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Jose Devora

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CicLAvia – To the Sea, consisted of biking through two regions of the Los Angeles County, Central L.A. and the Westside. I decided to take a glance at the event’s map, and almost didn’t go. One of the main routes was Venice Blvd, and being an Angelino, I’ve ridden Venice Blvd thousands of times, as it is one of the few streets with a continuous bike lane to the beach. Even though the event meant riding through streets I knew up and down I still decided to attend.

Riding CycLAvia allowed me to capture Los Angeles in sections. Before riding, I didn’t notice the subtleties of how the neighborhoods connect, while still separated by many boundaries. Downtown is the central start of Los Angeles, and then it spreads outward. The event changed the status quo, removing me from my car and forced me to see the change in city planning spreading from the center of the city towards the west.

Downtown, smooth roads and narrow streets clear of cars, yet full of bicycle traffic. Different shadows casting through each block made up of tall buildings. The loud noises of people and music bounced off the walls of dense buildings. Homeless people staring at all the bicyclists with confused looks.

Mid-City, a couple of miles west, the streets became wider and rough. The sound of people decreased but the wind became louder. To the left and right of the road, there are older styles of residential homes and chain-businesses.  In this part of the city it’s dry and there is more concrete than vegetation. This is what I call my home sweet home.

Finally, at the coast, the breeze becomes colder and the streets become greener. A graffiti artist paints on a canvas in front of an art store. The scene starts filling up with more and more people. More contemporary styles of buildings are seen throughout the neighborhood along with many small unique stores; and a crowded beach that is a place of gathering, known as Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California.

This is what I call Los Angeles while riding a bicycle.

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Daniel Urban Kiley was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1912. The New York Times called him a “Seminal Landscape Architect who combined modernist functionalism with classical design principles”. Kiley attended Harvard School of Design but did not complete his studies because he felt that the school didn’t focus enough on the modern aesthetic. Most of his work was greatly influenced by Warren H. Manning and the famous Gardens of Andre Le Notre. 

 

In 1988, Kiley and architect Harry Wolf came together and designed a park in the city of Tampa, Florida. Originally named the North Carolina National Bank Plaza, The garden was well maintained for the first few years of it’s existence but it fell into disrepair because it was later abandoned. In 2010, it was restored and renamed the Kiley Garden. The park was built upon the ideas of geometry, which Kiley believed central to design. In an Interview with Landscape Architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, Kiley said, “All nature is geometric, the universe is geometry, and the more we discover the more we see how everything is related.”

 

Kiley designed grids of concrete filled with grass and rows of trees that were taken from the buildings’ measurements. The whole site, including the buildings, was based on the Fibonacci sequence -nature’s way of arranging proportions and patterns. Throughout the garden Kiley uses the Fibonacci sequence, revealing and reflecting nature.

The Bali Memorial

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Image Source: Contemporary Landscape Architecture

Designer/ Year Built: Donaldson & Warn Architects Perth Australia, 2003

The design of the Bali Memorial allows the sun to filter within the area creating different emotions through shadows and light.

Sulzer Areal

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Image Source: Contemporary Landscape Architecture

Designer/ Year Built: Vetsch Nipkow Partner, 2004

The construction of a new building next to an existing building reveals the history of the place and how it’s evolving.

Ethnographic Park in Insua

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Image Source: Contemporary Landscape Architecture

Designer/ Year Built: Felipe Pena Pereda, Francisco Novoa Rodriguez, 2002

The use of existing material in the site allows people to visualize the iron-loading platform that once stood in this place.

Blog Post 4: My trip to UC San Diego consisted of an outdoor tour of the Stuart Collection. This tour around university was interesting due to the fact that the artwork was outdoors rather than being inside a room. As we walked with the tour guide we reached a forest that had many trees, which provided many different shadows and sunlight throughout the area. This piece caught my eye because I distinguished the fake trees right away from a distance. As I approached the trees I heard music, which at first I didn’t know where it came from but then I realized the fake trees were proving that music. I felt that this piece was designed with the purpose to allow people to enjoy the nature outdoors. As the tour proceeded we encountered a guided pathway. This path way was made up of different colored stones that looked and felt like the scales of a snake. When I walked down it I felt as I was walking on top of a real snake because of the way it was constructed. The pathway was arched and was pretty steep. To me this piece of art represented how a real snake would feel because of the risky sense you get when your going down it. The tour continued its way to another site and we came across a big structure. This structure consisted of eight different sized fragments put together to form a bear. This bear was probably my favorite piece because it was so simple and big that it made me wonder how it was put up together. The Stuart Collection at UCSD lets you experience nature. The collection creates a whole new different environment by providing people with a space that isn’t school related within the school.   It was a Wednesday morning in which my partner and I woke up to a free complementary breakfast from the hotel we were staying at.  Then we headed towards UC San Diego. Once we got there it was a hassle to find parking but we managed to find a spot. As we met with our class a tour guide briefly introduced us to the Stuart Collection. Before we got there I imagined the Stuart Collection to be frames of art hanged in a room. The tour guide made us follow her towards the collection, I remember her saying,  “walk fast and keep up with me, I guarantee you I walk faster than most of your grandmothers”, once she said this I knew it was going to be a fun field trip. She walked us through various works of art that were located outdoors and blended with the campus. That’s when I realized anything could be art; it doesn’t necessarily have to be a framed painting. The piece that caught my eye was “Bear” by Tim Hawkinson. What my eye saw when we got near this piece was huge simple fragments of stone put together to make a bear. Everyone seemed to be amazed by the statue. While I was there I noticed that this statue brought back memories to me, it made me feel like I was a kid again and I had a big teddy bear around. What I enjoyed about this piece of art was that it wasn’t blocked by any boundary; this made it possible to interact with it. Overall the San Diego Field trip was a great experience because it took us out of the classroom and let us roam around the outdoors.