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Martha Schwartz

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					Martha Schwartz
Martha is a partner in Martha Schwartz Partners in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a landscape
architect of considerable reputation, an artist with a major interest in urban projects and in
expressing design in the landscape. Martha Schwartz is a designer that has, I understand,
revolutionised the concept of what landscape architecture is about. She has in every design tried
to blur the lines between art and architecture. She is a provocative artist that employs extreme
colours, unique materials and often outrageous concepts to bring humour to each of her designs.
These designs span the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, Sweden, Britain, Europe, Asia
and elsewhere. Martha is considered one of the world's most pre-eminent landscape architects
and artists and has been listed as one of the world's top one hundred designers by Metropolitan
Home magazine based on her revolutionary design of public space. Martha Schwartz is and
continues to be a very influential woman in both the field of design and art. Martha will speak to
us now for about twenty to twenty-five minutes albeit there is a verse in Matthew that says, "All
before who have gone were thieves and robbers", that's nothing to do with you, Lars, that was to
do with me introducing, taking too long in the introduction. But we're very pleased tonight to
welcome Martha Schwartz.

Well, thank you. That was a glowing introduction. Lars, thank you very much. I absolutely agree
with your total approach, it has to start with people first. Even as a landscape architect, our
landscapes are artefacts, we make them, they are what we decide, nature is where we decide it to
be, we create our landscapes and therefore we have to think about, "Well, who are we creating
them for, if not ourselves?" OK, I digress immediately which is a bad sign.

My background is in fine arts, I grew up, really all I wanted to do was to do art, every person in
my family is an architect, so it's as though it's like a congenital disease. My father, my son, my
husband, my sisters, my cousins, uncles, aunts, you know, it's, but I always knew I did not want
to be an architect, and I would say that in the sixties when I went to art school, the earthworks
artists that I'm sure you all know who these guys were or are, I thought the most righteous dudes
in the whole world, I mean, these guys are going out, they're communing with nature, responding
and doing these very site specific objects that commune with nature, and what was ultra cool is
that the New York gallery world could not make any profit out of it and I loved the way that it
really kind of engaged much bigger issues, not just landscape, but social issues, this was art that
somehow escaped the gallery world and was now kind of in the public realm as well.

My idea behind the earthworks tradition was to actually take it into the city cause I love cities, I'm
a real city lover, and to take this kind of interaction and site specificity but bring it to the urban
environment. I'd say the last ten years of our office's work has really focused on urban landscapes
and we've been involved in major projects all over the place, but public space of course, as Lars
has been speaking of, is really a vast topic, there are many, many different kinds of public spaces
and many, many definitions of landscape, but in my way of thinking, the landscape is everything
outside the building footprint, and it's not just parks, waterfronts and gardens, but even the large,
larger less lovely landscapes along highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, railroad corridors, parking
lots, strip malls, suburban tracks, utility corridors and more parking lots. Yet collectively how we
deal with these types of spaces comes to characterise us culturally, perhaps even more profoundly
than our parks and our plazas, as they actually take up a much greater percentage of our open
spaces.

We all know the value of green open spaces within cities and I'll not get into a lot of statistical data
which I don't have anyway, but often the percentage of green open space correlates to the quality
of life within cities, and although this is a variable because it isn't just the open spaces, as Lars
was saying, it's really the quality of the open space which is the operative, there are, I'm really
kind of just very quickly going through these quick images of how deeply the design, shape and
quality of open space really affects our cities in terms of liveability as well as how one remembers
and describes the nature of the city itself. So, I mean, these are really, you know, kind of
historical pictures of open spaces that we all recognise as part of these kind of major cities and
really have become symbols for these cities. These spaces really stand to represent our cultures
in the cities more widely than others and these are the types of spaces that actually we're
generally asked to do which are public spaces of high visibility that have the potential not only to
function as places to sit, recreate, enjoy, but also serve to create a symbol or image for our
particular community.
Very often we're asked along with all the other pragmatic requirements to make a "there" there, to
actually create the face of the city itself, more and more now cities really want to be distinguished
from one another and they want to be put on the map, certainly in the United States, I mean,
there's a lot of need to somehow make a "there" there. But creating places which are memorable,
describable and have a strong image serves an even higher function and that is of creating a
community scaled desire to be represented as a group or as a city or even a country to the outside
world. Of even further and greater importance is that the environment and its quality of lack
thereof forms a bedrock of our own self image and self esteem as individuals and I actually feel
very privileged to be able to kind of work in this arena and to affect hopefully for the positive how
people come to feel about themselves and that these very public landscapes that we actually
design function at the highest level which is to create a sort of communal self esteem and to serve
a human psyche.

