We Have a Winner!!!!!

SILVER MEDAL for “Life in the Balance”!!!!!! 

Another BIG win for the Academy of Art University’s  School of Landscape Architecture at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show! CONGRATULATIONS TO THE STUDENTS OF LAN 498/695 !

“Life in the Balance”, a design collaboration led by Tim Reuss (IDS), brings to life the Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang and demonstrates the opposites of life while exposing the harsh reality of our current environmental issues. Highlighting theses issues as part of the design was suggested by a LAN graduate student, Fang Yu, who is passionate about the responsibility of Landscape Architects and Designers in other fields as related to the ever changing world around us.

The installation is divided into two distinct spaces by a  Chinese Moongate designed by Alyssa Irawan (IAD). This beautifully crafted partition is a symbol for good fortune and prosperity in traditional Chinese gardens, however,  for this installation it has been purposely designed as an incomplete circle as a symbol of humanity’s good fortune being out of balance and stifled from coming around full circle.

On one side of the Moongate, suspended stones hanging from thin filaments represent seeds that are suppressed from germination by the negative impact of waste mismanagement. Graduate student Jason Jeon (LAN) proposed that a video that focuses on overpopulation, industrialization, and waste be  projected on the back wall of the space to shine the spotlight on the negative effects of these factors on our surroundings. In this context, the suspended seed elements show how life hangs in the balance only supported with delicate strings.

After passing through the grove of hanging stones, the Moongate invites the viewer into a second space which is centered around a line of suspended upside-down trees. Organically shaped cracked mirrors placed below the canopy of the trees creates a jarring effect and puts the viewer’s face in the problem; Seeing oneself and a tree hanging from a thin filament suggests how fragile life is. If one were to break the tether that holds life, it will fall and die.

Enclosing this space is a lush living wall which incorporates an inferred shadow of the Moongate on one side, and a beautiful specimen flowering Cherry Tree on the other. Moss growing up the walls and colliding into the Cherry tree represent the environment overcoming obstacles,flourishing, life rebuilt, and breaking borders.

The key to success for this beautiful installation lies in the collaborative spirit that was evident among the students of LAN 498/695 from the very beginning of the semester. Under Erin Millard’s (LAN) project management, the students of this class efficiently organized themselves, and with determination, hard work, and smiles on their faces, they were able to bring a concept to life that is the talk of the show! Thank you, Tim Reuss  (IDS), Alyssa Irawan (IAD), Fang Yu  (LAN), Jason Jeon  (LAN), Erin Millard (LAN), Haleh Rahmani (IAD), Yuening Pu (LAN), and Xi Lu (LAN)! You have made us all very proud!

“Life in the Balance”

Tim Reuss, Lead Designer

LAN 498/695 – Right to Left – Time Reuss, Jason Jeon, Erin Millard, Yuening Pu, Alyssa Irawan, Yasmine Farazian (Instructor)

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