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Art & Architecture

Topos N.109

Topos is a must-have for successful landscape architects, planners, urban designers and architects all over the world.The monothematic issues provide a global overview of innovative projects, new developments and trends in the profession. Be part of the worldwide community of Topos readers!

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Georg D.W. Callwey GmbH & Co. KG
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4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.

British photographer and filmmaker Karl Davies asks himself: Can the natural world survive in a consumerist society? Will capitalism kill us? The changes that population growth and consumer capitalism cause on our planet are the theme of his film “Landscape of Consumption“. The scenes in his production are mainly so depressing because he neither glosses over nor edits anything – he just reflects our everyday life. It must have been in the year 2003 when I first came across the term “consumer society” on the Southern outskirts of London. In a cultural theory class at Goldsmiths College, we studied Jean Baudrillard’s engagement with the world of shopping. Baudrillard was as fascinated with the abundant, highly repetitive product landscapes found in 1970s US supermarkets as he was disgusted by them. For me,…

1 min.
ghost colony

One image stood out immediately at this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition: Ghost Colony. What at first is merely suggested by the photo’s title, becomes apparent only on second glance. This is because the aesthetics of this black-and-white photograph are the first thing to fascinate the viewer. But if you take a closer look, you will see the cruelty that lies behind the subject matter – as a result of climate change and human intervention in nature. On one of his regular birding sorties to the Little Rann (desert) of Kutch – a salt marsh in Gujarat, India – the photographer Jayesh Joshi came across these nearly 50,000 faded nests of Lesser Flamingos. Salt pans normally provide a safe environment away from predators where the birds can feed…

5 min.
“let’s face it: we fucked it up. so, it will be us who fix it.”

40 years ago, scientists began issuing serious warnings about climate change. However, nobody listened, nobody cared and pretty much nothing was done to combat it. So, it seems quite astonishing that it was a passionate 16-year-old Swedish girl who ultimately provided the straw that broke the camel’s back to make this global challenge one of the top priorities of our times. Suddenly it seems obvious not only to millions of teenagers around the globe that we have to make changes. Cities in particular take center stage when it comes to this change: they need to massively reduce emissions, become greener, more inclusive, healthier, and more livable. The only question that remains is, how on earth do we get there? Do we need stricter regulations, carbon taxes, car-bans, a new economic…

1 min.
zus: elma van boxel and kristian koreman

1 CAREER STARTING POINT? The day we met at Landscape Architecture School and almost immediately started our office ZUS. 2 INFLUENCED BY… Team 10, the Situationists, Yves Brunier and Madonna. 3 WHY LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE? Because of a fascination for the big forces of nature, its beauty, its evolution and how to merge these with the human environment. 4 DESIGN PRINCIPLES? Use time as a design factor, dare to project crises on the future, maintain an optimistic mindset, and never repeat yourself. 5 WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL FOCUS? To create our own spatial and political agenda through working on the threshold between landscape architecture, architecture and urbanism. 6 FORMULA FOR SUCCESS? No guts, no glory. 7 WHERE ARE YOU IN 15 YEARS? Building our own dune house from the sand in the Delta Plan X – Dune Metropolis, which we’re trying to imagine right now…

1 min.
dirk sijmons

1 CAREER STARTING POINT? As a landscape architect: the State Forestry Service of the Netherlands. 2 INFLUENCED BY Geddes, McHarg, Hooftman, Olmstead, Waldheim, Weller, Geuze, Van Gessel, RAAAF, Leroy, Heizer, Smithson, Muso, Soseki, Van Leeuwen, Odum, Morton, Lindblom, Edzioni, Hajer, Latour, Hamilton, Sennet and a myriad of others. 3 WHY LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE? Because it mediates between nature and culture. An inexhaustible object to wonder at and an endless source of inspiration. 4 DESIGN PRINCIPLES? Almost all social and natural processes can be seduced into making a meaningful contribution to the landscape. 5 WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL FOCUS? It shifted from the (landscape) architectural expression of nature development, water safety, agriculture, urban landscapes, tourism, the energy transition, urban metabolism, and our stance in the Anthropocene. 6 A FORMULA FOR SUCCESS? Staying curious. 7 WHAT WILL YOU DO IN 15 YEARS? Hopefully a little bit of…

4 min.

It has been almost 30 years to the day that I got off the train at the Südbahnhof. A direct connection from an upland village in South Tyrol at the Italian-Austrian border. The first challenge were the escalators; I had never seen anything like them before. I had arrived in Vienna and I was here to stay, as it turned out. The Südbahhof doesn’t exist anymore, having made space for the central station. It boasts yet more escalators and is more shopping centre than train station, in line with the global trend of commercialisation. The plot of the former station has become one of Vienna’s most important urban development sites, and so has the area of the former Nordbahnhof. The development of the Nordwestbahnhof is next in line and ideas and…