I've put in because the previous slides I kind of whizzed by are these historic kind of places, but
the, this tradition has actually been fairly recently revived, I think, in the, within the tradition of
landscape architecture which very interestingly has only kind of revived itself here in Europe the
last twenty years, you know, when Europe actually threw out their kings and queens they threw
the landscape architects out with them and didn't really revisit it as a design art until twenty years
ago, there weren't even landscape architecture schools over here. But with the advent of the
creation of kind of the use of public space for fun and outdoor kind of, not so much sports
recreation, but just kind of hanging out in the city, the need for landscape architecture, the need
for people who actually specialise in this sort of design, has actually regenerated itself within
schools.

What I really want to talk about is the role of art and design in this whole mishmash about how
you actually go about creating interesting open space within a city and that ultimately it's really
left up to what I call the "tutu brigade", those of us who are the so-called creative class to actually
figure out ultimately, you know, how these spaces look and what to be done in them. But in the
United States it's always down to the bottom line issue, like, "Well, what does design have to do
with it? What does art have to do with it? I mean, how does the design of public open space
relate to the bottom line? How can it make me money? Why, how can it be justified?" We're
always having to justify ourselves economically otherwise it just doesn't wash, nobody's
interested.

This is one of my favourite paintings or works of art by Jenny Halter which is called, "When I hear
the word 'culture' I take out my chequebook", which is a very American way of kind of viewing the
world. So the question is, "How does design and art relate to city building and how can it actually
relate to reviving a city and how, why is it important?" It turns out, and this is not what's
happening in the United States right now, but in Europe, in the UK, there is now an extreme
competition that's happening between the cities and the reason is, and I know that it isn't
necessarily happening here in Ireland, but the populations are flatlining and nobody's figured out
how to have a rise in GNP without actually having a rise in population. So the cities are in
competition with each other for people and not just people, but educated people, and as it turns
out that as Europe has become increasingly wealthier, and we are, everybody has really, their
lives have improved over fifty years dramatically, we have more money, we have more time, we
have more education and everybody is speaking English pretty much, so everybody has a lot more
choice and this option that Lars is talking about is the same word as having choice, people have
choice about where they want to go.

So the whole issue of quality comes into it, if you choose something you're going to want
something that you like, that appeals to you, that appeals to you on a visceral level, you go to visit
a place, if it looks like it's an interesting place to be, to hang out, if it looks good, looks exciting,
you're going to choose that place over some place else. So everybody is busy spiffing themselves
up so that they can attract people. I mean, it's not rocket science, but that is really happening, so
as a consequence it's a very, very busy time for landscape architects, which is great, we actually
have an office in London because there is so much work coming out of the UK because the
attention to open space is coming down from the Mayor of London, John Prescott, it's like Chaney
waking up one morning, the Vice-President, and saying, "Well, gee, wouldn't it be nice if we
started really fixing up our cities so people would come back and live in them?" I mean, that won't
happen unfortunately, but John Prescott's major agenda item is really figuring out how to make
the public open space more attractive in London. Why? Cause London wants to keep their
population and to keep sucking out everybody else's population to come to London. They're
actually doing a pretty good job except that the other cities are actually picking up the baton and
starting to work on their public spaces too. So all of a sudden the issue about design and art has a
real economic relationship, it's something that, of course, the Americans haven't tumbled to yet,
we're still actually moving out of our cities and creating more and more doughnuts, but we're in
some kind of retrograde motion anyway.

Anyway I don't want to talk about that right now. Anyway, so this is one thing that Douglas
Gordon who was one of your past speakers could also speak about, you know, where actually the
definition of Finland itself was kind of based on a campaign using artists and designers to create a
distinction between itself and Russia, that the role of design, the role of our, using these talents to
actually make a distinction is a time honoured tradition, but people are really kind of starting to
kind of tumble to the whole issue of why it's important to get creativity into the mix when you're
building cities.

