Designing for water: the sweet & the salt of it

Designing for water: the sweet & the salt of it

Water is life – and death. As floods and droughts assume Biblical proportions in many areas in the world, the magnitude of the water issues we face is penetrating our awareness and our political and spatial agenda. Nowhere is that clearer than in the Netherlands, where mastery of the water has always been a condition for survival. If there is one element which is crucial to the Low Lands – for its sheer existence, for its landscape, for its identity – then that is water. The Dutch created land by pushing the water out with dikes and keeping it out with pumps. Now, however, the country that has refashioned its landscape so distinctly in order to keep water out, is letting it back in. For Landscape, the magazine of the British Landscape Institute, I wrote an essay based on my book in collaboration with Maartje van den Heuvel, Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch. Read the essay here: Tracy Metz – Designin for water: the sweet & the salt of it – 2012 – Landscape Institute

Read the article…

Two kinds of smiles

Two kinds of smiles

When the American swimmer Ryan Lochte won gold at the London Olympics this week, his smile was bigger news than his medal. He was wearing a $25,000 dollar ‘dental grill’ made of diamonds in the Stars & Strips pattern of the flag. Right next to his picture in the Fashion & Style section of the New York Times was an ad for a very different kind of smile: a child with a harelip. The ad was for a charity called SmileTrain that collects money for operations on harelips. I can’t help wondering how many harelips can be repaired – i.e., people be given a life – for that $25,000? And isn’t a flag-smile a political statement that should disqualify Lochte? And now that I’m on a rant anyway, what’s a whitey doing with a rapper fashion now a decade old?

I’ll bet the NYT did it on purpose.

‘Broken Light’ softens a hardscrabble street in Rotterdam’s old harbor

‘Broken Light’ softens a hardscrabble street in Rotterdam’s old harbor

The city of Rotterdam asked a group of artists to help rejuvenate the former harbor area of Katendrecht through the use of light. the winner of the competition was Rudolf Teunissen of Daglicht & Vorm. His award-winning design projects a wavy pattern on the street and siewalk and narrow pennants of lights on the facades of the social income housing. In the beginning the inhabitants were wary, but now they’re proud of the way that lighting project ‘Broken Light’ has softened the look and feel of the street. Read my story for Architectural Record here.   Read the article…