Open Voices Blog

Archives for posts tagged as "cool stuff"

Stunning Design, Real Community Space

05/19/15 | View Comments

In our Open Voices blog we share insight from leaders in our communities who are advancing what it means to have sacred, open green spaces in our cities. This week, we present an interview with Dr. Adrian Loo of Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. 

Nature Sacred: In your role as Director of Research and Horticulture at Gardens by the Bay, what are your main tasks and projects?

Dr. Loo: Strategically, my team’s role is to inspire science within the gardens – amongst the staff and building up the capacity to use science to resolve horticultural problems.  We have developed a research facility that includes a lab, tissue culture facilities and research conservatories.   We are constantly building up our breeding capabilities and propagate interesting horticultural ornamentals such as orchids, begonias, bromeliads, gesnerids etc.  A big part of the research also goes into soil science and aspects of plant physiology such as light levels, temperature and how flowering is affected by these.   The department also does plant interpretation and we write catchy descriptions of plants that are interesting and at the same time botanically accurate in terms of their identity as species or cultivars and their ethnobotanical uses.

Nature Sacred: The Gardens by the Bay is in its first few years of operation. It covers a large area in Marina Bay and offers multiple diverse garden areas. Can you tell us about some of the most popular sites?

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A City’s History and Future in Place

04/14/15 | View Comments

Each month in our Open Voices blog we share insight from leaders in our communities who are advancing what it means to have sacred, open green spaces in our cities. In April, we talk with several companies and initiatives developing meaningful places in our cities.

“There is a sense that everyone wants to build more community”.

Linda Fordyce, one of the cofounders of the non-profit FireHouse Hostel and Museum, has her thumb on the pulse of changes happening in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. The hostel, set to open this year, is housed in an old firehouse within the grounds of this southern city’s oldest municipal park. MacArthur Park was formally established as Little Rock’s first public park in 1892 when the US Army traded the Little Rock Arsenal’s land, located in what is now Downtown, to the City of Little Rock to “forever exclusively be devoted to the uses and purposes of a public park”. The hostel represents a link between the city’s past and future, with part of the building devoted to a Firehouse museum, and a progressive park plan creating green space opportunities for neighborhoods and international visitors.

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Recommended Reading: Blending Nature and Technology

11/19/13 | View Comments

In today’s world where you can’t navigate day to day activities without the latest technologies, artist Mark Dorf is working to bring the natural and digital together in a way that embraces the beauty of both sides of our 21st century environment. Using digital photography, collaging, 3D rendering and scanning technology, Dorf has created a new series of photographs called “//_PATH” that blend geometric forms with images of nature.

Dorf aims to immerse himself in new environments while working on these photos, but also seeks to display how dependent we’ve become on technology to help us navigate these natural environments. He refers to this blending of nature and digital as a “comparison of languages,” with nature being the most ancient of all languages that helped give way to our new language of modern, digital images.

The foremost goal of his collection of images, according to Dorf, is to help people realize that it is possible to live in harmony between the natural and digital. By bringing the two closer together, people can learn to appreciate balancing both in their lives.

View more of Dorf’s photographs here.

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    About Us

    We are a private nonprofit that supports, informs, and inspires the creation of publicly accessible urban green spaces. We believe that every city resident needs nearby green space to provide opportunities for mindfulness, respite, and renewal. The Foundation has issued its final grants to build five Open Spaces Sacred Places and research the impacts on a variety of users with the hope that the powerful connection between nature, spirit and human wellbeing will be scientifically proven.

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