What's really in demand right now is the desire for a large scale type of branding, and although
branding sounds terribly commercial and it is, it's something that successful enterprises have
taken very seriously, often paying crazy amounts of money to creative types in order to strategise
and design and keeping the development of brand under insane secrecy so as not to lose one
ounce of competitive edge, and cities are now, as well as individual development projects that
comprise the city, are actually without recognising this in the same sort of competitive marking,
I'm sorry, competitive market, and the need to define and redefine oneself as an individual, as a
city and as a country is an ongoing process, one lesson that Europeans of course know that the
Americans have yet to learn. But I've also found out that as we come more and more connected
through media coverage, through the Internet, through travel, there seems to be a growing need
within us all to first of all look back to the history and culture where we came from as individuals,
second, the more we collectivise, the more we actually wish to create an identify that distinguishes
us from each other, we all want to feel special, that seems to be universal. And, three, to
somehow still make a connection to nature even if it is an abstract one.

So how is all this accomplished? Again we've heard about the absolute necessity for planning,
urban design, for coordinated efforts between transportation planning, housing and the creation of
polycentric cities, all of which I absolutely believe in. When we speak about designing the cities
we are in fact speaking about design at multiple levels however and we should never
underestimate the value for individual artistic contributions that make a city unique, spirited and a
delight to the senses. So how do you accomplish this? One must engage the A and B words which
are Art and Beauty. Sex sells. Beauty sells. A beautiful environment sells. Artists and designers
are what, I said before, I call the "tutu brigade", the group of people that come in with the tutus
and are up on stage and they're to really kind of delight the senses, to amuse you and to make
you think and feel. We're actually the "Who you gonna call?" people, you know, that's, that's what
we do. Art and design must be an important component of the process, if you wish to create
beauty, a beautiful and attractive and competitive city.

As messy and scary a topic as it is, one must have art incorporated into city building if one wishes
to build cities at the highest level. I'm not just talking about pop art, I'm talking about, you know,
creating artistically designed and conceived spaces. These talents must sit alongside and in
equality with the planners, economists, engineers and managers. On the other hand, an artist or
designer cannot accomplish this alone and any great design project has had a great client behind
it. Especially in the public realm, it's not the artist's money, it's the collective "us's" money, so the
people who are the politicians, the managers, those are the people who actually are in the direct
line of fire, but without people who actually have some guts, stamina and the will to do it, you
really can't accomplish doing kind of adventurous, kind of new types of places. The onus is on the
client to create the environment in which art fantasy can be delivered. Clients who want a
signature space must take risks and exhibit very strong leadership, they must stand up to criticism
and learn to work also with their designers so that there is a trust built between the designers and
clients.

I'm going to quickly just kind of whiz through some public spaces that we've designed, I've left a
ton of stuff out, but, you know, in the service of time I want to go quickly. In the United States
we started out, this is probably about ten years ago now, trying to redo these existing sixties
plazas, this is a time when modernism came through, we did a huge amount of building in the
States where we had this kind of modernist tower, very architecturally kind of a handsome
building, but you can see that the early modernist really did not give a shit at all about, you know,
what happened at the bottom, the idea for the landscape was to clear it out so you can have a
very kind of good view of the building itself that now is a piece of sculpture that can be viewed
from all angles. But you can see that, you know, it was only a place in which you could drive the
car, get down to the garage. Through time however, you know, the technology wasn't very good,
so it kind of started crumbling and all this infrastructure in the United States is starting to fall
apart, so they're all being revisited.

Now on top of that, people have reared their ugly heads and decided that they're trying to inhabit
these spaces which are uninhabitable cause there's no place to sit, there are no trees because
trees would actually block the view to the building and they're not really designed at all for, with
people in mind, I mean, to the point where this building has a stone kind of wall on the first floor
which actually produces crime on this plaza, people get mugged because there's no way of seeing
outside, so it's a completely dysfunctional kind of space. But what we do always like to do is try to
derive the clue to what should happen out of the history of the space as well, in other words, how
do you actually join, you know, traces and marks, ideas, things that have been tried before and
then project it into the future?

