Saturday, September 26, 2009

Shirley Watts and Topher Delaney - The AIA tour.

September has been the month for celebrating

“ Architecture in The City” in San Francisco.

Wonderful tours, fabulous exhibitions and informative lectures have been offered across the city on how architecture impacts our every day lives.

This year a fantastic tour of stirring landscape architectural projects were added to the roster of events.

Two gardens by Topher Delaney and two gardens by Shirley Watts were generously opened to the public to view.

The first image below is a garden designed and constructed by Topher Delaney’s firm SEAM.


I’ll post more photos of this garden in the following days as well as her other garden that was graciously opened for viewing.

For now, here is a teaser photo.

From New Album 9/26/09 8:37 PM

The photo below is a detail shot in one of Shirley Watts gardens.

Shirley Watts website address is -

This garden was full of rousing concepts and innovative recycled materials .

From New Album 9/26/09 8:37 PM

I'll have the rest of the photos uploaded by tomorrow and will follow up with a review of this extraordinary day.


Phrago said...

Hey Michelle, could you tell me what qualities about Topher Delaney designs speaks to you. I have been looking at her installations for years and I just don't get it. I can appreciate some of the spacial play between large sculptural objects and walls suspended in gravel, but over all, I find her work with the words engraved into steps , walls, etc juvenial and repetative. More often I find her use of minimalistic planting scemes souless. In contrast to your own work which I find thoughtful and alive in all its variables, I find her work predictable, and laborious to look at. What is it about this designer that keeps your interest...

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Hi there Phrago, It's always a pleasure to hear from you.

In a word, it’s her gumption to reinvent the landscape as commonly perceived, - that’s what keeps me interested in seeing her work.

There is plenty of work of hers that I find flat, lifeless and depends too much on metaphors that are stretched too far in that they don’t work, but then there are those works of creativity that hit a home run with me.

I embrace her work because she dares . She dares to try. She dares to break convention.
She dares to take on social issues within the context of a garden design installation and she doesn’t waver in the face that she might fail.

That takes guts. It also renders some lifeless and flat projects, but it also presents us with absolute and unique sculptural installations that provoke thought, discussion and at times can please the eye.

That’s is why I keep returning to see her work, to visit enterprise and boldness, innovation and discovery.

Bay Area Tendrils said...

Just returned from Chicago! Not hooked up to computer while I was away. Thanks for leaving info about AIA tour, sorry to miss you, again....

Kerry said...

Okay, cough it up girlfriend! We're all waiting on your fab pictures Michelle. :)

I'm pretty sure I've been to the Shirely Watts garden you are going to post about, I'm interested to see if it's the same one.

I tend to agree with you about Topher Delaney, some of her stuff is WOW and some is well... meh - misses the mark, but I admire her daring. I have to say I used to feel the same way about some of Shirley's work but she seems to have found her style. I think with any designer that is willing to ride the edge there are going to sometimes be misses, and some fabulous work as well.

I tend to think of Topher's work more as art installations that you look upon that are not necessarily very functional. I think Shirley does a nice job of doing both - while also doing some really great recycling and re-purposing.

So come on, where those photos at? :)

Delphine said...

yesterday evening, i have seen a documentary about Topher Delaney. I was totally captivated by her story. I like the way she works. She likes to invent a very personnal and unique garden that fit to its owner. And she was explaining why she imagines sacred gardens (because she had a cancer in 1989). And i like the way she introduces the Braille in her landscapes, (maybe i like this idea because my mother is blind...)