Op-Ed: Connecting architecture and landscape architecture

By Arnaldo D. Cardona

The term “landscape architecture” can be associated with many fields like construction, design, horticulture, and so on, and finding books about architecture and landscape architecture in college libraries that have programs in both disciplines (or even engineering) will be the most logical place to find them. But, can you find books related to architecture or landscape architecture in college libraries related to medicine, journalism, law, business, pharmacology, human resources or education? How can architecture and landscape architecture be in places where it was not before?

Let me share my personal experience. I had the joy of writing two books: K-12 Landscape Architecture Education (2021) and K-12 Architecture Education (2022), which are interdisciplinary STEAM curriculum guides that put landscape architecture at the center of curricula. Beyond presenting landscape architecture as a design profession, it presents our profession as:

1- a problem-solving method
2- an ideal theme for interdisciplinary curriculum design
3- an educational term defining Architecture and Landscape

With these books now part of Teachers College Library, Columbia University, educators will be able to see landscape architecture as an ideal medium for curriculum design and instruction. Currently, there is a big trend in the pedagogical field in the areas of design education, STEAM education and environmental education; now, K-12 educators will have a comprehensive interdisciplinary curriculum to develop these educational programs.

On Oct. 13, 2023, Teachers College, Columbia University invited me to share my journey in publishing books I previously presented. I had the opportunity to highlight the importance of landscape architecture to the educational world. I shared how these interdisciplinary K-12 STEAM curricula put architecture and landscape architecture at the center of the curricula. I also presented pedagogical definitions of educational terms not identified before, wherein architecture and landscape architecture are
defined not just as professions but as problem-solving methods as well.

On Sep. 15, 2022, Jennifer Govan, Director of Teachers College Library, invited me to do a talk about both books. During this book talk I found out from some attendees that the books are currently being
implemented from Dubai to Hong Kong, in other parts of the nation and close to home (Chesterfield County, Virginia). My mission with these books is to inspire the next generation of architects and landscape architects. I felt honored that the terms “architecture and landscape architecture” are now present in the educational field.

Attempts to reach K-12 audiences have been done but as project-based activities; now with my books, architecture and landscape architecture can be seen as fields of study that promote interdisciplinary, critical thinking STEAM and high-order cognitive skills.

I am a believer in diversifying the profession. That is why, even though I hold a pre-professional degree in architecture and a bachelors in landscape architecture, I am proud to have won graduate scholarships in
the fields of art education and special education. I am always trying to support the importance of scholars seeing architecture and landscape architecture as art disciplines. Doing this opens up the possibility for grants to promote STEAM and K-12 programs in design education. It is my hope that my contribution to the fields of architecture and landscape architecture can be remembered, besides designing built and natural environments, as designing landscapes of learning, and curricula that connect architecture and landscape architecture with the educational field.

Arnaldo Cardona is a retired landscape architect, art and special education teacher, staff developer and college professor. A graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University, with a degree in Art Education, he also holds degrees in Landscape Architecture and Education from City College of New York.

A version of this op-ed appeared in ASLA’s blog The Field under the title “Bringing Landscape Architecture to New Places.” The views expressed here are the author’s own.

Carter + Burton Architecture showcases regional design in Venice

Carter + Burton Architecture in Berryville, Virginia, is excited to announce its participation in the sixth edition of the biennial architecture exhibition, “Time Space Existence,” at the Palazzo Mora in Venice, Italy. The show opened on May 20, 2023, and will run until Nov. 26, 2023. The European Cultural Centre (ECC) Italy in collaboration with Open Space Venice has curated a diverse assortment of works from various international architects, artists, designers, academics and photographers to draw audience attention toward new expressions of sustainability in response to climate change. As the only Virginia architecture firm represented at the show, Carter + Burton takes immense pride in representing regional perspectives internationally.

Architect Jim Burton and his design team planned and shaped the exhibit over the course of six months. “Tectonics and Craft for a Critical Regionalism” is a display with four sections that demonstrate the firm’s commitment to the themes of the exhibition. A vertical totem of mentors and inspirations includes Raphael Moneo, Jane Jacobs, Sam Mockbee, Chris Risher, George Nakashima, Joe Lstiburek and others. “It has been a pleasure going back to celebrate those who have inspired our work from our early development,” says Burton, “while also featuring the craftspeople who have provided the time and care to create their best work.”

The 9-meter long  exhibit is anchored with a display shelf of sample materials and collaborators including builders, makers and designers. The backdrop features new designs and a film touching on the history of the work and its evolving diversity.   