So, well, I don't know whether, probably a lot of you know about Marcel but he was a pretty strict
guy, but if you follow his rules, I mean, he loved perfect form, he had a very kind of strict rule
about what kind of colour and he loved circles, I mean, this is his light installation at the Whitney
and we really kind of took from his embracing of the circles as a perform form and created a plaza
where people could actually get some relief from people looking down at them, it's like being in a
fishbowl, that as a person, the relationship of the building to the proportion of the space was
completely uncomfortable, you really felt the building tower over you, you felt people looking at
you all the time, so the first thing was to create some shelter. No trees could be there because it's
on top of a garage, so the client, the architect, nobody wanted trees from the very beginning, and
in these situations, unless you actually were to restructure it with steel, it would be too, it's too
expensive to put trees in. So these are sort of mechanical trees that are designed to really kind of
span over quite a bit of area with these, you know, they're very light structures cause the deck
can't hold any weight, it can only hold a minimum of about twelve inches of soil which can grow
grass at the best, so the idea was to create these kind of grass cookies and kind of hard edges
where people could sit around them and on nice days get out on the grass.

So I have to say that as nice as a plaza this is, it doesn't work, and the reason it doesn't work is
that part of our master plan was to actually punch holes at the bottom of this wall, that black wall,
to actually open up a window into the kitchen so that people would have a reason for being out
here. Actually our master plan called for getting rid of the stone wall entirely and making it glass,
probably was something the architect wanted to do, but my take is that the client made him put in
that wall, I can't figure out any other reason why that whole thing should be stone. So they
stopped short of doing that, which is actually probably the most important thing they could have
done in order to make the plaza work, so I always get hammered that it doesn't work. Well, it
can't work, there's no way it can work if there's no reason for people to go out there, but it does
look good, I have to say, so we just used off the shelf materials because the way we do public
spaces in the United States, we spend no money, as a matter of fact the canopies got bubbled out
because he didn't want to give the appearance of the federal government spending any money,
and this is actually doing a project where we actually came in under budget, we spent less money
than what it would have taken to replace the original slate paving. Anyway we threatened a
lawsuit to put it back in, so, anyway. A million stories in the naked city.

This is New York City, same situation, it's a sixties kind of, you know, modernist building by
Harrison with a kind of funky sixties shell design with a pool put right at the nose of the site which
happens to be the one place where everybody won't want to be, and of course the fountain has
been dead for years. Same thing, there's a garage underneath here, nobody wanted trees, the
client didn't want trees, the architect didn't want trees, and then the people have come out and
put these pathetic little planters and seeds and trashcans just to try to desperately inhabit very,
very precious space that it's practically impossible to really kind of occupy.

The tilted arc that got taken down, so we were the next ones up, but the decision for us was to
take this square and eliminate a lot of planters, I know this is kind of, the nature lovers would hate
us, but the idea was to try to reconnect the whole plaza back to the city so there was a lot of
visibility into the site, and to take the shell out and make it orthogonal so it was part of the city.
Then once we did the shadow, really kind of examined how the shadows moved in New York
because you have to be very aware of how the shadows move, we, and after actually talking to all
the people in the building who said, "Look, we don't want to be bothered with art, we want to
come down, we want to have lunch, we want to sit down and go back and not be bothered having
a look at art", they were all really irate about the sculpture which was a great big arc that cut
people off from the street. We decided to just fill it with seats, but in the winter time you want to
sit in the sun and in the summer time you want to sit in the shadow and the shadow is moving
across the site all during the day anyway, so we couldn't decide where to put the seats so we put
the seats everywhere, so the idea was to kind of create a French kind of Baroque embroidery at
least from plan cause actually most of the people in this space are looking at the space from above
most of the day, so it has to be strong from above, and then the idea is when they're down in
there and sitting to create this kind of topiary, this kind of big balls, that once you sit down you
actually start dividing the space up so you have some modicum of privacy, but they're not so big
that, you know, you can't see people standing behind them and see, you know, this coming at
you, which in New York is very important, so we spent quite a bit of time proving that, you know,
you could see somebody standing behind trying to mug you from a distance that would allow you
to get away. Yeah.

Anyway, so the whole idea is a little bit about kind of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, because in New
York City you can only design the landscape that goes up to about 1860, there are no
contemporary spaces in New York, they hate contemporary landscapes, they actually hate
contemporary architecture, but, so the idea was to take only language from and kind of make it
look like it got zapped from Outer Space, but, you know, these are standard, all standard New
York park language with the hex blocks and the city park benches and then this is a typical
planter, you know, where you have the hoops that keep the dogs from peeing on the flowers, but
the flower now is an air intake valve. Great. And it's tremendously well used, I mean, the people
play in there, there have been kind of concerts in there, it's actually been so well used it's worn
out, worn itself out a couple of times, which is a whole other topic.

