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The Figure

Laurie Olin

劳里·欧林

As one of the most significant landscape architects in the world, Laurie Olin has been awarded numerous honors include National Art Medal awarded by the National Art Foundation, presented by President Obama. Begin with Ian McHagg(1990), Dan Kelly (1997), Lawrence Harpring(2002) Laurie is the fourth of the award-winning landscape architects in the history.


Laurie received a degree in architecture from the University of Washington in Seattle. He became a professor at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania in 1976. In 1986, he was the dean of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Later, Laurie was back to the University of Pennsylvania as the professor of landscape architecture. In 2003, Olin assisted launching the Department of Landscape Architecture at Tsinghua University and became the first chair of the department.


Laurie’s featured works include Bryant Park in New York and Battery Park City, Getty Center, Washington Monument and so on.

当今最著名的景观建筑师之一,曾被授予无数的荣誉,包括由国家艺术基金会授予,奥巴马总统颁发的国家艺术奖章。该奖项是美国政府给艺术家的最高荣誉。欧林是历史上第四位获此殊荣的景观设计师,前三位分别是伊恩·麦克哈格 (1990)、丹·凯利 (1997)、劳伦斯·哈普林(2002)。欧林于西雅图华盛顿大学获得建筑学学位。他1976年成为宾夕法尼亚大学设计学院教授并任教环境设计课,1986年担任哈佛大学设计研究生院景观建筑系的系主任。此后,欧林返回宾夕法尼亚大学,继续担任景观建筑系的实践教授。2003年,欧林帮助清华大学创立了景观学系,并作为该系的第一任系主任。作为著名景观事务所OLIN公司的创始人,他的项目遍及世界各地。 最负盛名的作品包括纽约布莱恩公园(Bryant Park)和巴特利公园城(Battery Park City)、盖蒂中心(Getty Center)、华盛顿纪念碑(Washington Monument)等。

OLIN设计的纽约Bryant Park | www.thinglink.com

The Interview

Thank you for sharing ideas with GARLIC. Let’s get started. Please briefly introduce yourself to the GARLIC audience.

I am Laurie Olin. I am a landscape architect. I’ve been teaching here for a while and I’ve taught in other places. I have a practice which is great, stimulating and hard work. But it’s a wonderful thing to do.

Laurie Olin is having a conversation with his designers.| You Wu

“A park is a landscape. A city is a landscape. And a garden is a landscape.”

“公园是景观,城市是景观,花园也是景观。”

In your opinion, what is landscape architecture? What’s the meaning of nature to the city and human being in the 21st century?

在你看来,什么是景观建筑?21世纪,自然对城市和人类的意义是什么?

You’ve asked what landscape architecture is. And what’s its meaning to the city?

Such a difficult question. But first landscape architecture as we understand it today is a very broad discipline with a lot of different ways of being. Landscape Architecture really has to do with shaping the world and space for human use. It is not engineering and it is not architecture. You could use engineering to make landscape architecture and you could put an architecture in a landscape. But the landscape is not a sauce. You don’t pour it over buildings to make them smell good, or taste good. The landscape is a structure of our world and our environment. It’s another word for saying that the relationship of all the parts and the elements of the environment.

So landscape architecture is shaping, moving, and adjusting the parts of our environment. It includes buildings, bridges, and roads. And it includes trees and rivers and that sort of things. So it occurs at many scales. It occurs at the scale of backyard or garden. And it occurs at the scale of valley or region. And for me, there are different kinds of landscapes. There are natural landscapes, agricultural landscapes, suburban landscapes and urban landscapes. The city is just a very urban landscape. It’s full of buildings but still a landscape, which has topography and dynamics, like a forest. Things come and go. In turns, they do all sorts of things. So one of the things about a landscape is that no one person can control or do it all. If you are interested in landscape architecture, you have to learn to work with other people, other fields, other disciplines and get people to help you. You are really working on the relationship of parts, not just making and shaping. There’re objects and we make and shape them. And we can make and shape places in a landscape. But the whole landscape is beyond most of our abilities, control, direct. It’s a wandering explanation. For me I would say a park is a landscape, a city is a landscape, and a garden is a landscape.

The meaning of nature is we are part of it. Nature doesn’t really need us. We need it. We are natural creatures. And the problem with many cities, why we have parks, why we worry about the design and arrangement of cities is that they can be very difficult environments for us. They can be hard to people. Not just dangerous, but in terms of our health, we need access to sunlight and fresh air. We need exercise. We need to be able to change the focal length of our eyes. We need the stimulus of the natural world that we came out of and are still part of even though we don’t know it. I’m in nature now. The laws of thermodynamics and physics are operating the room and in me. This is one of the things that some ancient philosophers both in Asia and in the West understood: we are part of a great flow of forces and energy, just like the animals and leaves and trees. We come and we go. We are part of nature.

So cities need some aspects of nature for the health of the citizens in them. I think it’s simple. What is complicated and difficult is that how to do that well, because there are a lot of competitions for space and for resources in cities. Some people think that natural areas and parks, for instance, are empty. They’re not. They’re full. They’re full of nature and full of life and full of things we need like sunlight and air. Filling them up with buildings solves some problems. It may solve rent and income for somebody. But it doesn’t solve the health of people who don’t have it.

