Photo of Lawrence Halprin with the Ira keller fountain in the background
Lawrence Halprin was a well-known landscape architect that was based from San Francisco; Halprin got much of this inspiration from nature and sounds. He is known for creating many spaces that are open to the public, spaces that invite people to interact and be part of the overall landscape experience. For example, the Ira Keller Fountain is a space that not only is a sculpture piece, but is also a place where people can come and play in the water. The fountain was a product of an urban renewal movement within the city of Portland. The fountain was created in order to highlight Portland’s theme of a “city within a city,” this project is important because it is a fountain that doesn’t have to be solely for viewing, but was designed for interaction. This new way of seeing public space as an interaction piece is what made Lawrence Halprin famous. Much of this inspiration comes from nature that is abstracted with a geometric naturalism; the design seen in this fountain is based off the high sierras spring cascades. Lawrence Halprin saw this space as a plaza that had theatre sets that were choreographed by human movement, the movement of water is to symbolize the action of people with a given space.