Bitter Pill to swallow

Designed environments which are thought out, formalized, and complete are usually ‘lifeless’ and unapproachable because (a) they do not invite interaction and modification to suit immediate human needs; (b) they are unable to develop and become extended through human use. (…) Oddly enough, many environments which ‘work’ well for people meet few, if any,aesthetic criteria ordinarily employed by designers. (…)

George Rand, quoted in Lawrence Halprin, New York, New York (1968)

For most designers this was a bitter pill to swallow. (…) We do not seem to be able to structure the process of change. On one hand we need citizen participation; on the other the magnitude of he physical needs of rebuilding are enormous.

Lawrence Halprin, New York, New York (1968)

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Florian Rivière, Hacktivist Dublin (2012)

Bitter Pill to swallow


Halprin_Score_Seminary_South_Foutain  halprin halprin secuencia In order to design for movement a whole new system of conceptualizing most be undertaken. Our present systems of design and planning are inevitabily limited by our techniques of conceptulizing and our methods of symbolizing ideas. We know only how to delineate static objects, and so is all we do.

Lawrence Halprin, Cities (1963)



I never use water as a barrier. I use water in cities as a living force, on some level like plants. It moves, it sparkles, it sounds good, you can touch it, you can play in it. (…)

I wouldn’t be in this work if I didn’t think it would—well, I don’t know how much it transforms people—but it can go a long way toward making their lives more meaningful and enhancing their lives. And if it’s done right, it can promote healing. A lot of healing can be done in a wonderful environment. (…)

They will feel about you that you’re going to make something wonderful for them. And they help you by expressing themselves. Not telling you how to do it, but encouraging you and accepting your vision and working with you on that kind of a level. (…)

‘Memorable’ and ‘intense’ and ‘passionate’ are words that I prefer to ‘pretty’ when I’m making places for people.

Lawrence Halprin, Notebooks 1959 to 1971 and other texts


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Lawrence Halprin, Ira Keller and Lovejoy Fountains