Another situation in Minneapolis, again in the USA, there is parking underneath, except this is fifty
years later, we haven't learned anything, any lessons at all, the architect didn't really put in any
steel, nobody really wanted trees although everybody loves nature, when it comes to actually
paying for nature in a city nobody wants to do it, so it's not weighted to hold any trees at all.
There is no coffers inside the slat in which to put root balls and we were dealt with a situation
where there had been no budget allocated for the space, I was buried so down deep in the team I
had no real access to the Mayor, and when the Mayor came on board and said, "Where is my
granite paving, where are my trees?" and she's looking at me like, you know, I'm supposed to
deliver this to her, the only thing I could say, as instructed by the client, was that, "Well,
Mayoress, the plaza actually has come in within the total project budget", so, I mean, this goes to
how projects are actually, you know, actually organised, but what they got here was kind of what
they paid for. I was pretty angry having to deal with that lack of regard for a major public square
in a major United States city right across from the existing city hall, this is a federal courthouse
building, was ten dollars a square foot, that's less than you would put in your bathroom, but then
again it reflects the value that we have for public space, which is nothing. So given the fact that
there was no budget, that it could hold up no weight, we had, the only materials we could deal
with were kind of concrete tiles and dirt, the question was how to make something interesting just
out of dirt. So we engineered these mounds out of, again, about twelve inches of dirt which was
all it could hold up and lots of Styrofoam, there are Styrofoam cores with fabric that's holding
these sculptural forms up, this was kind of about drumlins, drumlin fields that had been on the site
beforehand and planting it with tiny little Pioneer species such as the Jack Pine which is kind of an
ode to the Pioneers, but it had to stand up sculpturally to the space, especially when it snows, you
know, three feet, you know, every other day practically. So this won, this space actually won a
major GSA award, it was the first landscape that had ever won a GSA award, Government Service
Award, and the same year it won the Turkey of the Year award as well from the lawyers.

Another public space in Toronto, this is in the city of Yorkville which is a series of tiny little
boutique shops and the landscape that is on top of a subway, the landscape is, the idea is a series
of tiny little Victorian collection boxes that again are in scale with the tiny little buildings, so it's
like a collage really of the different kinds of ecotypes you might find in a Canadian shield, so here
is, you know, the wildflower garden next to the spooky Spruce tree forest, a piece of Canadian
shield blasted out of a farmer's field and stuffed with a lot of Styrofoam. But, I mean, it kind of
goes back to choice, I mean, if people use public space differently today than they did in the
Victorian era, we're different culturally, people like to invent their own places to sit, so the idea of
kind of creating a space and then plunking benches in is a completely boring idea. I mean, here
we have, you know, benches or seats that you can take out, but there are people who are going to
want to climb the rock and sit down on it too. Here's a fountain that freezes in the winter time,
you have to think about seasonality, but people want different choices, so if you can actually
integrate the seating into the design it's better than kind of designing and then putting the seating
in.

OK, this is Exchange Square, you probably know of this space, this is a space that was bombed by
the IRA in Manchester, and then the city decided, kind of used that as an opportunity to kind of
put the city back together again. Again it's interesting, this is our landscape, this is what
landscape architects do, we take spaces like this, things that, you know, you know, architects are
not really interested in doing, and try to bring it together, so we have the typical hotchpotch of
really bad sixties buildings, you know, beautiful kind of, "What, what time is this?" Victorian kind
of exchange, a kind of a funky old hotel, and try to put this back together again. We won this in a
competition, the idea was to knit the city back together again, to knit the old section which is
made out of yellow stone and have the cathedral back in here, and the new area, the new section
which is a shopping area, and knit it back together again, so it's kind of like a big band-aid was put
in here and of course, you know, dealing with the grade change, we came up with the idea of
having these ramps where people can come down, but each ramp is separated by a bench height
wall and the idea was that this is the big hang out area which means you can face this way or face
that way, according to where the sun is and that you can lie down on these things, you can do all
sorts, you can play games, but they are a kind of a sculptural structure that could also be seated
on if you wanted. There is an old ditch, this is called Hanging Ditch Road, so the idea was to bring
the ditch back out and make a water flow. And the upper plaza is really, that belongs to, was a
Marks and Spencer's, this is all kind of out of steel and granite and is kind of, the benches are
made from parts of old trains, we're just kind of referring back to the train industry.

