Monday, August 27, 2007

Alfred Caldwell Project

This is a studio project I finished last semester. We were to identify a Landscape Architect that we wanted to learn more about and we were to copy some of their work onto a board. It was an exercise to become more familiar with the Landscape Architect and his/her design theory. The second part of the project was to re-design the Brick Town Canal system in Oklahoma City as we felt the Landscape Architect would. I am really interested in regional architecture. I chose Alfred Caldwell because I wanted to see how a contemporary of Jens Jensen was designing. I have read much on Jens Jensen and Wilhelm Miller and the prairie style. I was a little disappointed in Caldwell's lack of written theory behind what he was doing. It seemed that he followed directly in the footsteps of Jensen and F.L. Wright, and that was where much of my research ended up coming from. Caldwell was a practicing architect and landscape architect and did some beautiful work like the Lily Pond at Lincoln Park. He was also a professor with Mies Van der Rohe at IIT.

This was a valuable project for several reasons. One, it really allowed me the time to dig deep into the theory of Prairie Landscape Architecture. It also allowed me to step away from myself and let the writings of Caldwell and Jensen dictate the design. Obviously I did influence the design, but hopefully in a manner that represents an interpretation of Caldwell. I really worked on graphics in this design, not because of Caldwell but because of my deficiencies in that area. The whole project really allowed me to explore theory and graphics at a pace I could really learn. This project will have made me a better designer, and I see naturalscapes and the city differently than at the start of the project.