你问我景观建筑学是什么,还有它对城市的意义是什么,这可真是道难题!首先不妨说,我们今天所理解的景观建筑学是一门宽泛的学科,有很多种存在形式。具体而言,景观建筑学必须得塑造世界和空间以供人们使用。为什么不是工程学或者建筑学来做这件事呢?当然,你可以用工程技术建造景观,也可以在景观中放置建筑,但景观不是酱料,你没办法把它倒在建筑上,就让它们变得有色、有香、有味。景观是我们所处的世界与环境的构架,换句话说,它是组成环境的所有零件与元素之间的那种关系。

所以景观建筑是在塑造,促动,调适着我们环境的要素,既包括建筑、桥梁和道路,也包括树木和河流这类元素。它体现在不同尺度上,既发生在后院和花园的尺度上,也发生在流域和区域尺度上。对我而言,景观分很多种,有自然景观、农业景观、郊区景观和城市景观。城市其实就是一种非常都市化的景观形态,虽然布满了建筑物,但它仍然是一种景观,它有地形和动态,像一片森林,事物在其中来来去去,次第上演着零零总总。所以关于景观的其中一点是,没有人可以控制或者设计其中所有的一切。如果你对景观设计感兴趣,你必须学会与其他人、其他领域、其他学科合作,并让人们帮助你。然后你需要面对的是处理不同要素之间的关系,而不仅仅是制造和塑造空间。当然我们确实会设计并塑造一些物体,我们也会设计并塑造景观中的某些场所,但完整的景观是超出我们的能力、控制、引导范围的。这个解释有点绕,我会这样简单地来概括:公园是景观,城市是景观,花园也是景观。

说到自然,自然的意义是,我们是它的一部分。自然并不一定需要我们,但我们需要自然,因为我们是自然界中的生物。很多城市的问题,像是为什么我们要有公园,为什么我们会担心城市的设计和组织,是因为这些城市很可能会是对我们而言非常恶劣的环境。它们能对人们产生危害,不仅体现在治安上,也体现在对居民健康的影响上。我们需要阳光,需要新鲜空气,我们需要锻炼,我们需要能够调节眼睛的焦距——我们需要自然世界的刺激,因为我们从自然世界而来,并仍然身在其中,即便我们没有意识到这一点。我此刻就在自然之中,热力学和物理定律在作用着这个屋子,也在作用着我。这正是东西方先哲们领悟到的共识:我们是宏大的、流动着的力与能量的一部分,与其他的动植物殊无二致。

我们从自然来,往自然去,是自然的一部分。因此城市需要自然的某些方面来保证居民的健康。我觉得道理很简单,复杂又有难度的是如何做好这一点,因为城市中有很多对于空间和资源的竞争。有些人认为自然区域,以及比如说公园,就等同于空地。恰恰相反,它们是满的。这些空间里满是自然,满是生命、满是诸如阳光和空气之类我们所需要的东西。用建筑填满这些空间会解决一些问题:它可能会解决部分人的房租和收入,但对没有健康的人们来说毫无帮助。

OLIN had participated in the landscape planning of Getty Center| GARLIC.

“To be a landscape architect, I realized one has to have a feeling and passion and understanding for the medium of landscape.”

“作为景观建筑师,你必须要有对景观这种媒介的直觉和激情。”

Looking back to your brilliant life, what are the most unforgettable moments that make you feel you are so proud of yourself, and what are the most valuable lessons you learned from your life that you think are very important to the young generations? How have those moments/lessons transformed your life?

回顾你了不起的人生,有哪些难忘的时刻让你为自己感到骄傲?可以和年轻的一代分享一下您一生中宝贵的经验教训吗?它们如何改变了你?

Well, in my life, I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve known some wonderful people who have been very helpful to me, and I have been to some wonderful places that were very stimulating, exciting, and rich for me. My childhood in the north in Alaska was clearly very important because as a child, you don’t think much about your environment. It just is, and you are in it. Later, you realized that it did help shape you and give you experiences that you are always available. Some people have difficult childhoods, and they wish they didn’t have to remember them. I had a wonderful childhood so it’s good to remember. And what was so wonderful about it was in memory, how generous nature is, how rich and full, how much it is, how strong, and also how little and small we are, and in a way unimportant. Nature is not nice. Nature is not bad. Nature is. It just is. And it can bite you, or it can bust you, it can feed you, or it can run over you. So I learned as a child and later, human beings have to pay attention to the world around them, and learn from them, and be careful, thoughtful. And learning to be careful and thoughtful in a landscape is something that translates later.

When I came out of the states to go to college, I had some wonderful teachers who were very influential. One was Richard Haag of course. But I had some architects who were extremely patient and thoughtful teachers. Also along the way, a couple poets were extraordinarily helpful to me about art and what it takes to make art.

