attitudes toward city design, from a quantitative model concerned primarily with growth to a more qualitative program that incorporates quality of life and environmental sustainability into strategies for economic development.

In this well-illustrated volume, contributors consider the ecological, infrastructural, and urban impacts of this exceptional project at the heart of the city. For its many merits, the Cheonggyecheon restoration was awarded the Tenth Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design by the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

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Invention / Transformation: Strategies for the Qattara / Jimi Oases
in Al Ain

Featuring "Underpinnings for an Arid Urbanism" by Chris Reed,
"Disappearing Mangroves" by Scott Bishop
Edited by Jorge Silvetti and Felipe Correa
Published in 2010 by Harvard Graduate School of Design
340 pages

The work presented in this publication documents a one year investigation - through design studios at the Harvard University GSD - of the Qattara / Jimi Oases in Al Ain (United Arab Emirates). This research initiative, sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), explores the time-honored tradition of the oases as facilitators of settlement in the region, and examines their inherent potential to act as new forms of collective space for present day Al Ain.

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Ecological Urbanism

Featuring "The Agency of Ecology" by Chris Reed
Edited by Mohsen Mostafavi and Gareth Doherty
Published on May 1, 2010 by Lars Müller Publishers
656 pages

With the aim of projecting alternative and sustainable forms of urbanism, the book asks: What are the key principles of an ecological urbanism? How might they be organized? And what role might design and planning play in the process?

While climate change, sustainable architecture, and green technologies have become increasingly topical, issues surrounding the sustainability of the city are much less developed. The premise of the book is that an ecological approach is urgently needed both as a remedial device for the contemporary city and an organizing principle for new cities.

Ecological urbanism approaches the city without any one set of instruments and with a worldview that is fluid in scale and disciplinary approach. Design provides the synthetic key to connect ecology with an urbanism that is not in contradiction with its environment.

The book brings together design practitioners and theorists, economists, engineers, artists, policy makers, environmental scientists, and public health specialists, with the goal of reaching a more robust understanding of ecological urbanism and what it might be in the future.

Contributors include:
Homi Bhabha, Stefano Boeri, Chuck Hoberman, Rem Koolhaas, Sanford Kwinter, Bruno Latour, Nina-Marie Lister, Moshen Mostafavi, Matthias Schuler, Sissel Tolaas, Charles Waldheim

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Tactical Operations in the Informal City (Operações Táticas na
Cidade Informal)

Featuring "Rambunctious Urbanism" by Chris Reed
Edited by Christian Werthmann
Published in 2009 by Harvard Graduate School of Design
258 pages

13 students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design developed, with the assistance of São Paulo's Social Housing Agency Sehab, design tactics for the 30,000 person favela, Cantinho do Céu, in the South of São Paulo. "Tactical Operations in the Informal City" summarizes the basic ideas that were developed under the guidance of instructors Christian Werthmann, Fernando de Mello Franco and a range of consultants. The results allow us a glimpse into the future of slum upgrading, leading to a more integrative and tactical design practice.

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Creating Knowledge: Investigating. Understanding. Designing.

Featuring "StossWorks: Hybridized, Expansive, Incomplete" by Chris Reed
Edited by Hille Von Seggern, Julia Werner, Lucia Grosse-Bachle
Published on October 1, 2008 by Jovis
463 pages

Climate change, globalisation, water dynamics and multicultural living are only some of the complex phenomena shaping urban landscape performances today. What does design mean for acting and gaining knowledge in this context? How can innovative design strategies be formulated? What part is played by creativity and understanding? Starting out from design processes at the STUDIO URBANE LANDSCHAFTEN experts from philosophy, neurobiology, psychology, art and landscape architecture unfold their perspectives of how creativity and understanding are connected. Examples of internationally renowned landscape architecture indicate how closely the production of ideas, design practice and aesthetic expression are bound up with an understanding and investigation of landscape. Creating Knowledge thus formulates a contemporary, interdisciplinary approach of design.

Reprinted in 2009 as: "Pràctiques híbrides, paisatges provisionals."
Edited by Carles Llop
Estudies, Diputació Barcelona

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Living Systems

Featuring “Safe Zone” and “Erie Street Plaza” projects
Written by Liat Margolis and Alexander Robinson
Published on April 23, 2007 by Birkhauser Verlag
191 Pages

The use of innovative new materials is an important trend in landscape architecture today. These materials include biodegradable geotextiles, super-absorbent polymers, and plants that react to changing soil conditions. This book presents the available materials and technologies in the context of practical applications.

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Includes "Hybrid, Invasive, Indeterminate: Reading the Work of Chris Reed" by Charles Waldheim
Published on January 1, 2007 by C3 Publishers of Korea
228 pages

A Boston based critical, collaborative design and planning studio, Stoss Landscape-Urbanism has won recognition for landscape and urbanism projects rooted in the fields of ecological, environmental, infrastructural, and social-cultural processes - and the systems that constitute them. Fifteen rich and diverse projects are examined, the majority undertaken in the U.S. through a combination of photographs, plans, models and introductory texts.

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The Landscape Urbanism Reader

Featuring "Public Works Practice" by Chris Reed
Edited by Charles Waldheim 
Published on June 8, 2006 by Princeton Architectural Press
288 pages

With populations decentralizing and cities sprawling ever-outward, twenty-first-century urban planners are challenged by the need to organize not just people but space itself. Hence a new architectural discourse has emerged: landscape urbanism.

In The Landscape Urbanism Reader Charles Waldheimwho is at the forefront of this new movement has assembled the definitive collection of essays by many of the field's top practitioners. Fourteen essays written by leading figures across a range of disciplines and from around the world including James Corner, Linda Pollak, Alan Berger, Pierre Blanger, Julia Czerniak, and more capture the origins, the contemporary milieu, and the aspirations of this relatively new field. The Landscape Urbanism Reader is an inspiring signal to the future of city making as well as an indispensable reference for students, teachers, architects, and urban planners.