But the real important thing about public space is that it functions under a number of
circumstances, it looks wonderful when it's empty, it looks great when it's full, I mean, it really has
to kind of service a lot of things, but it can't just be, you know, people say, well, they want a
flexible space, well, the most flexible space is a great big area with a drain in the middle of it, but
you really need it to stand as something when there aren't people in here. So taking risks in the
city is important, I did have the city sign off, indemnify me, so, but, I mean, this, this kind of
Hanging Ditch which of course, you know, has a handicap, you know, it has, it's all done according
to regulation, but it becomes a great theatre for the city and there are more people kind of
negotiating these stepping stones in the ditch and it's a great theatre.

This is a plan we did for New Frystone which, well, let me go back here, it's about 350 acres in the
Midlands, there's a desperately poor little village right here that is a remnant of the mining
industry, English Partnerships has come in to reclaim this area because it's all polluted and to put
in a plot of 350 new houses, but what they're doing is after the reclamation they're actually
putting in the public open space first and that will attract the developers, the developers will see
that there's been some investment made and that in turn actually encourages people to come in
and invest. So the first step after kind of doing this public plan which involves a horse path, a pub
at this end, a meeting house over here, these existing little terraced housing that's overlooking
this existing or was existing, this pretty poor public offering as a park, and our design was really
kind of about taking the front stoop of the house where everybody sits and faces the sun
overlooking this, bringing the front stoop out into the landscape, creating a playground and stage
and really kind of, really talking about the activity of digging into the earth, because when you talk
to people there they're very proud of their coalmining heritage, it's important to engage their
memories and really kind of make something out of that. So this is our gouge which is a dig, you
know, a kind of a hole in the black earth which is actually a playground for little kids and kind of
this ramp for the bigger kids and a place where you can smoke cigarettes without looking, having
your parents look at you, and an impromptu stage, kind of it's like the rubble pile. Anthony
Gormley had these beautiful bollards that we placed in here and we kind of made this kind of very
strange looking stack of stones that kind of signify the place. But probably our most important
contribution was to really fix up the front stoop and, you know, create a really nice generous place
to sit, to create a place where people's feet could be on a sidewalk instead of in the kerb, so that
when they came out, I mean, their houses are just the same, but now, you know, their lives have
really improved because this is the major public open space, but the idea was to then try to entice
them into the landscape by repeating that and bringing it into the park, this has just been
installed.

OK, and finally we're doing a new public square for the Dock, Dublin Docklands, in this Building,
there's a hotel, office building, and you can see that our real motif was that it's such an aggressive
building that we just went with the building and kind of extended that, a landscape should be in
dialogue with the architecture, sometimes, I mean, you know, we say, "OK, let's just kind of make
a place for this so it isn't just sticking out all by itself", sometimes you want to have a dialogue
that is kind of a diametric with one another, but it needs to have a dialogue. But the idea was to
extend the red carpet out to the world and to the theatre and the green carpet is kind of filled with
grasses and seeding all inside here so you can kind of get away and get inside something. These
boxes really lead down to an existing garage underneath, so, you know, it's these kind of simple
bands of kind of procession, seeding and intimacy and then kind of, there's a fountain back in here
and then kind of the spaces in between where anything can happen, and then seats along the
harbour. So this is under construction.

I want to really quickly go through this, I'm sorry, I'm probably running late, but we, I teach at
Harvard, I've been a professor there for the past fourteen years, I teach at the Graduate School
Design Department Landscape Architecture, we just spent last semester, which is last fall, in a
studio in Derry, so this is very close to Belfast, and it was very fascinating study for me, for the
students, our site was the Ebrington Barracks which is right across from the old city, and we had
twelve very talented city students really kind of working on this, you probably all know all this
anyway, but we went through an analysis which basically proves the point that Derry is at the end
of the road and is not connected to anything, and their problem is that to get anywhere they have
to go to Belfast and it's darn hard for them to do that as well, you know, the road systems show,
this is Belfast, there's Derry, so I have to say that our recommendation to Derry was to build a
road, to forget Belfast and just go directly to Dublin and to fix up their airport, do it quickly, cause
otherwise they're just kind of languishing out there, you can see the density of universities here
which is absolutely necessary if you're going to be training a well-educated technologically oriented
group of people.