Your first draft is almost never the one you want. You have to struggle to make things as clear, simple and rich as you hope. The feeling for the medium itself that you are working in is essential. I’ve written about this and the painter Edgar Degas who we all love his paintings. He painted those pictures of young women doing ballet. But he also painted many other fabulous paintings, landscapes, and portraits. Degas was trying to write a poem when he was young. He wanted to be a poet. He was writing poetries like many young people who wish to be poets. And he found it difficult. He was having a hard time, and he went to another poet Stéphane Mallarmé and said, he was having a lot of trouble. He couldn’t understand why his poetry wasn’t turning out. He told Mallarmé that I have so many good ideas. Mallarmé said my dear Degas, poems are made of words, not ideas. What he was getting was that Degas didn’t have a feeling and love and passion and understanding and sensibility for words, which to be a poet you need to have. And to be a landscape architect, I realized one needs to have a feeling and passion and understanding for the medium of landscape. I love buildings. I did buildings. And some of them were really good ones. But I have more feeling in my fingertips, in my brains, and in my sensibilities for the earth, the water, the plants, the rocks, and the trees. I love pavements and I love stones. I like buildings. I like bridges. I like all sorts of stuff. But I really have a feeling for the moving through the world and its richness, and its color, its textures. So I like the medium. Then I get that. I don’t know as much about plants as I wish I did. I don’t know as much more geologies as I wish I did. But I love it. And those are things that are important.

So I learned from the writers that you have to love your medium, and you have to be willing to work and work and stay up and throw things away and try again, and it will get better. One thing I learned was that sitting around waiting for inspiration is a waste of time because nothing happens. If you wait for a good idea, you can wait for a long time. The way to get a good idea is doing something. Draw something, and then you immediately know what’s wrong with it. You immediately know this is terrible and you can make it better as soon as… When you have an idea in your head it doesn’t exist. It’s not out in the world. But the minute you put it out in the world, it exists as form. Then you can go to work on it. So I learned how to work from artists, from painters, from poets and from architects.

Bloedel Park by Richard Haag | www.tclf.org

我的人生非常幸运,我认识了一些非常棒的人,他们对我助益良多。我也去过一些非常令人振奋激动的,奇妙多彩的地方。我在阿拉斯加的童年经历对我来说显然非常重要,因为作为孩童,你不会去思考太多关于生活环境的事,环境就是这样,而你就身在其中。但之后我意识到环境真的塑造了我,并给予了我终身受用的经历。有些人的童年艰难到他们不愿回忆,但我有一个美好的童年,因此值得铭记。这之中最美妙的是,回忆中的自然是多么慷慨、丰富而完满,多么广阔强大,而我们又是多么渺小如蜉蝣。自然既不善良,也不邪恶,自然就是自然。自然会刺激你、摧毁你、哺育你或倾覆你。所以从我孩提时到日后学到的是,人类需要以谨慎而缜密的态度,关注周围的环境并从中学习。这后来便转化成了学习以谨慎而缜密的态度去关注景观。

我离开阿拉斯加去上大学之后,遇到了一些很棒的老师,他们非常有影响力。一位当然是理查德·海格(Richard Haag),而我还遇到了一些非常耐心并有思想的建筑师作为老师。此外还有一对诗人夫妇,他们对我理解艺术以及创造艺术所需的东西也非常有帮助。

我随便说一些好了:你的第一版草稿几乎永远不会是你最后想要的东西,你必须努力使方案变得如你所希望的那般清晰、简洁又不失丰富。对于你所用的媒介本身,应当保有必要的直觉:埃德加·德加(Edgar Degas),广受欢迎的那个画家,他画过那些年轻的女性芭蕾舞者,也画过很多其它很棒的体裁,像风景和肖像。德加年轻时尝试过写诗,他想当个诗人,但他写的诗和其他有同样理想的年轻人的诗没什么区别,于是他发现这并不容易。那是一段挺艰难的经历,他向另一个诗人斯特芳·马拉美(Stéphane Mallarmé)求助,说自己遭遇了很多困难。他不懂为什么自己写不出好诗来。他对马拉美说,明明我有这么多灵感,很棒的灵感,然后马拉美回答,亲爱的德加,灵感不能组成诗,词语却可以。马拉美发现德加不具备作为诗人所必备的,对语言的爱、热情、理解和敏锐。作为一个景观建筑师,我意识到你必须有一种,对景观这种媒介的直觉和激情。我爱建筑,我设计建筑,其中一些做得确实不错,但在我的指尖上、大脑中和感性认知里,我对土壤、水、植物、岩石和树木有更多的感觉。我喜欢路面,我喜欢石头,我喜欢建筑物和桥梁,我喜欢各种各样的东西,但我对变化中的世界有更强烈的感觉,那种丰富性,那些色彩和纹理,我喜欢这种媒介,所以我使用了它。我不具备我期望的那么多的植物学知识,也没有我期望的那么多的地质学知识,但我热爱我的工作,这才是最重要的事情。

我从煮字为生的作家那里学到的是,你必须热爱你的媒介,愿意为它工作,熬夜,加班加点,抛弃现有的方案,一次又一次的尝试把它变得更好。我学到的另一件事是,枯坐着等待灵感就是浪费时间,因为什么都不会发生。如果你想等待一个好主意,你会等很久很久的。得到灵感的好办法是做点什么,画点什么,然后你立刻就会知道它有什么问题。你会觉得,啊这方案太糟了,它应该变得更好。只存在于脑海中的想法都是空中楼阁,因为它不存在于物质世界中。直到你把它拿出来放到世界里,它才真正地获得存在的形式,然后就可以在这个基础上继续加工了。

所以说,我从艺术家,画家,诗人和建筑师那里学会了如何工作。

Edgar Degas的油画女性芭蕾舞者 |  Wikipedia Creative Common

“I think landscape architects today are more prominent.”