“It gives a detailed overview of Carter + Burton’s approach on architecture, in a meaningful  and extensive way,” says Suzanne van der Borg, an exhibition organizer with the ECC’s architecture section. Van der Borg is one of 13 organizers who cover architecture, art, design, and sculpture for ECC Italy, a satellite of the Netherlands-based European Cultural Centre, founded in 2002 by Dutch artist Rene Rietmeyer and responsible for more than 50 exhibitions in 10 countries. 

Throughout its portfolio, Carter + Burton has tested regional and universal materiality in its forward-thinking microclimate responses. Collaborations with craftsmen, designers and cutting-edge building systems reflect its process of blending site, program, technical innovation and tasteful artistry. The firm has been passionate about combining modern, sustainable and contextual design. Highlighted projects incorporate net zero logic, natural light, acoustic engineering and eco-friendly building materials while advancing the evolving building science discussion.

Carter + Burton cares deeply about connecting structure and space to site conditions, making sure each project inspires a storytelling spirit borne out of craft and those who make it possible. Some details feature a handmade rigor; others are fabricated remotely for integration, providing a diverse approach. This hybrid vigor creates beauty and pride in placemaking. 

Learn more at carterburton.com, and follow either Carter Burton or Jim Burton on Instagram 

Design Dialogue: New calculator compares carbon savings for existing and new building

In December, Architecture 2030 launched a calculator to estimate the operational and embodied carbon emissions of a project in two scenarios: reusing it and upgrading it or replacing it with new construction. Dubbed the Carbon Avoided Retrofit Estimator (CARE) Tool, Architecture 2030 hopes to underscore the carbon savings that can be found by adapting existing buildings for future use in contrast to the widespread assumption that new construction is always appropriate. 

Users can enter general project information, as well as climate and electricity grid information (or ask the tool to use default values for each municipality). When entering project information, the tool adjusts your ratios to make it foolproof and fast to enter information (i.e. if you tell it you’ll be using 25 percent refurbished finishes for the interior, then it automatically sets your new finishes to 75 percent). 

As you enter information, the tool also automatically builds your comparison on the screen to show how small or large adjustments can impact the bottom line. Architects and owners can use the estimates to apply for competitions, obtain grants, or reach required targets. The tool also assists policymakers and preservation officials by offering a data-backed, apples-to-apples picture of a situation they can leverage to influence decisions by appointees or non-experts.  

But, the front line of the CARE Tool’s potential remains architects, designers, and planners who specialize in sustainable design to weigh-in on the CARE Tool, its use, and their experiences. Inform spoke with area professionals who tested the CARE Tool about their impressions. In this Design Dialogue, area architects talk about their experience with the CARE Tool, as well as their hope for its use and application. 

Michelle Amt, AIA, is the Director of Sustainability and Inclusion and Associate Principal at VMDO Architects. “From an inclusion standpoint, the tool helps find value in buildings that aren’t necessarily deemed a ‘contributing structure’,” she says.

“I’ve used the CARE Tool on a few projects to check the scale of the environmental impact and payoff period for buildings. To renovate or build new is about so much more than functionality. It’s about accessibility, heritage, and climate action, too, and so now we are able to define climate action as total carbon. It’s one of a couple of quick calculators out there now that look at total carbon emissions. Up until about five years ago, when people talked about emissions in the built environment, they were really talking about operational carbon. But, the conversation progressed to talk about the energy of materials. So, that was a great development, but the conversation has also become more complicated. Clients who know a little about embodied carbon would get bogged down with, “Well, does it make sense to save this building? Replace it? How do I figure out how to invest here?” But, until now, nothing has really dealt with the existing stock of buildings out there as well as the CARE Tool. Unless a building has a designated historic benefit, it is usually deemed cheaper to demo and build anew.”

Patrick Farley, AIA, is the founder of Patrick Farley Architect and splits his time (and practice) between Afton and Richmond. “I found a tool like this to be useful because it helps lots of people see how front-end decisions can have consequences.”

I have an existing building on a farm in Charlottesville that we’re converting, breathing new life into it and expanding it—so there are existing conditions, but there are new aspects to it. I used it as the basis for a trial run with the CARE Tool, and I didn’t have all the information I needed for my project, so I used some other industry data for similar buildings of the same type, and I was able to come up with a picture of the future of this project, from a carbon point of view.

I was one of the first signatories to the 2030 Commitment, and I support the mission, still, to bring greater awareness to the broader, climate-related challenges we’re facing with alarming regularity. I’ve done energy modeling through the years, but less and less so as time has gone on because I’ve relied more on my expertise and intuition. But, I found a tool like this to be useful because it helps lots of people see how front-end decisions can have consequences later—and it reminded me of energy modeling, in a lot of ways. It triggers awareness, even if not a lot of people will want to dig into the numbers to the degree that the tool allows. 

