Landscape Performance

First “Remarkable Objects” podcast makes the case for quantifying the landscape

Landscape Architecture Media National
Blue Hole Regional Park, a case study of the Landscape Performance Series. (Courtesy Nan Palmero/flickr)
Blue Hole Regional Park, a case study of the Landscape Performance Series. (Courtesy Nan Palmero/flickr)

A production of DeepRoot Green Infrastructure, Remarkable Objects is a new podcast series focused at the intersection of nature and urban design, and is interested in how nature and the built environment engage with each other, as well as the potential for resilient and sustainable architecture through research and innovative practice.

In its first full episode, producer and creative director at DeepRoot Leda Marritz chatted with Barbara Deutsch, executive director of the Landscape Architecture Foundation, about the Landscape Performance Series—an online resource to “help designers, agencies, and advocates evaluate performance, show value, and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions,” according to their website. The project also works to demystify the actual work of landscape architects by making their findings a public and accessible resource, and in the process, seeking to bridge the gap between academia and practice.

The Landscape Performance Series is six years in the making and consists of over 100 case studies of projects across the United States. After gathering research, each project is quantified, and an analysis is composed of its successes and failures. As Deutsch explains on Remarkable Objects, “sometimes [the architecture] doesn’t perform the way you wanted it to,” and this outcome could be “a result of the design solution, a change in the process, that something wasn’t implemented as designed, or something was value engineered out that made a critical difference.”

The Landscape Performance Series has noble goals but is not without its own set of constraints. Sometimes there isn’t enough time, the data collection tools are not available to practitioners, and, of course, the environment is always changing and evolving. Still, Deutsch argues that the very act of evaluating and documenting performance creates a mindset around sustainability and resilience, leaving practitioners in a position where they can understand more fully “how to do it better the next time,” Deutsch said.

The Remarkable Objects podcast airs every other Wednesday over the course of the eight-episode season.

Related Stories