Category Archives: Travel

Seaside, Florida

We recently had a great opportunity to travel to the Gulf Coast of Florida in the Panhandle.    We visited Seaside and Rosemary Beach and Watercolor and were so taken with the beauty of each place.  They each have their own distance feel, but definitely benefit from similar design goals and strategies.  Many books have been written about their design, so I will not attempt to do that here.  But I will share what I feel is a lesson to be taken in terms of celebrating the native landscape.

Seaside, Florida

Of course their location is the draw, and the beauty and unique character of the place is inherent in each town.  What struck me was how much the native vegetation was wholeheartedly embraced.  So often we take for granted the natural ecosystems and plants we are surrounded by.  In so many ways people want what they don’t have.  But not here.  The scrub palms, coastal live oaks, pines, dune vegetation and native grasses are used extensively within each development along with conservation of existing areas of native terrain.  This gave each community, although obviously designed, a sense of permanence and authenticity that I don’t think would be achieved otherwise.

Seaside, Florida

Watercolor, Florida

Of course not every space used native plants exclusively, but where non natives were used it was appropriate because of its location in an urban park or within the immediate surroundings of a private home or an amenity. It was definitely refreshing and inspiring.  One would hope this particular lesson would be embraced on a larger scale by cities and towns across the region. -H

Watercolor, Florida

Rosemary Beach

Rosemary Beach

 

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rio

favelas in rio

We had an interesting time at the Pedro Lobo photography exhibit Thursday night at the City Gallery.  The exhibit titled ‘Favelas-Architecture of Survival’, is part of the Bluesphere expo and will be on display until November 23.  It was a year ago to the day that JR traveled to Rio for the IFLA conference.  Since Holly was not able to attend the coference and experience Rio first hand, it was thought provoking for her to see the Favelas that JR talked about.  To see the type of environment where so many people in the world live was difficult to comprehend.  If nothing else it brings about a deeper appreciation for the abundance we have here.

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Chelsea Flower Show Entrance

  REMARK had the wonderful opportunity to travel to London for a week to bring encouragement to friends and enjoy the city.  Highlights in the design world included a visit to Hyde Park and a wonderful day at the Chelsea Flower Show!  Check out our flikr site for great photos of the gardens.

There were many innovative designs and green aspects at the Flower Show.  We saw a wind turbine, recycled materials, local native plantings, LED lighting and much more.  There was a strong emphasis on making the urban street dynamic and friendly, as well as making the most of small urban green spaces and helping to mitigate the heat island effect within large cities.

Garden with Wind Turbine

Urban Street Garden

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