“我认为当代的景观建筑师地位更高。”

Compared with other disciplines such as business, science, technology, policy, and economics, the salary of landscape architects is relatively low. Some young designers are trying to switch their focus to finance, technology, or business. For this situation, what would you tell the young designers and students? And how can landscape architects get broader social and political impact?

相比其他学科——商科、理科、政治和经济,景观建筑师的工资相对比较低。一些年轻的设计师试着转行到经济、科技或商科。对于这样的现状,你有什么想对年轻设计师和学生说的?景观建筑师该怎样加强社会和政治上的影响力?

Do good work.

It sounds like simple. Zen monks tell you to do good. But I will put it this way. I can choose to be a developed landscape architect. That was something I could be doing. And I found the projects so interesting that I wanted to do them. Then while I am doing them, I want to do them so well. So when we started the firm, I didn’t intend to have a big firm. I didn’t intend to do a lot of things I’ve done. But I did want to do a good project. And in fact, after I did a good project, other people say oh will you come and help me do a project. So the way I advertised, which I never did, I never advertised, I just tried to do good work, and the work itself was a self-advertisement. It turned out to be a good marketing strategy I guess, doing excellent things. So good products, and being nice to people, paying attention to them, listening to them, but then working very hard to make things that move people’s spirits and solve their problems. That seems the best marketing strategy.

I think landscape architects today are more prominent again. I mean they were when Olmsted was around. He was prominent. He had worked at every university because he and his sons were considered to be superb. They were really good. They knew how to do things, and everybody knew it. It was a smaller society with fewer people, and they were the connections between institutions. They were tighter. It was an old boy network. Today, there are much more people, many more things going on, and a lot of chaos. The good news is it’s not just an old boy network — if you went to the right school and did all the work.

Olmsted didn’t go to the right school. He didn’t even go to university. I don’t have a degree in landscape architecture. So it’s not about that. It’s about the thought, the work, and the energy. And one of the reasons why landscape architecture today is prominent is that a series of very important and interesting projects have gotten done. And people see them, and they have learned those are designed by landscape architects. What we did at Bryant Park and did at the Getty, what James Corner did at the Highline, what Michael Van Valkenburgh has done in Brooklyn Bridge Park, or what Peter Walker has done…People see these projects and like “Oh My Gosh. I need to get one of those. Call that guy. Who did that?” Why do they have a good career? They have a good career because they’ve done brilliant work. It’s not because they hire more advertising firms. It’s they built something that people feel terrific and impressed. You know Halprin’s work. Halprin didn’t have an ad agency. He just made friends with some other designers. From them he got work. And from that work people said “Oh My Gosh. Look at this work. This is really good”. And he grew his firm.

I think as a business we have a terrible business environment. Not in my office, it’s terrible or our business is terrible. But the profession is basically with that kind of 18th-century business model and yet we are in the 21st century. So we’ve got to get our business ideas and how we pricing. We should price ourselves on what the cost to do the work for ourselves, not on some funny percentage that was worked out in the 1930s that all they should get two percent. That’s ridiculous. It takes us as much to do a small house as it does a corporate headquarters quite often, maybe not as many years, but the amount of time and energies. If you pay people based on some kind of goofy percentage, of course, it won’t be a good business. So our office just doesn’t use the business models that people have used for years. We don’t like them. We try to get paid for what we do.

I need these people. They need to buy a refrigerator, put their kid in school, get a new car and do stuff. They have needs which cost the same as a cost for a young attorney. They need to be paid well. So we need to charge for our work well so that we can have a normal life. The models that the profession is using are antiquated. They are fallacious because they are not based on real life. So my idea is that if people want to have an office, then they have to pay well. People doing it are not so rich. They are doing it not as a hobby but to pay the bills. However actually, you don’t set up to become a landscape architect to pay the bill. You become a landscape architect because that interests you more than being a fisherman or an attorney. So that means when you’re doing landscape architecture, it’s not you should be paid like a fisherman or an attorney, but you should be paid adequately to have a worthy life.

