What’s inside?

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“Are you asking me? …is that some kind of existential ‘look-in-the-mirror’ trick?”

“Are you going to take the trip or not?”

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Talk about a dream

The past quickly becomes a dream at best and worst–Dubai Dreamland.

Well, while I was dreaming about walking distance green and blue in local parks…

How does that shopping work if you don’t want to get into your car every day?

And what if I have to be driving through a neighbourhood and need to shop?

…safe at last…or…

Dubai urbanification–this is the Coastal Zone. In fact, it is the heart of a growing 200km long megalopolis connecting Ras al Kaimah in the north to Abu Dhabi in the south. And it was once…Empty Quarter.

The serviceable part of a lot of those hi-rise apartment neighbourhoods is that ground floor has retail space. I don’t want to turn this into some kind of planners manifesto; but if you must live in an apartment building, it is hugely practical to have retail on the ground floor of hi-rise–especially if your goal is to reduce numbers of local auto trips.

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Had to Catch a Bus

Had to catch a bus today. Once a week I have therapy and I get there by bus. Well, on the way…it is mid-March in the Berner Oberlands and March came in like a lion with Russian wind and cold from Siberia. The first two weeks felt the harsh results.

But this morning, on my way to catch the bus, I saw the promise of spring realized. I had to stop and photograph.

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Is today the day? For sure.

And even I was still 10 minutes early for a bus that is always on time. Temperature had risen above 50 degree fahrenheit. Mild for mid-March. I sat down and took one more photo before the bus.

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Deep breath of fresh water lake air. No chill. Yes, spring.

Landscape meet Garden

I’ve been writing landscape adventure stories the past couple years, and in a strange fashion, the narrators of each story have taught me new perceptions of landscape architecture and design.

For example, the narrator of Crystal Vision explained to me that landscape harbors danger for humans and that garden is safe and primarily provides for quiet introspection and also for active and regular energy exchange. The narrator explained further that both landscape and garden are deficient if not dominated by plants sustained by adequate water.

Yeah, it did make sense to me, anyone else agree?

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It all happens at the town’s edge.

Cross Cultural

Lived lots of years in foreign countries–foreign cultures.

Cross-cultural are experiences in which I have been face-to-face with people and behaviours I did not understand and often did not agree.

…as opposed to multi-cultural which is theory only.

In my work as a landscape architect in those foreign countries and foreign cultures, I had to build major projects. Had to reach workable agreements in difficult cross-cultural conditions. Learned so very much from so many different people.

The links below track some of my cross-cultural journeys.

They are all HD, all less than one minute long, and they are all growing from the Empty Quarter, the Rub al Khali.

ArabiaFelix

Rub al Khali Enigma: the Empty Quarter in the Arabian Peninsula, what it is.

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Atlantis

Dreams: how to get from dreams to fiction to reality, Atlantis Dubai 2008.

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Qasr

Empty Quarter: transforming cross-cultural realties, harsh environments into restful shelter, Qasr al Sarab 2010.

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GolfAcademy

A Golf Academy in the Empty Quarter?

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Facials?

…or too much time…

I’ve got too much time on my hands—it’s the only way I can explain this stretched metaphor where the skin on one’s face and plant cover on the earth are equated.

If plants are the skin, the face of the earth, then…

…lay down, close your eyes…

The sky, the earth, the clouds and water combine to give the most unique of deep and revitalizing facial treatments to the plants.

…happy…

And afterwards…all are glowing…absolutely glorious…everyone is smiling!

Happy?

🙂