The ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO is a highlight of Fall for us. We have the opportunity to introduce new products, reconnect with customers, business partners and friends. We knew that Boston would be a good one. We stayed in the Parker House hotel (home of Boston Cream Pie!), right on the Boston Commons. Sunday morning we were able to enjoy a delightful stroll around the public gardens – inspiring landscape architecture since 1837.
Most of our customer seemed upbeat. Designers in the west and east coasts seem busy, especially with multi-family residential and hospitality work. We heard grumbling that architects are still bidding their services low!
Lots of interesting new designs, lot of continued competition in our markets. Established players are introducing new looks at a brisk pace. There continue to be foreign manufacturers that see the U.S. market as a great opportunity. If the past is any judge, they may not stick around.
Greenroof and living wall, previously considered “experimental”, are now being looked at for more conventional applications. As comfort grows with the technology, more players seem to enter the market!
The most crowded place in the show was the bookstore – landscape architects have not abandoned tradional print media!! Continue reading →
We had an exciting night last Friday at the Museum of Craft and Design in SF. Our Buzz Bench was selected to be part of the New West Coast Design 2 exhibit highlighting experimental works in traditional and new materials. We were thrilled to be included with the other architects, industrial and interiors designers, design groups and craft artists working with advance technologies. Curated by Kathleen Hanna and Ted Cohen, this exhibit “focused on the design process itself and how this impulse is manifested by a wide variety of individuals.”
In our case, it was the the humble bike rack that required a significant re-think. As our urban environment continues to develop, so too does activity around bicycle commuting. And so, the Buzz Bike Bench by Jason Bird of Luxxbox in Brisbane, Australia was developed. As a lifestyle element that can allow large numbers of bikes to parked and locked, it also functions as a meeting place for the urban warrior to sit, relax, or simply spend some time in the community – the Buzz of city life.
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. Since 2002 the event has expanded to currently include 65 participating teams and nearly 10,000 students in three competitions around the world.
For the 2013 competition, Perry Cordoza of Nuvis, and currently the President of the SoCa Chapter of the ASLA invited Site Design Studio to design a courtyard as part of the event. Site Design then enlisted us, along with other manufacturers, to “supply the tools” so they could “create the space.”
Last Friday was Park(ing) Day, “an annual worldwide event where artists, designers and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks.” After reaching 162 cities on 6 continents in 2012, the organization this year decided they wanted to put focus on the quality rather than the quantity of our urban public spaces, and we couldn’t agree more.
SAA Design Group sees this event as an opportunity to re-imagine our urban landscape and highlight the value of our civic spaces.
Recently Architect magazine featured an article called Newest Urbanism where the author, Kim O’Connell, explores the idea of tactical urbanism as it moves into the mainstream. She references the Better Block program of Dallas that installed a bike lane, plants and sidewalk furniture to a moribund city block, as well as the students of Georgia Tech College whose plan formed the basis of the Atlanta BeltLine Street Framework Plan. These interventions are a way to reclaim our urban environment, encourage street life and promote economic investment.
And while each small effort might not make a major change on its own, combined together they will help to push forward an agenda including studies and proposals towards a real change to our cities.
We get a lot of requests for pots, planters and trellis products finished in unique, project-specific colors. We can only offer so many as standard, so we color match on a regular basis. Some of these colors eventually find their way to our blog, advertisements, or on our websites. Slowly but surely, we get more and more customers asking for specific non-standard colors.
Due to their popularity, we recently added several of these colors, plus a few more, to our standard color pallet for all our FRP fiberglass pots. Shown first at Dwell on Design this year, the new “standards” have gotten terrific response!
They are all available now, at no additional cost. We’re still happy to match colors for specific projects, and we always welcome color requests and suggestions from our clients. Continue reading →
Several hundred interior and exterior landscapers gathered at the Plantscape Industry Expo (PIE) in Las Vegas this week. From the sights and sounds, the general overall business outlook was positive and there was a high degree of interest in the living wall product options. If you didn’t have a chance to visit us, here are a few pics of those who did.
Zest Planters by Surya Graf for Tournesol Siteworks
We’re excited to be working again with our partners at Street & Garden Furniture, as well as the fantastic group of Australian designers at Quench, who exhibited last year at the Dwell on Design event in Los Angeles. This year’s show, billed as America’s largest modern design event, takes place on June 20-21st at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Things have gotten busy here at Tournesol Siteworks – busier than we’ve been used to for quite a while. The activity in the multi-family construction business, not to mention the acquisition of the assets of Vespro, has us looking for people to join our team!
We’re a close-knit group that takes care of our own, and those people who fit well tend to stay with us for a long time. If you relish the chance to make a difference in a business that is rapidly growing, take the time to review our job postings. We’re a dynamic organization, so you should be the kind of person that doesn’t mind constant change. We anticipate posting several more opportunities in the near future, so keep checking back!