Monday, September 21, 2009

MAKING PUBLIC PLACES The Hub, at ConfluxCity

THE HUB at ConfluxCity

Thank you to everyone that participated in the MAKING PUBLIC PLACES the Hub at ConfluxCity 2009! We had a great turnout and received interesting feedback from the public. We uploaded some of the images from yesterday on Flickr.

More to come !

Friday, September 18, 2009

MAKING PUBLIC PLACES THE HUB at ConfluxCity this Sunday Sep 20th !


Join us this Sunday September 20th, from 2- 5pm for ConfluxCity a user-generated city-wide event for the creative exploration of urban public space! We will be set up on the corner of 9th Ave and W13th St, ( in front of Spice Market ) in the Meat Packing District NY.

The Purpose of MAKING PUBLIC PLACES, THE HUB is to open a dialog on Public Place Making in New York City through new Media alternatives to reach out to the public. By creating a hub with handheld devices and enabling the hashtag #mpplaces through Twitter, we will be able to track people’s views of public space. We’d like to ask you what you think makes a Good Public Place?

We base our question on a specific case study for the redesign of public space in the Meat Packing District in which we are involved. Besides the question you will also be asked to point out your favorite place in the area, and why.

More than 70 artists have been invited to contribute. Just bring yourself and your ideas! Postcards with map flags will be available on site that day and before the event at the ConfluxCity Headquarters located in NYU Steinhardt's Department of Art and Art Professions, 34 Stuyvesant Street.

Link to download postcard of MAKING PUBLIC PLACES, THE HUB

Link to download the full schedule for Conflux Festival

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Lush " Clearing"

Marilyn K. Yee/ The New York Times

We have recently checked out the new art installation " A Clearing in the Streets" in Lower Manhattan by Julie Farris and Sarah Wayland- Smith who are active contributors of Balmori Associates. The ten sided structure provides a glimpse of an urban wilderness suspended in the cityscape and makes a successful sampling of meadow ( mix of native plants and grasses grown from seed on a raised bed) . The idea was to leave the plantings to grow wild, and they have!

Beginning images and interviews featured in Dwell, the Public Art Fund website, CoolHunting and Inhabitat. Our favorite image is an aerial shot from the New York Times showing the lush grass from above, as it is now. The exhibit is commissioned by the Public Art Fund and is on display until October. We recommend it.

"A Clearing in the Streets"
Through October 2009
Collect Pond Park
New York, NY 10013 map

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Friday, July 31, 2009

MAKING PUBLIC PLACES - Summary of the Event




by Diana Balmori

The “Making Public Places” Twitter Forum was held at the office of Balmori Associates on July 13,2009. We discussed public places with a Dutch group of students in landscape architecture and professors, Erik de Jong and Arnold van der Valk.

We used Twitter and live video to extend the discussion to a worldwide public. We started the discussion in house, divided in smaller groupsaround the following topics: ecology, funding, furniture and materials, program, public/private, public amenities, scale, and circulation/traffic. In the Twitter forum our discussion focused on shared space, urban decorum, context, and the relations between past and present. Here follows a summary of the event and what we discussed. Finally, we comment on the use of social media, like Twitter, to allow truly public discussion of public space.


40 Dutch students and their professors, landscape architect Erik de Jong and planner Arnold van der Valk came to our landscape and urban design office, Balmori Associates in New York City. De Jong had asked me earlier if we, the members of my office and their students could have a discussion about Public Space. That resulted in the Twitter forum of July 13, 2009 ( see and for full coverage). My decision to put it on Twitter came out of a desire to have a larger community participate, as well as to learn new forms for a symposium, given the new tools available.

Our office is in the Meatpacking District in Greenwich Village. To make the discussion concrete we began with this neighborhood. We have been asked to redesign its public space by the Meatpacking District Initiative, an association of property owners, since the Department of Transportation has recently decided to take away space from cars and give it over to pedestrians. We invited our direct client, Annie Washburn, who heads the association to the forum; I also included my colleague at the Yale School of Architecture, Joel Sanders. Tweeters, internal and external, touched on some critical topics, the most salient of which are summarized in the pdf you can download in the following link:

Monday, July 27, 2009

MAKING PUBLIC PLACES - discussion invitation

Follow us: @balmorilab Twitter with hashtag: #mpplaces

The discussion, begun at the July 13, 2009 Forum, continues at



Additional coverage featured on