 Here you see in Derry, this is our site, it's about thirty acres, the Ebrington Barracks is a pretty
unloved piece of land, it's of course where the UK troops were sitting there kind of trying to kind of
deal with the troubles and the IRA and a lot of unhappy things happened on that site, so it's kind
of a tricky site and there was an old fortress there, this is kind of the plan of where it is now with
all these decommissioned buildings, these are, these grey ones are the ones that have some
historic interest, and we were really brought on board to try to figure out what should happen
there and to try to recommend different approaches to how it could be developed. So of course
this is looking at the site which, we're actually looking at St Colm's Park which is not part of our
study, this is looking at the city side, looking at the site, it's a site that really has quite a bit of
prominence from the old city and in that sense it's a very, very important site, so whatever you
put on that site is going to affect what, you know, what that city is going to become. So, well,
that's fancy, Jesus! One of my Harvard students did that,

OK, great. So let's move on. We had twelve students, I'm going to just show you some very,
very quick, very quickly, some ideas just to kind of make the point that ideas are so important in
terms of motivating people and creating direction, that all the studies in the world, all the
organisation in the world, do not in the end get you where you need to be, you actually have to
have some physical design ideas in order to get people's blood moving and to really kind of make
people think about what should happen.

This first student, this is the Ebrington site with the old walls, this is the old city, you can see
historically the river used to flow through here, this is Bogside, you can see it was a bog, very
interesting. Claire's idea was actually take all the festivals that happen during the year and
concentrate them on that site, but what's interesting about what she did is that she's saying,
"Look, we need to keep that fort, but we're actually going to take the language of the fortress and
move it over into the parkland, create another bridge over here, and really develop the waterfront
for commercial use housing and then this kind of festival civic area here", so Claire was very, you
know, this was a very smart move, I think they're actually going to do this, but they're saying,
"Look, why make the, why keep the boundary line right, well, actually right here? Really, think
about the park and this waterfront as something very important, make the connection with the
park, but bring the connection with the park back to the neighbourhoods that are back here". And
then the idea was to actually at first, you know, make the connections between the east side and
the west side with light, and I should say that, you probably already know this, but the east side
and west side across the river, it's where a kind of divide between the Catholics and the
Protestants, and there are no bridges that bring people across because it was used as a real
physical separation between the city, so the idea was kind of to bring art and bring light into the
way of actually bringing it together.
Ellen had a very interesting idea, she was carving away the land around the fort so it stands out
the old one and then actually biting into the land and creating these interesting islands, inlets, so
her idea was to actually create a whole centre around water, everything that's attendant to water,
there's a lot of fishing that goes along there, I mean, this could be a great fishing destination,
there are a lot of rivers, you could bring fish into the harbour, the harbour has lost its importance,
it could be a fish market, it could be restaurants, it could be, you know, a, I think there was a
learning centre on it, and the whole area, these are the existing old buildings, they're surrounded
by new contemporary sheds, and a great big plaza that gets flooded with water when it's not being
used and then it dries out and becomes a great big market, with these kind of learning centres at
the bottom. Then the idea of actually taking the old buildings and surrounding them with kind of
new contemporary structures is a very nice idea. This is it stepping down to the water's edge.

Here's another student who says, "OK, the park could be the world's greatest landscape sculpture,
it could be a destination, it could be an incredibly beautiful artefact itself", and you can see that
this whole park has been re-sculpted to create valleys, ridges, this is a great kind of wall that
people can drive over and have outdoor movies and could be lit. This is, I think this is Christen's
idea again of this, no, this is his, this is Gonzales' idea of kind of creating, recreating that whole
landscape and then kind of concentrating the development in the crack there.

