A project by Spackman Mossop + Michaels is featured in a story on MetropolisMag.com. LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture faculty members Elizabeth Mossop and Wes Michaels are principals at Spackman Mossop + Michaels, a landscape architecture firm based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
In the past decade, natural calamities have provoked responses not only from local architects and designers, but also from their peers overseas, who are tuned in like never before through social networking and online news sources. The earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, Hurricane Sandy, and the many catastrophes in between have pushed designers everywhere to take into account our troubled relationship with nature. We reached out to some of the leading practices around the world to find out how they have incorporated disaster-preparedness into their work. Some of this creative output, like West 8’s plan for Governors Island, has been prematurely tested, and were successful. Some, like Weiss/Manfredi’s work in Toronto, are informed more by a general awareness of the environment than by any particular disaster. At every scale, architects and designers are addressing both how we can gradually reduce our impact on the planet and protect life and property in times of crisis. Taken together, the projects on these pages are an encouraging sign that we are adding to our design arsenal. When the next big catastrophe strikes, no matter where it is, we will be a little better prepared.