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Mary M. Tinti

Architecture, design and conceptual art partnership. Diller Scofidio + Renfro [Diller + Scofidio] was formed in 1979 by Elizabeth Diller (b Lodz, Poland, 1954) and Ricardo Scofidio (b New York, NY, 1935) as an interdisciplinary design practice based in New York.

Diller studied at the Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York (BArch, 1979) and then worked as an Assistant Professor of Architecture (1981–90) at the Cooper Union School of Architecture, becoming Associate Professor of Architecture at Princeton University in 1990. Scofidio, who also attended Cooper Union (1952–5), obtained his BArch from Columbia University (1960) and became Professor of Architecture at Cooper Union in 1965. In 1997 Charles Renfro joined the firm and was made partner in 2004, at which point the partnership changed its name to Diller Scofidio + Renfro. While the couple (who are married) initially eschewed traditional architectural projects in favor of installations, set design and landscape design, by the 21st century their firm had received commissions for both new buildings and renovations of existing architecture. Diller and Scofidio were the first architects to receive a MacArthur Foundation fellowship (...

Article

Robert E. Grese

(b Dybbøl, Denmark, Sept 13, 1860; d Ellison Bay, WI, Oct 1, 1951).

American landscape architect of Danish birth. He began building his reputation as a designer in 1888 when he delighted the Chicago public with his design for the American Garden in Union Park. With it he set the tone for a lifetime of creating natural parks and gardens. During a stormy career with Chicago’s West Parks, Jensen reshaped Union, Humboldt, Garfield, and Douglas parks. His work on Columbus Park (1916) is generally regarded as the best of his designs for Chicago’s West Parks System. During the same period he designed numerous residential gardens for the élite of Chicago and across the Midwest. He established close friendships with the architects of the Prairie school and occasionally collaborated with them on projects.

Throughout his career Jensen attempted to relate forms and materials to the surrounding native landscape. Designs were not intended to be copies of nature, but symbolic representations using colour, texture, sunlight and shadow, seasonal change, and careful manipulation of space to evoke a deep emotional response. He saw a value in plants then thought to be common weeds and used them in ecological patterns as found in the wild. His design of ...

Article

Charles E. Beveridge

(b Hartford, CT, April 26, 1822; d Waverly, MA, Aug 22, 1903).

American landscape designer, urban planner, and writer. Influenced by 18th-century English traditions of landscape design and by his own social beliefs in the importance of community and the civilizing role of aesthetic taste, Olmsted undertook a large number of public and private commissions. His commissions ranged from regional plans and scenic reservations to residential communities, academic campuses, and the grounds of private estates. With his partner Calvert Vaux and later independently, he designed a series of city parks systems between 1858 and 1895 in which landscaped parks were integrated with other public spaces through broad interconnecting thoroughfares, or parkways, which incorporated drives, paths, and areas of turf and trees. His major work includes Central Park (1858–77), New York, and the ‘Emerald Necklace’ series of public spaces in Boston (1880s). He believed in the power of landscaped scenery to exercise a restorative and civilizing influence.

Olmsted’s forebears helped to found Hartford in ...

Article

Jeremy Hunt and Jonathan Vickery

At the turn of the millennium, public art was an established global art genre with its own professional and critical discourse, as well as constituencies of interest and patronage independent of mainstream contemporary art. Art criticism has been prodigious regarding public art’s role in the ‘beautification’ of otherwise neglected social space or in influencing urban development. Diversity and differentiation are increasingly the hallmarks of public art worldwide, emerging from city branding strategies and destination marketing as well as from artist activism and international art events and festivals. The first decade of the 21st century demonstrated the vast opportunity for creative and critical ‘engagement’, activism, social dialogue, and cultural co-creation and collective participation. New public art forms emerged, seen in digital and internet media, pop-up shops, and temporary open-access studios, street performance, and urban activism, as well as architectural collaborations in landscape, environment or urban design.

Intellectually, the roots of contemporary public art can be found in the ludic and the architectonic: in the playful public interventions epitomized in the 1960s by the ...