But, there are subtleties to this, too. I was one of the earliest solar panel adopters, and I’ve used it throughout the years, and at this point I can say that just because solar panels are involved doesn’t mean a project is going to succeed in limiting its carbon footprint. If there’s a second version of this tool, it would be a way to account for this reality. Some sort of account of how marketplace products and their production represent a more complex supply chain. 

Learn more at caretool.org

Freshly Squeezed: Hanbury Serves Up Its New Creative Collective, Orange Juice

Architecture is an art form that has always been subject to evolution, constantly adapting to the changing needs of society. At Hanbury, we believe that the greatest creative evolution is born from unrelenting experimentation. As the design landscape continues to evolve, we have taken a step back to reflect and ask ourselves some fundamental questions: Who are we? Do we experiment enough? And by that metric, are we evolving enough? Through honest introspection emerged the desire to push beyond the ordinary boundaries of our industry and embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth. Our foray into the unknown marks a new chapter in our story, marked by exploration of new ideas, designs, and passions.

At the center of this new chapter lies a dynamic entity, one that challenges our own preconceived notions through an embracement of untethered creativity. The fuel? Orange Juice, a vibrant punch of energy that powers the team’s relentless pursuit of fresh perspectives. This creative collective set out to create something reflective of their own internal passions and interests that extend beyond architecture’s conventional field-of-view. From film and fashion, to set design and video games, the team draws inspiration from a variety of influences, resulting in designs that are both practical and functional, yet flavorful, thought-provoking, and visually stunning.

Our focus at Hanbury remains on creating designs that we can be proud of. It’s not about following the latest trends like Artificial Intelligence or coding, but rather is representative of an introspective examination of our personal growth and evolution as designers.

As we pivot, grow, and juice more oranges, our warehouse continually expands, and so does our knowledge. With luck, maybe we will be successful in nudging respected professional practice and avant-garde art just ever so slightly closer to one another, aiding in an evolution of architectural expression.

So, where does this journey take Hanbury? We don’t have a clear answer, but we trust our abilities and instincts. So far, we’ve been invigorated by the results. From mulling over neon pink fuzzy chairs to dropping augmented-reality murals, we are embracing the unknown, continuously driven by a love of design, a commitment to creativity, and a desire to set the table with something truly memorable.

Join us as we pull back the curtain and invite you to step inside our ever-evolving think tank, experiential lab, and in-house art gallery to witness the fruits of our exploratory work. Handpicked, pressed, and served in a refreshing glass.

This Member Voice was submitted by Hanbury Orange Juice contributors Jack Wasielewski, Tony Lin, and Alec Yuzhbabenko. A multi-disciplinary architecture, design and planning firm, Hanbury shapes civic and community, higher education, and life science environments and experiences.

Welcome to Orange Juice! We’re excited to share our journey with you and introduce our identity through a curated set of images. In this directorial scene, our pixelated logo takes center stage. Back-splashed are our custom glass orange juice carton, a manifesto poem, and our award-winning AIA film “a dream starts here.” But, let’s not forget the fun – so come on in and join us on set to take some post-worthy pictures!
Have you ever experienced a mural in augmented reality? If not, no fear! Head on over to the intersection of Arctic Ave and 19th street in Virginia Beach to try this one out! (also the project site for our upcoming development, Atlantic Park) IMPORTANT: bring your smartphone. There is a QR code on site that you’ll need to scan with your camera to activate the experience. The painted portion was created by local artist Hanna Kirby, and we added the flying fish and spatial dome. So grab your phone and go check it out!
Buckle up because artificial intelligence is rippling across the design world. With text-to-image AI generators like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion, designers can generate renderings and mood-boards in mere minutes. Just type in your idea, and voila! The AI creates a set of unique images that match your description. But that’s not all – text-to-text generators are gaining popularity too, leading us to wonder if some written content is generated by AI. Is your kid using it to write school papers? Is the very caption you’re reading right now artificial? Who knows! Fun fact – the image on those screens was created using text-to-image AI and helped us curate this shot.
Rounding us out is our fabrication lab! Here, we showcase some of our scale models and the processes we use to bring them to life. From remotely monitoring 3D prints through Twitch to large format CNC milling, we are massive advocates for all things digital fabrication. With so many options and modes of production on display, we hope to inspire you to build something! Going through our line-up, please behold the Norfolk city model in the light blue, and look behind it to find the 3D printers that brought it to life. To the left, all beamed up by the sun, we have a surf park bench. And is that a chapel? Indeed!