Two PHS staff members, Nancy O’Donnell and Linda Walczak, are in Venice, Italy to participate in a biannual exhibition of innovative urban design. The 2011 PHS Pop Up Garden is among an elite group of landscapes selected as an example of superior design for the modern city.
Nancy and Linda are busy representing PHS, collaborating with industry leaders, and sneaking in a pizza when possible! Below is a glimpse of their experience so far.
After a rainy Sunday and a jet-lagged introduction to La Serenissima, we woke up Monday to a warm, sunny day. A visit to the iconic Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark), was our first stop. San Marco is the patron saint of Venice, and his symbol, a winged lion, abounds in sculpture, mosaics, tapestry, and paintings. The next stop was the opening ceremonies of the Biennale. The United States Pavilion is located in a garden setting, Giardino. Several other pavilions were celebrating their openings as well.
2. Here is a view from the loggia of San Marco out to the lagoon. The two columns, dating from 1499, are topped by the winged lion depiction of St. Mark and a fisherman with whale and harpoon, standing on the dragon he has slain. When first erected they stood at the edge of the lagoon.
3A. Cathy Lang Ho, of the Institute for Urban Design, serves as the U.S. Pavilion exhibit organizer. Here she is making remarks about the selection of the entrants and the installation of the exhibit.
5 and 5A . Four rooms of project banners are hung in close proximity on a pulley system. When you pull a banner down, a weight with descriptive text on the side of the room goes up. The PHS Pop Up Garden weight read “Weedy Lot” and when lifted read below “Short vegetable commute.”
6. A “bar code” on the reverse side of the banner, shown as stripes of blue, green, chartreuse, pink, orange, and periwinkle depict the relative weight of different factors that each project effected: Each color represents different emphasis: community, ecology, economy, pleasure, etc. Each project had a unique “bar code” reflecting the weight of each characteristic as specified by the project’s team.