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Plein Air: Animated Field Books Class

Animated Field Books_Heavner As an illustrator, I have kept over 50 sketchbooks–and now my approach has been influenced by my experiences with landscape and film. This class builds upon my thesis and suggests methodologies for collecting data and seeing and experiencing landscape. Animated Field Books is designed for many levels: the visual artist, the landscape […]

mind the gap

The field of landscape architecture is entering a new era. I think I feel it. Recently, I was in Austin, Texas attending a conference on landscape architecture. At the last minute, I changed my choice and entered a lecture a few minutes late. At the end, when questions were voiced, Anne Whiston Spirn, the third lecturer […]

Influence

Often we unknowingly influence others by our mere presence, by what we do–or the strength of words. A few days ago, I sat in a university workshop listening to a retired lawyer share ideas about critical discussion. “In the classroom,” he said, “we rarely teach students how to listen. People believe conversation is about sharing […]

Salt of the Earth

My mom talked this morning while we were looking at this family photo. The subject matter looks like something something Dorothea Lange could have taken. I have been reading about my Ruddle and Heavner family history: the frontiersmen, the military leaders, and the farmers. There are many stories worth telling.  Some are simple and some […]

authentic place

I love to find three articles in  the Sunday New York Times, and juxtapose one against the other. On Sunday December 2, 2012, I found three articles about three people that situated my mind into a particular place. In the Arts section, actor Bill Murray spoke to a writer about his unpremeditated career.  Thinking about who […]

Phoenix: A Constructed Story

A city’s story is constructed much like DNA. Each DNA strand is unique and contributes particular notions regarding identity-a person or a place. New York Times writer, Fernanda Santos raises the question, “How do you continue to tell a city’s story if the remnants of its past have all come down?” It is possible to […]

Core Beliefs

Flexibility is a good quality for a designer to have. A designer must be willing to crumble up the trace paper and start all over without regret. An open mind is flexible. However, a flexible designer is continually tested in practice. New ideas and suggestions should be auditioned. They are not always worthy of the […]

Robert Adams

Every once in a while an art review propels me into thought. Today, The New York Times referred to photographer Robert Adams as “a prophet in the wilderness of modernity.” His photos are often representations of the carcasses of industrial life. In the review, Ken Johnson described Adam’s use of form and metaphor as “economic […]

personal petroglyphs

Petroglyphs are pictograms drawn by ancient cultures on the surface of rocks by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Drawing is about mark making. Right now, I am looking at a rock that is on my shelf. It has particular marks incised on it. They were most likely created by natural causes-rubbing against another rock. Images, […]

fitness in design

In design, it is important to identify what determines fitness. In other words, how well does a project fit to the designer? Designers can be natural problem solvers within a particular project but how good are we at attracting the right mix of projects that reinforces our vision as the designer that we want to […]