A place where Minnesota's design community can blow its collective mind about creative expression in every medium from websites to landscapes, chocolate to bicycles.

Get Your Social On

Posted: June 10th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: input, landscape architecture, opinion | Tags: , , | Comments Off


Following up on the theme of my resent marketing presentation for the Minnesota chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects I was just made aware (thanks to chapter president Richard Murphy) of a terrific article emphasizing the need for firms to engage in social networking. The article “If You’re Not Online, You’re Behind” was written by architect Evelyn Lee and published on the Design Intelligence website. It’s a great introduction to Linked In, Facebook and Twitter. Refreshingly the story does not obscure its purposeful and simple moral -why you should get involved – in the cloud of jargon and statistics common in discussions on this subject.

Design Intelligence (a publication of the Design Futures Council) is targeted squarely at the architecture profession. This is an important point. I’ve spoken to many a Landscape Architect who has a small but legitimate chip on his/her shoulder acquired through years of experience providing a design service that seems all too often to come as an afterthought to a site’s architecture. Personally I think it is important to see more synergy between structure and landscape. For this to happen landscape architecture firms need to gain a stronger presence in the minds of architects and in the public consciousness. Social networking can help achieve this because it is functioning (for better or worse) as the new town square where hundreds of millions of people are asking questions. If you don’t want architects to be providing all the answers about landscape architecture you need to jump into the fray.

Bike To Work Week

Posted: June 4th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: bikes, events, local twin cities | Tags: | Comments Off


I’m a big baby so I don’t ride much in the Winter. This makes it all the more paramount that I celebrate cycling while the weather is glorious. Whether you’re a die-hard, year-round cyclist or still looking for an excuse to dust off your trusty two-wheeler next week is your opportunity to make a statement and enjoy some camaraderie. Bike To Work Week starts Saturday, June 5 and runs… uh rides, through Sunday, June 13. You can learn more about how bicycle commuting this week is different than other weeks by visiting bikewalkweek.org but I’m not giving away any secrets by telling you that events, discounts and good company on the trails are all involved. Don’t have a bike? Among other scheduled events Nice Ride will be launching their Minnesota bike share program on Tuesday, June 10th (the original Bike To Work Day). However you roll, after a week of cycle commuting you’ll be happier and healthier and wonder why you ever drove that dinosaur juice burner to work.

For Interactive Types

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: Interactive, resources, type | Tags: | Comments Off


If you’ve seen enough Arial, Times and Verdana to last a lifetime I’m happy to report that more progress is being made on improving the typographic experience online. Google has joined the open source type crusade with the launch of Google Font Directory. While still in beta part of Google’s effort includes standardizing the experience of type across browsers which means not only readers will benefit but developers have something to fall in love with as well. For more on this topic also see post: The League of Movable Type.

Today in the Studio Garden (07)

Posted: June 2nd, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: , | Comments Off


Currently the studio garden is dominated by blues which makes these yellow iris stand out like a forest of little light houses as the morning sun filters through them.

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The Competitive Landscape

Posted: May 27th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: artifacts, downloads, events, landscape architecture | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »



Thank you to everyone who attended the ASLA-MN seminar “The Competitive Landscape – Insights to Help Landscape Architects Use Marketing to Define the Terrain”. It was a pleasure to meet you. I hope you learned a few things and came away enthused about the opportunities to market yourself or your company in exciting new ways that benefit both you and your audience. Please feel free to download the presentation so you can continue the conversation.

Download Presentation (19mbĀ  pdf)

Today in the Studio Garden (06)

Posted: May 18th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: , | Comments Off


I always enjoy working on the studio garden but today is one of those spectacular days when I could grab my laptop, sit in the shade of the Lilac and enjoy working in the studio garden. I know I shared Anemones yesterday but the light seemed to be particularly interested in them today. Besides, they’re Cindy’s favorite.

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Today in the Studio Garden (05)

Posted: May 16th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: , | Comments Off


It was a rainy week weather-wise and a busy week work-wise so the glorious weekend was quite a relief. After their long drink the Snowdrop Anemones are blooming in profusion and reaching for the sky like somebody yelled “Jesse James” at a banking convention.

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Diaspora vs Facebook

Posted: May 14th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: Interactive | Tags: | Comments Off


If the idea of keeping in touch with long lost protagonists from the historical back alleys of your life has led you to join Facebook you are in good company. 400 million people in fact which is rather a lot of company. The question is if Facebook itself is putting the ‘good’ in good company or if it is primarily concerned about the company half of the equation? I can only speculate as to Facebook’s motives but their privacy policy has always given me pause. Recent changes in that policy will increase the exposure of your personal information to forces beyond your control. If Facebook feels like a reasonable trade-off to you then by all means go for it. If not then an alternative open-source social network called Diaspora* is currently germinating and could use your help. If you are the type that makes early adopters feel late to the party now is the moment to check it out and spread the word.

You can also read more about the creators of Diaspora* in this New York Times article.

Today in the Studio Garden (04)

Posted: May 4th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: | Comments Off


I was surprised to see these miniature Iris up already. Perhaps simply because they don’t have as far to go at just about five inches high but I prefer to believe they are just eager.

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Today in the Studio Garden (03)

Posted: April 29th, 2010 | Author: Todd | Filed under: downloads, local twin cities, photography | Tags: | Comments Off


There was a brief window of beautiful filtered light this morning before the forces of evil gathered enough power to cloud the sky in an ongoing effort to make sure my parents (who fly in today) never see Minnesota at its best. So even though it is gray outside you can have a sunny spot on your computer occupied by this Vinca Minor which is one of the few things in the garden that seems to grow slowly.

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