This is Christen's idea, again a beautiful re-sculpted landscape, flattening out the edge because it
comes to the river in a very steep angle so that nobody actually has contact with the river, there's
no way of getting to the river, there's no place to come and have dinner at the river, there's no
place to live by the river, and the city has this incredible resource that they really aren't
embracing, so, you know, again if you flatten this out and grade it and dump the earth some place
else to create sculpture, and then kind of creating those kind of integrated campus environment,
and again everybody had different ideas about how to create bridges. This is very interesting
where you kind of take the Ebrington structure but you dig these kind of plazas and play areas
that are integrated as a campus plan that spans out to a new island in the water, this is a very
kind of elegant plan. This woman came up with a wonderful idea that in plan you would make a
new central park that related to the old city and that you create a series of walls behind which you
actually have a whole film and studio and television industry happening involved also with schools.
But that, these hallways and kind of structures that connect all the old buildings and you carve
out, you actually get rid of the old fort and to hell with the old buildings and really kind of remake
that whole district as a wonderful park that steps down to the water's edge. Very lyrical idea.

This student, Rob, was kind of insane, he wanted to create a, I mean, he was talking about scars
and healing and scars, so he actually created a whole new kind of water feature that's based on
the natural drainage of the neighbourhood and bringing down the actual water that's collected
from the site in this crack and then kind of using this development as a kind of institute for, I
think, peace and understanding, and then kind of using the park as an integral part of this
waterfront, and then creating a new housing environment back up here. And you can see the
potential of really kind of creating a new way of getting to the water's edge, a very gradual kind of
ramp, a whole kind of civic amphitheatre where the whole city could get together, together, and
watch fireworks, movies, concerts. It's a lovely idea. I mean, you know, that's something Derry
should do, that would be a wonderful way of people coming together. This one was the big greedy
scheme. What if a developer showed up on this site and just wanted to develop and make a lot of
money?

This student said, "OK, we're going to create high end housing which they need desperately along
here, a series of little parks that really kind of deal with the housing district over here, we're going
to take the old fort and we're going to make a shopping centre underneath it and then we're going
to make this mongo bridge which is a bridge to connect for cars, it's a public park and a shopping
centre that really connects it, and then on top of the shopping centre is a museum with a public
sculpture garden". So here is the fort, kind of the new park that connects back to the old city, has
the fabulous restaurant that looks, overlooks the old city, and you can drive over and then kind of
go up both ways. And he had worked the whole thing out, I mean, "they should just do this".
But, you know, one of the things that came out of this is that it kind of doesn't matter what you do
as long as what you do you do it well and you do it with the attitude that what happens there is
going to be important and that the actual quality of it will dictate what happens to the rest of that
site and will impact the future development of Derry itself. So this is the last one I'll show.

This one was absolutely beautiful, I also think they should just do this. This student decided that
bridging and really creating a connection between the sides to bring them together could be
accomplished in this circular bridge, and then creating a green open kind of system that takes you
from the St Colm's Park that kind of weaves up into the Ebrington Barracks, there would be
cultural activities here, and then kind of creates this kind of park way on both sides. I should say
that they've really kind of screwed the pooch already by kind of having development right up
against the river and kind of having big box development up against the river, so they really have
to go back and reclaim what they've done here, but on this side they have the opportunity of doing
it right from the outset. So the idea is that, you know, this beautiful bridge actually kind of
connects the Ebrington Barracks site, kind of creates the heart of this park, comes over, grabs on
practically to the old city and then kind of goes back over the water again.

OK, very, very important, but given the fact that public are the users, everybody will have their
own individual agenda and will want everything incorporated into all public spaces and the
designers have to be the ones who decide what's appropriate for the site, and to persuade people
of the need for compromise while keeping an eye to protecting the integrity of the design, the
integrity of the design is absolutely essential part of what needs to be accomplished. You can't
create a great public space by just sticking in all the things that people want to see in it, just
having a functional site does not make it a great public space. As well as having a bench and a
fountain the space has to be attractive, fun to be in, and have a spiritual aspect, people don't
usually put that on their list of requirements, but creating pride and identity for a community has
got to be considered when you are dealing with important or even not so important spaces within
the city. And in conclusion I would say that ultimately the space must add up to be greater than
the sum of the parts. And working in public space is extremely difficult but tremendously
satisfying, as well as working in an arena where you can effect many people's lives and the quality
of their lives and the creation of place is vital to almost every type of project, the quality of life,
something that becomes a greater and greater importance as we evolve culturally is greatly
affected by the quality of a city's public realm open space and I truly believe that the design of the
landscape is the greatest design challenge we have of the 21st century. Thank you very much.