How to Ruin a Wonderful Space

The Devonian Gardens in 2007. Photo by norrix The Devonian Gardens were a wonderland. Located on the top floor of the TD Centre mall in downtown Calgary, the gardens were a fully-enclosed greenhouse of tropical plants and — best of all for a kid — a million nooks and crannies to explore. It seemed like […]

Saving an Historic Site — Then What?

When Cynthia Lee Hong-yee found out that her family planned to sell her grandfather’s private garden to developers, she returned from the United States to take photos of the lush greenery and eclectic Western-influenced Chinese architecture. “I was capturing some of the details and I realized I just couldn’t capture Dragon Garden’s greatness,” she said. […]

Posted in: Architecture, Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, History, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Saving an Historic Site — Then What? , , , , ,

Rooftop Gardening

Container gardening is the ultimate form of urban greening: space-efficient, low-maintenance and productive. People in Hong Kong have been doing it for generations. Last summer, on a sunny but oppressively hot day, I found myself on the roof of a 1960s-era highrise apartment building in Kwun Tong. Among the lines of billowing laundry were several […]

Posted in: Architecture, Asia Pacific, Environment by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Rooftop Gardening , , , , ,

Dreaming of the Sustainable City

When the curators of the 2009 Hong Kong-Shenzhen Biennale began assembling exhibits for the urbanism and architecture showcase, they decided to focus on the theme of sustainability. It turns out that most of the artists, architects and designers who answered their call for submissions had the same idea. “It’s almost a zeitgeist,” says Eric Schuldenfrei, […]

Posted in: Architecture, Art and Design, Asia Pacific, Environment, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Dreaming of the Sustainable City , , , , ,

Toronto’s Poster Plants

When I wrote about the political and cultural importance of posters (not to mention their aesthetic contribution to the city by making it look messy and lived-in), I never considered that they could also have an environmental benefit. Luckily, two artists in Toronto, Eric Cheung and Sean Martindale, have demonstrated exactly how this can be […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Environment, Public Space by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Toronto’s Poster Plants , , , ,