Join us during Design Week Portland for a presentation featuring a retrospective of environmental graphic design (EGD) including prominent designers and projects. EGD embraces many design disciplines including graphic, architecture, interior, landscape, and industrial design—all related to the visual aspects of wayfinding, communicating identity, and shaping the idea of place.
Kathy Fry and Liz Talley, Mayer/Reed
Elizabeth Anderson and Mike Sauer, Anderson Krygier, Inc.
Monday, October 7
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union, RM 236
What is one of our favorite things to do? Enjoy the spaces we design.
This year we converged on Sofia Park in Wilsonville, Oregon for our annual office summer party. Sofia Park is one of the three parks Mayer/Reed planned and designed in Villebois, a 540-acre mixed-use community in Wilsonville, OR. The warm summer evening was perfect for our growing Mayer/Reed families to enjoy a picnic and laughs over lawn games and giant bubbles. The kids explored the playground and climbed big boulders and trees in the rocky stormwater swale. We ended our evening with a stroll up the promenade to the town center where we played a few games of bocce ball at the recently completed piazza.
Parks and public spaces integrated into developments are integral to creating a sense of community. Meeting neighbors and forming life long friendships are important traditions of neighborhood parks. These spaces connect us and create shared meaning. It was a great to see these connections taking root and the parks filled with activities.
I remember it like it was yesterday. The four of us flew out the front door of the house, down to the park and straight into the creek—drawn to its rocky bed like bees to honey. I was not sure if we were going to find any crawdads, but we had found seven (a record!) just the day before. The creek offered us a new adventure every time: climbing over the rocks, prodding the mud with sticks, and turning over small logs—we explored everything. As we worked on the very serious business of finding crawdads, frogs and super-long worms, the playground behind us, interestingly enough remained conspicuously silent. That sluggish concrete slide hadn’t seen action in months, but for good reason; the creek was an entire world unto itself.
This is how many of us grew up and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The power of nature in our parks has not been lost on me. So when Chehalem Park and Recreation District said they were interested in nature play at one of their new parks, I was all ears. We visited the site, which is a spectacular 1.75 acre hillside of seasonal springs and oak savanna with scenic views of the Yamhill Valley in Newberg, Oregon. The next thing I knew we were knee-deep in the design of Schaad Park.
Fast-forward to the May 16th grand opening and you will see me proudly standing in front of “my” park. It’s a park of opportunity and discovery. It has a little bit of everything: sand, mud, water, forest, logs, natural boulders and a 30 foot long stainless steel slide built into the slope that I guarantee will see plenty of action—by kids and adults. Most importantly however, it has a neighborhood full of families who have been waiting in the wings until now. So, from one crawdad hunter to another—it’s all yours!
Schaad Park Opening
Thursday, May 16th
Eagle St, Newberg, OR 97132
Directions: drive past Chehalem Glenn Golf Course and turn left into The Greens, turn right at Hook Drive, and left onto Eagle Street
On April 10th I had the privilege to participate in a one-day symposium on Opportunities and Challenges in Artful Rainwater Design hosted by Penn State’s Landscape Architecture department. Experts from across the country who practice in this specialized area of design came together for eleven sequential “TED talk style” presentations. My presentation, “Rivers and Rain Gardens” discussed a chronology of our firm’s stormwater projects from early work in the mid-1980s with bioswales and detention ponds, to recently completed work at Bud Clark Commons and a terraced rain garden beneath the Darlene Hooley Pedestrian Bridge over I-5 in South Waterfront.
After seeing the presentations of others and conversing with my colleagues in a subsequent Professionals Round Table, I came away feeling appreciative that we who practice in the Northwest have been able to make significant contributions to the “state of the art” and science of green infrastructure. I also felt convinced that we, as landscape architects, need to strongly advocate for the design of stormwater systems as an integral part of our practices, no matter where the project is located or what discipline is leading the team. We are uniquely trained to consider all of the multiple benefits of green infrastructure, from its ecological functions, educational value, economics and aesthetics.