Plants, Stone, California Landscapes


L.A. Graffiti Day

Landscape Architect graffiti that is, not Los Angeles, and with chalk and signs rather than spray paint. Anita is on an ASLA public awareness committee that has organized a national event for today. The ASLA thinks the general public doesn’t really know what landscape architects do and doesn’t realize how much of the world has been designed by landscape architects. It sort of gets back to the inherent problem of good design: when it is done well it often looks like nothing was done. So, like members of any community with graphic skills and the belief that their voice has not been sufficiently heard, some landscape architects — the ASLA says thousands — are going out to bomb and tag the streets. I’m not totally clear on all of the specifics, but the ASLA website has graphics to download and links and info on over 130 organized events for anyone interested. (Actually, the better place to go is probably the Facebook page for the event, with photos uploaded by the various people participating.) Marking stencils on the street did have a fun guerrilla vibe to it; Anita kept checking the label on her can to make sure it wasn’t permanent.

My contribution was to mark the El Cerrito rain gardens near our house. I posted about them last fall after the city first put it in. After about a year now, they’re still doing great.

Anita tagged Cesar Chavez/North Waterfront Park in the Berkeley Marina, a good example of a landscape with a subtle design that most visitors probably don’t think of as a ‘designed’ space. Richard Haag, most famous for Gas Works Park in Seattle, was the landscape architect. I’ve heard his original design was much bolder than what got built, but, as it is, with a lot of grass and subtle topography, there are always a ton of people there and it’s the best place in the Bay Area to fly a kite. Not a bad design if you can say that, and worthy of a little temporary graffiti love.

One Response to “L.A. Graffiti Day”

  1. September 7th, 2011 at 8:55 am

    DryStoneGarden » Blog Archive » El Cerrito Rain Gardens says:

    […] – Addendum #2 9/7/11 — And the Ballard rain gardens are gone. Meanwhile the El Cerrito ones still look good. […]

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