我想说的大概是—把工作做好。

这听上去很简单,禅师、僧人都把这话挂在嘴边。让我这样说吧,我可以选择成为一个成熟的景观建筑师,这是我能够做的。我发现有些项目如此有趣,我真的很想把它们做好。当我在做这些的时候,我们想把这件事做得很好,于是我们成立了自己的事务所。我并没有打算要一个大公司,并没有刻意去做那些我做过的事情,但我确实想做一个好的项目。事实上,当我完成一个好项目之后,其他人会说他们也想过来帮忙。我从来没有刻意做广告,我只是努力做好工作,我的作品就是我的广告。事实证明这个营销策略很有效:优质的产品、与人们的良好沟通、关注和倾听、努力工作、创造那些能够鼓舞精神和解决问题的事物,这似乎就是最好的营销策略。

我认为当代的景观建筑师地位更高,为什么呢?当然以前他们地位也很高,在奥姆斯特德在世的那个年代,他很有名,每个人都知道他,说他和他的儿子有多了不起,在各种大学里,做各种工作。他们确实很棒,而且每个人都知道他们懂得如何做设计。那时候的社群小,人少,所有机构都互有联系,人们很亲密,像一个兄弟会似的。如今人变多了,社会多元且混乱。但好消息是,如果你去了对的学校,做了对的工作,机会便不再局限于“兄弟会”里。

其实奥姆斯特德也没去对的学校,他连大学都没上,我也没有景观建筑学学位,所以这些都不是最重要的,重要的是想法、作品和它传达的能量。所以当代景观建筑师更容易彰显自己的原因之一是,一系列有趣又重要的项目建成了,人们看到了它们,并且知道它们是由景观建筑师设计的。我们在布莱恩特公园(Bryant Park)和盖蒂中心(Getty Center)做了什么,詹姆斯·科纳在高线(High Line)上做了什么,迈克尔·范·沃肯伯格(Michael Van Valkenburgh)在布鲁克林大桥公园做了什么,或者彼得·沃克做了什么……人们看到这些项目的时候,他们会说“我的天哪,我也想要这个人做的这样的项目”。为什么他们的事业能成功呢?因为他们的工作真得很出色,不是因为雇了更多的广告公司。他们建造了一些让大家交口称赞的项目,这是自发宣传。你知道哈普林(Halprin)吧,他没做过任何广告,他只是从一些设计师朋友那里得到了项目,然后人们对着这些项目说“天啊,看看这个作品,真的很棒”。他的事务所就是这么成长起来的。
我觉得对企业而言,我们所处的商业环境很糟糕。不是说我的事务所不好或者是我们的业务不好,而是我们所处的环境还在使用16世纪或19世纪的商业模式,这是很不公平的。我们在21世纪,用18世纪的商业模式经营着14世纪就诞生的专业。我们必须发展自己的经营理念和定价机制了。为自己的工作定价时,我们应该考虑完成工作所付出的成本,而不是守着1930年就有的一个可笑的百分比,总价的百分之二之类的。这太荒唐了。设计一栋住宅和设计一栋总部大楼所花的时间和精力,就算不会差很多年那么多,也是不可能一样的。如果你按某种呆板的百分比雇佣别人,当然无法达成一笔好生意。所以我们事务所不用别人沿用了多年的经营模式,我们不喜欢,我们想要按劳分配。

我的员工对我很重要。而他们需要买冰箱、支付孩子的教育、买车啊等等。对于在这些需求上的开销,他们和年轻律师没有区别,他们需要一份得体的薪水。我们需要为我们的工作收费,这样我们才能有正常的生活。我们现在所使用的商业模式太陈旧了,很可笑,因为这个模式根本就不符合真实生活。我觉得如果有人想要开事务所,就得好好付工资,因为我们做这一行不是因为我们太富有了或者只把工作当爱好,我们有账单要付的。不过我们也不是为了付账单才做景观建筑师,我们做这一行,是因为设计景观对于我们来说,比做渔夫或作律师更令人感兴趣。这不是说我们要跟渔夫或者律师拿一样多的钱,而是说我们应该被支付合理且充沛的薪水,让我们过上正常的生活,好觉得我们做的一切都是值得的。

New York Central Park by Olmsted  | www.bigappledreaming.com

“Some of our ways of arranging our world are wrong. And we need to change them.”

“我们的某些对待世界的方式是错误的,我们得自我改变。”

If you receive a design challenge to imagine a new territory on a new planet, for example in Mars for people to settle in 2050, how will your design story begin?

假如说你接受了一个设计挑战,想象2050年有人类定居的火星上的景观,你会如何开始设计?

In a different planet… I don’t know. I am so interested in life on Earth. I can’t imagine how I will do that because I’m not interested really in science, fiction or fantasy. I’m interested in the real thing, ordinary stuff like real people, real life, real love, and real food. And I am interested in how one might approach helping people on our planet in a different cultural setting or in a different ecological setting. I find that to be a challenging and difficult and interesting thing to do. One of the reasons I’ve not done much work in China even though I am very fond of China, and spent some wonderful years coming and going and living in China was that I felt that I could do small things, or I could help people think about processes. But they need to think about them for themselves and solve it on their own terms without using our habits. I think the West has developed some very bad habits that we have to get rid of, or we are going to be in real trouble. We already are in some serious trouble. But with climate change and some economic things that are happening, some social issues that have to do with work, property, and education, I think frankly, some of our ways of arranging our world are wrong. And we need to change them.

