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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Chautauqua Institution Expands Offerings for Landscape Architecture Week

As previously noted in LAND Online, the Chautauqua Institution in Southwest New York state will be offering a week’s worth of intensive study on landscape architecture from July 17–21. The institution recently announced a new set of speakers for that week, including the authors of the Not So Big House series of books.
On Thursday, July 20, Sarah Susanka, architect and coauthor of the influential Not So Big House series of books, will speak at the institution. Susanka’s design philosophy flies in the face of the current trend toward McMansion-style homes, and instead embraces the idea that small, well-designed spaces can give home owners the comfort they seek while having a minimal impact on land use.
“The inspiration for The Not So Big House came from a growing awareness that new houses were getting bigger and bigger but with little redeeming design merit,” Susanka says on her website. “The problem is that comfort has almost nothing to do with how big a space is. It is attained, rather, by tailoring our houses to fit the way we really live, and to the scale and proportions of our human form.”
Julie Moir Messervy, Affiliate ASLA, landscape designer, coauthor of Outside the Not So Big House: Creating the Landscape of Home, and author of Contemplative Gardens will also address the institution. Her talk is scheduled for Friday, July 21. Moir Messervy is a regular contributor to Fine Gardening magazine, where she writes the “Inspired Design” column. She is also an accomplished landscape designer whose work includes the Toronto Music Garden.
"Sarah Susanka and Julie Moir Messervy's clearly written text offers practical advice for designing indoor–outdoor spaces that respond to modern lifestyles,” James Van Sweden, FASLA, has said of Outside the Not So Big House. “They reveal secrets for achieving the ideal combination of architecture and nature in the home and in the garden."
The institution has also added Dean Gowan, ASLA, an award-winning landscape architect from Buffalo, New York, to the lecture schedule. Gowan is the landscape architect for the institution, which is a National Historic District listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 30, 1989. Gowan will speak on the unique challenges of creating landscapes for a historic landmark.
Other featured speakers include:
Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, vice president and principal, EDAW, design, planning & environments worldwide; ASLA president
James van Sweden, founding partner, Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, Washington, D.C.; cocreator of New American Garden style, and coauthor of Architecture in the Garden
Charles Birnbaum, FASLA, preservationist; coordinator, National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative
L. Azeo Torre, FASLA, president, Torre/ Design Consortium, New Orleans
The Athenaeum Hotel at the Chautauqua Institution is offering special rates for all ASLA members. Chautauqua is a community noted for its landscapes, historic architecture, beautiful gardens, and overall community design. For more information visit the Chautauqua Institution website, or download the group's brochure on the event.

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