Posts by Evan Mather

This is a film about process. In the journey of developing a forthcoming piece about a global framework for urban design, I found myself compelled to create a digital interpretation of Professor Lynch’s seminal text, The Image of the City. Calling upon all of the (digital) tools available to man – i.e. the Adobe Suite, Final Cut Pro, and a Mac – I share my documentation of the four-week digital workflow in service of its creation.

In London’s Hyde Park can be found a sculptural water feature which flows with animated urgency and audible energy, its sounds and flow only hushed once its circular journey comes to rest within a peaceful basin at the fountain’s bottom. This recent Easter holiday I made way to visit Kathryn Gustafson’s 2004 landscape memorial, “Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain” to experience this landscape experience firsthand. I discovered a sculptural channel that resonated with me for its texture – both physical and aural.

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Gustafson Porter + Bowman’s design expresses the concept of ‘Reaching out – letting in’, taken from the values and practices in the inclusive spirit of the Princess of Wales. All photos and video by Evan Mather.

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545 pieces of Cornish granite – each shaped by the latest computer-controlled machinery and pieced together using traditional skills – were interlocked to create the cascade.

The fountain is not static. Water drawn from London’s water table bubbles, gurgles, falls, twists and turns, bends and breaks – creating distinctive sounds as it flows down the in separate eastward and westward flows. Alongside the simplicity of the project’s materials, the playful layout, and the fountain’s adjacent location near Serpentine Lake, what I will most remember from my visit to the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain will be the dynamic nature of the water experience – one rewarding both looking and listening.

The video above is my love letter to TV Guide. I credit my education of United States geography to a Fisher Price jigsaw puzzle and the pages of TV Guide during my childhood. In August 1979, our family vacation took us on the road from our home in Baton Rouge to visit cousins in Indiana and friends in Cleveland. At the time, the country was covered by about 90 different regional editions of the eponymous weekly magazine dedicated to television – which roughly corresponded to the largest television markets (as opposed to the states).

Each time we entered a new TV Guide region, my parents bought me a corresponding regional edition to add to my collection. These magazines and that jigsaw puzzle conceptualized my perception of the United States landscape and its geographies – including the two perceived Kentuckys that persist in my mind to this day. (more…)

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Metro Crenshaw LRT – Technical Tour (Joint ASCE OC/LA)
Please join ASCE OC & LA for a technical tour of the Metro Crenshaw LRT. Currently in construction, the Metro Crenshaw LRT was one of 12 transit projects funded by Measure R approved in 2008. The Line will travel 8.5 miles to the Metro Green Line and will serve the cities of Los Angeles, Inglewood and El Segundo; and portions of unincorporated Los Angeles County. This tour will be hosted by the Walsh Group (Design Build Contractor) and HNTB (Designer) to discuss construction/design challenges and discuss overall project progress. Lunch is provided at the technical tour. PPEs (orange safety vest, hard hat, safety glasses and steel toed boots) are a requirement for this tour.
When: Friday, January 27, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM (PST)
Where: 9323 Bellanca Ave, CA 90045

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Prior to its destruction in June 2011, the Phillis Wheatley Elementary School served the historic New Orleans African-American neighborhood of Tremé since opening in 1955. Celebrated worldwide for its innovative, regionally-expressive modern design – the structure had sustained moderate damage during the storms and levee breach of 2005. DOCOMOMO Louisiana advocated for its restoration via adaptive reuse. “A Plea For Modernism” is narrated by actor Wendell Pierce (“The Wire”, “Tremé”).

Charles Colbert, architect

Photographer: Frank Lotz Miller

Curtis and Davis architects

Photographer: Frank Lotz Miller

When one thinks of New Orleans, one thinks of its historic 19th century architecture. However, in the 1950’s the city became a hotbed for modern architecture. An expanding post-war population demanded new public works – and over thirty public schools were constructed – designed by a cadre of architects who practiced a regional approach to modernism – characterized by innovations in circulation, lighting, and ventilation – just as New Orleans’ historic architecture is sensitive to site and climate.

These schools were models of regional modernism – inventive designs which are of a place, by a place, and for a place. However, this significant architecture is rapidly disappearing from the urban fabric of New Orleans. Of the thirty schools built, only four are are left standing – three of which are threatened by demolition. Sadly, the Phyllis Wheatley Elementary School of New Orleans sustained too much damage as the fourth, and was demolished in June 2011, a loss for the city and history of modernism.