So for other people to be imitating the way we’ve been doing things that we now know it’s wrong with them, that shouldn’t happen. They should think of alternative ways to do it. Think of it from their own history, economics, and environment instead of building suburbs that require a lot of travel between job and home. They should rethink that because we put things in the wrong relationships and then it costs a fortune and time and money and energy. We’ve wasted years of people’s lives.

We polluted the planet because we put things in bad relationships with each other in space. And if we reorganized live-work pattern, how people are collocated and how they have access to recreation and fresh air. If we did it differently, we will have a better city, better life. Other people should skip over it. It’s kind of like a place like Africa, where the interesting thing was because they never did do enough land lines for telephones, they just went from not having phones to having cell phones. They just went to the digital age of satellites with nothing in between. And it seems to me that a lot of people in the world, Africa, Latin America, China, Asia, could skip over some of our bad habits, and go to the next thing and do a better thing right off the bat. So that would be more like going to Mars to see an alternative, wouldn’t it?

在一个完全不同的行星上啊……我不知道,我对地球上的生命很感兴趣,但我没法想象在其它星球上我会怎么做,毕竟我对科技、科幻不怎么感兴趣。我喜欢实实在在,平平常常的东西,真人、真实生活呀,真爱呀,真正的食物呀。我觉得我更感兴趣的是一个人如何帮助我们这个星球上的另一种文化语境,或是另一种生态语境下的人。这很有挑战性,很难,但也很有趣。虽然我很爱中国,来来回回居住,度过了几年美好的时光,但我在中国没做什么项目,为什么呢?我觉得我可以帮着做一些小事,或者帮助人们思考,但他们(中国设计师)需要靠自己解决自己的问题,以他们自己的方法,而不是沿用我们的套路。西方世界已经养成了一些坏习惯,如果我们不纠正,就会有大麻烦。我们已经有一些麻烦了,比如温室效应,经济形势的变化,还有就业、财产和教育相关的社会问题。老实说,我们的某些对待世界的方式是错误的,我们得自我改变才行。

因此,对于目前为止在模仿我们模式的其他国家来说,这一切不该发生,因为我们现在知道这对他们而言是错误的。他们应该寻求其他替代方案,得从本土历史出发,从当地经济状况出发,从当地环境出发,而不是盲目地建设新郊区,增加工作和居住之间的距离。我们耗费了那么多机遇、时间、金钱和精力,才发现我们理解错了事物之间的关系,那些借鉴我们的人更应当三思。我们浪费了多少人的时间呀!

环境会被污染,是因为搞错了事物在空间中的组合关系。如果我们能够重组工作与生活的关系,想想人们会如何在城市中相遇,如何在城市中放松地娱乐,呼吸着新鲜的空气。如果我们曾做出过不一样的选择,我们就有更好的城市,更好的生活。其他人应该跳过我们这个阶段才对。就像在非洲的一些国家,他们从没有钱铺设足够的有线电缆,然后手机就普及开了,于是他们直接跳到了数字卫星时代,没有过渡阶段。在我看来,非洲、拉丁美洲、中国或者亚洲的人,他们还有机会跳过我们的失败经验,进入下一阶段,直接做更正确的事情。这更像是去到火星看到一个别样的可能性,不是吗?

“I certainly won’t turn up in a black internal sweater, at any design event. I just won’t do it because I feel it’s like going among the penguins and there are all these penguins. I’m not going to be a penguin.

“我在任何设计活动上都不会穿打底黑色毛衣的,那会让我感觉走入了一群企鹅中间,我才不想当企鹅。”

Designers travel a lot. I am sure you have some interesting traveling tips. Would you mind sharing some with us? Designers also have their own style. For example, they love black and the grays, which can be reflected in their dressing style. Do you have a preference for certain kind of style in your life?

设计师总是旅行,我想你一定也有很多旅行心得,愿意和我们分享一二吗?设计师也有自己的风格,比如那些喜欢黑色灰色的设计师会把自己的设计风格反映在穿衣搭配上,你会偏爱某种穿衣风格吗?

Let’s talk about travel first. The first thing about travel is, just as people are interested in slow food, I think slow travel is a good idea. Zipping around taking a lot of pictures is not travel. I don’t know what that is, maybe some form of tourism. But if I really want to see some places and get to know them, and learn something from places, I tend to go there and to stay there, and walk around, sit still, do drawings, eat some food, meet some people, and spend time going slowly deeper into a place instead of going to four places in two days.

I’d rather go to one place for four days, especially if it’s different. Because I’ll now get something more out of it. I’ll get more depth. I think learning to sit still is one of the best things to do when you travel. It sounds funny. But it’s not about how fast you can move and how much you can see. It’s how much you can take in and slowly digest.

And I think we learned a lot from going to the places that make us a little uncomfortable, not so uncomfortable that you cannot pay attention, but not so familiar that you have to keep your eye out, figure things out, and pay attention. So I think for me Mexico and China are wonderful places to go because they are quite different. I don’t quite know what’s going on part of the time, so I have to pay attention. They have rich histories. Peoples there has a different sense of color, different sense of form. They eat differently. The landscape is beautiful but not the same as I am used to, but it’s beautiful in another way. And yet there are things that are familiar: the sun comes up, the sun goes down, etc. It’s not the same, but it rhymes, it’s kind of similar. It’s different, but it’s off. And that’s when you can learn a lot.

