Disruptive Innovation in Land Planning by Peter Wilder

Speaking at the recent ECLAS (European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools) held at the University of Greenwich in London, Peter Wilder presented on the arrival of new technology and its implications for the land planning sector. The convergence of Big Data, Cloud Processing, Global Information and Positioning Systems and smartphone technology have put unprecedented power in the hands of designers, engineers, architects and planners. The technology is so powerful that it will render some parts of the profession redundant whilst revolutionising others. Alarmingly we may find ourselves saturated in data and have to rely on intelligent filtering networks or interfaces that enable us to select the most relevant information. It is this requirement that will usher in the age of artificial intelligence where computer algorithms decide what is relevant to us. To a certain extent, this is already happening, as our search engines tailor their results to our search history and recommend purchases to us based on our shopping habits. 

"Whilst we might not see designers easily replaced in the next generation" Wilder concludes, "the environment in which they work will alter radically". 

Goodbye Pavla by Peter Wilder

Pavla on the huge York stone slabs soon to grace the museum entrance

Pavla on the huge York stone slabs soon to grace the museum entrance

For the last week, Pavla Galbava has been working with Wilder Associates as a work experience student from Slovakia. Her week of work experience, that included technical details for a scheme in Dubai and drawings for the Natural History Museum, culminated in a visit to the scheme now under construction. We were happy to be able to show Pavla some of the huge diversity of the landscape industry and we hope that she will come back to London soon to see Phase 1 of the museum completed in December.

Implications of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy by Peter Wilder

The Grenfell Tower Fire is one of the worst building disasters to strike London in many years, but was it an accident waiting to happen? Rumours have surfaced about the poor management of the building and this will almost certainly be the subject of a public inquiry into the fire that has so far claimed 17 victims. The question on many peoples minds is 'How could a building that had recently received a £10million refurbishment be engulfed so quickly by fire'. 

The answer may lie in the retrofit of a high thermal performance outer cladding where a lower standard of fire protection was used. There is also speculation that fire stopping may have been breached during of after the retrofit to accommodate new heating pipes. Source Guardian 15.6.17. Whatever the outcome of the public inquiry, questions will certainly be asked of the UK Planning System and the construction sector. As with all major disasters, it is likely that a catalogue of errors led to the events that unfolded on the 14th June 2017. The questions will undoubtedly look at whether the refurbishment of the building increased the potential for the fire to spread, whether the standards allowed for the use of a material banned in the US for buildings over 15m tall and whether some of the refurbishment works created a route for the fire to spread as they by-passed fire stops. 

The incident is one that should prompt all designers to consider the impact of their specifications and the cumulative effect of risk. Whilst cost is always on our mind, we should never compromise qualty or safety in achieving the client brief. The Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation will almost certainly not be thinking about the £5,000 that it is estimated it would have cost to use the more fire retardant version of the Reynobond panels used in the refurbishment project. Instead, they will be counting the human cost and the damage that this incident has caused to the UK property sector.

Betteshanger Revisited by Peter Wilder

On a hot and cloudless London day, we escaped the city to visit Betteshanger Country Park in Kent. Completed in 2003 our single objective was clear, to map the 99Ha park in order to produce a 3D model with our Inspire 1 Drone. Under testing conditions, we completed the site mapping in 3 hours, capturing over 1400 high-resolution images that stitched together create a detailed 3D map of the site. You can choose to fly through the model in orbit mode or switch to first person view using the settings on the lower right-hand corner to feel like you are walking through the park. If you have a fast computer, switch to HD resolution to experience even greater detail.  A link to the 3D Model can be found on the Betteshanger page here.


The Joy of Setts by Peter Wilder

Valya and Peter discuss the joy of setts whilst strolling through the streets of Vilnius. Yes, we have been working on the Natural History Museum for too long and now we just can't get bogan laid patterns of stone setts out of our heads.

After speaking on Sponge Cities and the Future of Flood Resilient Cities we took a chance to get up close and personal with the River Neris and enjoy the culinary delights of Lithuania's capital. A great chance to unwind and have a little lighthearted banter about Europe and its people.

WA New Website Goes Live by Peter Wilder

WA Website Intro Video

WA Website Intro Video

Wilder Associates breaks into an entirely new look which is much more video-enabled. We'll be posting video updates on projects, field trips, conferences and events and keep a look out for our upcoming WA Movie! We'll be hosting some live broadcasts from our Youtube Channel and we'll also make these available on our blog post section. 

Please feel free to join the discussion and subscribe to our channels. We promise to keep the content fresh and relevant. www.wilder-associates.com

Walking the Golden Mile by Peter Wilder

A Visit to Christo’s and Jeanne-Claude’s Floating Piers in Italy

Stretched out in the bright Sulzano sunlight, Christo’s golden mile leads from the lake shore to the island of San Paolo. An installation, conceived by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1970, provides the small community around Lake Iseo with a unique journey to the tiny island and the journey doesn’t stop at the lake edge, but continues through the streets of Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio.

People experience the installation in different ways. Some marvel at the logistics of the 3km walkway made up of 220,000 polyethylene cubes others at the stark contract between the orange fabric and the blue skies.

“Those who experienced The Floating Piers felt like they were walking on water – or perhaps the back of a whale,” said Christo. “The light and water transformed the bright yellow fabric to shades of red and gold throughout the sixteen days.”

Despite the 7km walk to get to the site and the 5 hour wait in queues I was undeterred to experience the walk for myself. Though people are encouraged to keep walking I managed to find a moment to sit and contemplate the view.

We are often deterred from the use of bright colours in the landscape, but examples such as this and schemes like the Superkilen project in Copenhagen  prove to us that bright colours are something that people are drawn to. This has given us the confidence to integrate bright colours into a new urban design we are developing on the Creekside in Deptford. Colours which reflect the red brick of old warehouses and the green of the nature taking over derelict buildings and vibrant pink representing performance arts at the Laban Dance Centre will be expressed in a variety of materials in the paving and the building facades. We should sometimes remember that landscape is not just a technical exercise but also a piece of art, able to be experienced in different ways by those who use it.

By Kaja Jedrzejczyk

Drones In Construction by Peter Wilder

Wilder Associates was featured in the Autumn 2016 issue of Landscape. Welcome to the drones club discusses the role of drones in construction and the emergence of the technology as a major asset in informing the design process. The full article is posted below.

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