Article

Kathleen Roy Cummings

American architectural partnership formed in 1906 by Richard E(rnst) Schmidt (b Ebern, W. Germany, 14 Nov 1865; d Winnetka, IL, 17 Oct 1959), Hugh M(ackie) G(ordon) Garden (b Toronto, 9 July 1873; d Chicago, IL, 6 Oct 1961) and Edgar Martin (b Burlington, IO, 26 Feb 1871; d Chicago, IL, 17 Sept 1951). Richard E. Schmidt studied (1883–5) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, before opening a practice in Chicago in 1886. After a brief partnership with T. O. Fraenkel from 1891 to 1895, Schmidt practised alone until 1906.

The early designs in Schmidt’s office continued the restrained, commercial style that Louis Sullivan had introduced in the 1880s and 1890s. The Schoenhofen Brewing Company Building (1902) and the Albert Madlener House (1902), Chicago, especially, were recognized by critics for their geometric massing, careful proportions and skilful effects of brickwork. Perhaps from as early as ...

Article

Arthur Channing Downs

(b London, Dec 20, 1824; d Bensonhurst, NY, Nov 19, 1895).

American architect and landscape designer of English birth. He was apprenticed (?1840–45) to the architect Lewis Nockalls Cottingham in London. In 1846 he and George Truefitt (1824–1902) toured Europe and afterwards helped found the Architectural Association in London.

In 1850 Vaux accepted the offer of A(ndrew) J(ackson) Downing to work in Newburgh, NY, and in 1851 the two formed a partnership. Vaux became involved in an expanding architectural and landscape design business extending from New England to Washington, DC. After Downing’s death (1852), Vaux collected the partnership’s house plans and his own designs done alone or with Frederick Clarke Withers and published them as Villas and Cottages (1857). This became the principal vehicle for transmitting Downing’s distinctly American planning idioms to builders and the architectural profession. Opposed to Revivalism, Vaux was probably the era’s first architectural author to abandon style-based design titles. Believing that all styles have the ‘self-same geometry’, he urged that they all be studied, but only for the appropriate ideas, not ‘authority’. Having been naturalized in ...

Article

Michael Symes

[ Whateley ]

(d London, May 26, 1772).

English writer, garden designer and politician . An MP from 1761 until his death, he served as a Treasury Secretary in 1764–5, helping to draft the Stamp Act (1765), a key document in events that led to the American Revolution in 1775. Whately’s writings include his Observations on Modern Gardening, for which he is perhaps best remembered. This work describes a large number of English landscape gardens, some in great detail, and attempts to analyse and categorize them. It was considered by his contemporary Horace Walpole to be ‘a system of rules pushed to a great degree of refinement’ (‘On Modern Gardening’, Anecdotes of Painting in England, ed. R. N. Wornum, 1849, iii, p. 807). Whately described gardens as such (e.g. Stowe, Bucks), as well as in relation to farms (e.g. The Leasowes, W. Midlands), parks (e.g. Painshill Park, Surrey) and ridings (e.g. Piercefield, Gwent). He examined specific features, such as buildings, rocks, trees and the form of the land, and this led him to reject overtly emblematic uses of temples, statues or inscriptions—all of which featured in early 18th-century English gardens—in favour of less contrived effects. Visitors to gardens would often use the ...

Article

M. Hamilton-Phillips and R. P. Maccubbin

Term applied primarily to decorative arts produced in The Netherlands and England during the reign (1689–1702) of William III and Mary II ( see Orange Nassau, House of family §(5) ) and that spread also to North America at the end of the century. It covers a vocabulary of visual forms rather than a movement, and is represented by richly ornamented furniture, displays of wares from the Far East, embossed and engraved silver, ceramics, luxurious textiles, architectural ornament and garden design. The decorative arts of the 1690s reflect the blending of French, Dutch and English ornamental styles as well as an increased taste for exotica. Although at war with France, William III admired the sophistication of French culture and encouraged the immigration of Huguenot refugees, the French Protestants who fled from France after 1685 when Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had guaranteed them freedom of worship (...