Embracing Ambiguity in Outdoor Spacemaking

Over the past twenty years social media has overtaken social infrastructure as the place to meet others and be part of a community. But everything that goes, comes around again. The desire for places and spaces to congregate and interact, in person, may have dimmed but didn’t go away. Now, it’s growing again in newfound directions.

Social media can be the forum that sparks engagement in the physical world. Outdoor settings more easily become scenes of spontaneous activity with the help of online planning. Traditional, housed venues offer permanent, structured facilities that function well for established programs. Ephemeral or transient happenings are free to explore alternative locations; ones that might more closely align with the spirit of the times.

It’s the spacemaker’s obligation to create flexible surroundings that can adapt to situations as they develop. Not knowing what’s to come is unsettling, but without one foot in the unknown we can’t prepare a place for advancement. A built outdoor environment can be exciting simply for its possibilities.

Human nature follows nature’s lead. Open air inspires honest appraisal. Iron (from soil) in our blood mixes with the oxygen (from plants) we breathe. We are substantiated by earth and atmosphere. Celebrate the connection by allowing the outdoor spaces that we design and build to grow into their own. The process begins with us but ends we don’t know where or when.

In January I’ll be heading to The Northern Green, a 3-day event held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in the heart of downtown Minneapolis.

Many thanks to the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association for the invitation to speak at the Northern Green Conference in January. Looking forward to visiting Minneapolis!

Part 1. Delightful Curiosities: A Visual Tour of Purpose-built Enigmas
Part 2. Examining Process in the Creation of One-of-kind Stoneworks

Artscaping in Dry Stone: Delightful Curiosities - A Visual Tour of Purpose-built Enigmas
Ancient ruins, solid geometry, and geologic formations have inspired and informed the creation of Snow’s contemporary stoneworks. His handcrafted sculptures partner with garden and nature to express new ideas in the open-air. A select number of projects from the USA, Canada, and Northern Europe will be displayed and discussed, highlighting their relationship to art, craft, and environment.

Artscaping in Dry Stone: Examining Process in the Creation of One-Of-A-Kind Stoneworks
Reverse engineering the process of completing a work in dry stone reveals the steps that made it unique. Snow will break down recent projects into the elements that shaped them. Site potential, material availability, guide fabrication, craft standards and personal motivation are blended into, and balanced for, each distinct work.

For more information, schedule of events and registration information, click through to The Northern Green website. Hope to see you there!