You’ve asked about color and I just mentioned that. Here are two cultures I know that have a different sense of color. People from northern Europe tend to be kind of drab, you know they are calm. They don’t have a lot of bright colors unless they are from Netherland or somewhere like that, or from southern Italy. But if they are from France, Germany, England, they tend to be. They have a lot of influence on Americans. I think the fact that so many designers despite how I dress today. I have a blue check shirt on and a blue sweater. But I usually don’t wear black because it’s become such a cliché. I don’t like to do it.

I certainly won’t turn up in a black internal sweater at any design event. I just won’t do it because I feel it’s like going among the penguins and there are all these penguins. I’m not going to be a penguin. But there is Coco Chanel who was a fashion designer in France in the 20th century. She was like black is the only modern color. She was basically trying to be radical and modern but also simple. It’s like in the army. I love the army. And one aspect of the army is that we wear the same clothes every day. Just get up and put it on. So always the same and never have to think about this. But everybody in the course had been turned into the same person. So on the one hand, it simplified things so that’s why wearing black actually turns them all into the same person. I’m not interested in that. It doesn’t mean I am gonna show up in a bright orange sweater tomorrow but I do actually own one and I wear a lot. My wife told me not to wear something I was wearing the other day. But you know I kind of like it. It makes me feel warmer.

I would say the world is full of color out there except the dead of winter in the north where is black and white. But the rest of the time the world isn’t black and white. A lot of architects in my generation grew up with books, all the art history and architecture history and a lot of resources were black and white. Black and white photography, black and white drawings and everything. So the first time I went to Stuttgart, I went to see the reconstruction of the buildings that were built there before World War II. And there is a house by Le Corbusier. I went into it and I was like oh my god, look at the color. This is really terrific. Who knows this? Because I was growing up and looking at all this black and white photographs of Corbusier’s buildings and black and white drawings from the Swiss publications. Of course, I knew this, but you don’t think about this when you were 22 years old and trying to be a really good architect.

It didn’t dawn on me that he was also a painter. He did all the stuff and was actually a very good painter of a certain sort. He had this wonderful color sense and his colors are very rich, very beautiful, they very much go together. They’re superb combination of colors. His boast and pitchy colors, and soft mossy greens. Oh my god, they are beautiful colors. And it goes through all his works. The only time he used really punchy color was when he was doing a big mural. But his buildings, you know, they’re honey color, they’re butter color. So architecture really is in full of color but most a lot of architects don’t think of it. So the fact that they dress in black, I think it shows that not thinking about the fact that the world comes in 3D and color and they don’t like to look at the building from a corner, they’re just looking at the elevation. This is a certain limitation there that I found unfortunate. My friends in landscape are always talking about this autumn this spring, this is coming out, that’s going away, this is dying, and that is coming. The colors, the textures are parts of our medium.

先从旅行说起吧。首先呢,有人喜欢慢食,我喜欢慢旅行。我觉得到了一个地方就走马观花拍很多照片算不上旅行,这算什么我也不知道,可能是旅游业的一种形态吧。如果我真的想认识、了解一个地方并从中学习,我会去那个地方逗留一段时间,走走停停,画些画,品尝当地食物,见见那里的人,花些时间慢慢深入了解这个地方,而不是在两天之内去四个点。

如果某个地方很不寻常,在那里停留四天倒是更合我的口味,因为这样我就可以发掘更多东西了,我能得到更多有深度的信息。我觉得旅行时,没有什么比学习静静地坐着更好的了,乍一听好笑,但是旅行的意义不是你去了多少地方,看了多少东西,而是你摄入、消化了什么。

踏出舒适区去一些不一样的地方让我受益很多,它让我觉得有一点不适,又不至于难受到不能集中注意力,这种不适让我对周围更加敏感。所以我觉得去墨西哥和中国就很棒,因为他们和美国不一样。有时候我不明白发生了什么,所以我必须保持注意力。这些地方历史悠久,人们有着不一样的色感,不一样的形式感,饮食也不同。那些风景很美,虽然和我熟悉的不一样,但那是另一种方式的美。其中也有令人感到熟悉的东西,日出日落等等,并不雷同,但好比诗歌的韵脚,是有点相似的。这就是你能从中学到很多的时刻。

你问到了颜色,我刚才也提到了,我知道有两种文化,人们的色彩感是完全不一样的。北欧人比较喜欢单调的颜色,你懂的,他们比较冷静。除非是来自荷兰之类的地方,或者是南意大利,否则人们很少使用明亮的颜色。但法国人、德国人和英国人就不一样了,他们更能接受亮色,这点影响了不少美国人。恐怕不少设计师会对我今天的穿着不屑一顾,我穿了件蓝色衬衫和蓝色毛衣。我不怎么穿黑色,黑色已经俗套了,我不喜欢。

