The city as moving billboard
The city as moving billboard

Foreground reads: our pick from around the web in October

This month we bring you stunning landscapes, and landscapes of image overload, news of the relaunch of Patricia Piccinini’s wobbly floating artwork, and a new book that argues landscape architects can do parametric design too. We finish with a ‘good news’ story, to counter the IPCC blues.

Now in its twelfth year, the Landscape Photographer of the Year Competition 2018 celebrates the breathtaking beauty of Britain’s landscape.The winning and commended entries demonstrate the breadth and wealth of landscape diversity, from Land’s End to the Scottish Highlands. All the winning and commended photographs have been published in the awards book Landscape Photographer of the Year: Collection 12, by AA Publishing.

Source: Lonely Planet

Can cities kick ads? Inside the global movement to ban urban billboards

First it was São Paulo, then Chennai. Then Grenoble, Tehran, Paris and now even New York have spawned movements to replace or ban outdoor advertising. As the Australian Prime Minister proudly declared the Sydney Opera House one big billboard, others are pushing for ad-free cities.

Source: The Guardian

The Skywhale is back!

With a turtle head and a giant dolphin-like body with ten inflated breasts, Patricia Piccinini’s unique hot-air balloon entitled Skywhale, received a mixed reception on its first outing in 2013. It floated over Canberra for the Australian capital’s centenary celebrations, to not-universal approval. But it has since traveled to Japan, Ireland and Brazil. Songs have been written about it, cakes made in its shape, and several people have tattooed the creature onto their bodies. It’s return to Australia In November is part of the exhibition “Patricia Piccinini and Joy Hester: Through Love …” at TarraWarra, in the Yarra Valley.

Source: The New York Times

Codify: Parametric and Computational Design in Landscape Architecture.

Edited by Bradley Cantrell and Adam Mekies, this book explores what it means to use, modify and create computational tools, in a contemporary landscape architecture environment. This brief overview by Damian Holmes, suggests that computational tools can indeed help landscape architects address a range of challenges, from climate change to city densification.

Source: World Landscape Architect

Across many indicators, the quality of life for people around the globe is getting better. 

Despite the fact that bad news gets more coverage than good news, everything from extreme poverty, hunger and smoking, to the supply of nuclear weapons, child labour and child mortality rates, are all down. Meanwhile life expectancy is up, as is literacy, people living in some version of democracy and access to cheaper solar energy. Without underestimating the monumental challenges ahead, particularly in the shadow of the recent IPCC announcements, it ain’t all bad news.

Source: Vox Sentences