我在任何设计活动上都不会穿打底黑色毛衣的,那会让我感觉走入了一群企鹅中间,我才不想当企鹅。我知道在20世纪初的法国,时装设计师可可·香奈儿觉得,黑色是唯一时髦的颜色。她大概是想要激进些,摩登些,又不失简洁。可都穿黑色的感觉像是在军营里。我爱军队,但军队的一个特点就是我们每天都要穿一样的制服,醒来就穿上,一成不变到想都不用想,队伍里的所有人都穿得像同一个人。穿黑色也把大家都变成了一样的人,而我不想这样……倒不是说我明天就要穿亮橙色毛衣亮相——我还真有有一件,我总穿,直到我夫人叫我不要穿前一天穿过的衣服——要不是她说,我说不定还在穿。你知道吗,我喜欢这件衣服,让我觉得暖和嘛。

除了北方死气沉沉的冬天只有黑和白,这世界上到处都是颜色。我这一辈的建筑师看的书,所有的艺术史,所有的建筑史,包括很多资料都是黑白的。黑白照片,黑白图纸,什么都是黑白的。当我第一次去斯图加特考察二战前建筑的修复时,我去看了一栋柯布西耶设计的住宅。走进去我完全震惊于它的颜色。它这么美丽,谁会知道原来是这样的?因为我以前是看着那些柯布西耶作品的照片成长的,那些瑞士出版物里的图全是黑白的。我现在当然知道我完全理解错了,但你想想,当你22岁,想成为一个很好的建筑师的时候,哪能注意到这些?

没有书本透露柯布还是一个很厉害的画家。他色感很棒,画作颜色非常美,非常丰富,颜色的组合很和谐。他善用柔和、朦胧的绿,这真的是很美的颜色,贯穿了他所有的作品。虽然只在一幅可能是在瑞士发行的巨型壁画上用过真正强烈的颜色,但他的建筑,也会有蜜一般的颜色,黄油一般的颜色。所以建筑真的是充满了颜色的,只是大多数建筑师都没当回事。建筑师爱穿黑的,我觉得或许这说明他们不从三维和色彩的角度理解世界,他们只关注立面而不喜欢从角落观察建筑,我觉得这是种不好的限制。我和我的景观设计师朋友总是讨论春天和秋天,来去死生,颜色和材质,都是我们的媒介。

Laurie Olin loves sketching while traveling | Cindy Xu

“Animals that ask questions tend to thrive, and I think designers that ask questions thrive.”

“正如问问题的动物更容易存活一样,问问题的设计师也更容易茁壮成长。”

The last question is about your famous students, as we all know you have many influential students including Cindy Sanders, Anita Berrizbeitia, Gary Hildebrand, Chris Reed, James Corner, and much more. In your opinion, what are the major characteristics do you think they all share to make them successful? You can choose one or two students to go into details.

最后一个问题和你的知名学生有关。我们都知道你培养出来很多有影响力的学生–OLIN事务所的总裁Cindy Sanders,Harvard GSD景观系系主任Anita Berrizbeitia,Reed Hilderbrad的创始合伙人Gary Hilderbrand,Stoss Landscape Urbanism的创始人Chris Reed和James Corner Field Operations事务所创始人James Corner等等。

在您看来,帮助他们成功的共同点是什么?您可以以一两个学生举例来说。

I have a lot of wonderful students, and a great number of them have gone on to do very well, teaching and practicing. And what they have in common is not just strength of personalities which they do have, but is that they were all curious. They were curious about the world, about why things have to be the way they are. How does something get to be this way? What is it? They had this inquiring mind, every one of them. Some of them were a little difficult as students because they would provoke me and the other faculties. They’d push you. They’d make you uncomfortable and ask difficult questions because they were questioning. That questioning has led them to an attitude of why not. When they think of something, they would try something else. Why not try this? How about that? Why is it this way? Or what if we did. That inquiring mind is what they have in common. And the difference is their personalities. Some are loud, some are quiet, some are sneaky, some are very open. They are all very different. But they are very smart, very successful. They do wonderful works. Many of them are good teachers. And one thing they do have in mind in common is that they are continually thinking, searching, and seeking curious people. Animals that are curious about their environment tend to survive and do well: what’s going on, what’s over there, what’s behind me, what’s the weather doing, is this stream deeper or shallow? Animals that ask questions tend to thrive. And I think designers that ask questions thrive.

我确实有不少优秀的学生,在教学和实践领域都做的很好。们的共同之处不仅仅是他们所拥有的人格魅力,而是他们都保有好奇心。他们对世界充满疑问,想知道事情为什么是现在这样的,怎么变成这样的,这是什么。他们每一个人都有一颗求知若渴的心。你知道,他们有些人很难对付,因为他们会挑战我,挑战其他教员,他们会推动你,他们总是质疑,会问刁钻的问题,让人觉得不舒服。这种质疑让他们都有一种“为什么不”的态度,当他们思考的时候,他们会尝试别的方式:为什么不试试这样,或者那样,或者为什么事情是这样的,如果我们这样做了会如何。所以他们的共同点是有一颗探究的心。而不同点是他们各自的个性:有些爱喧哗,有些喜静,有些人害羞,有些人开朗……他们都很不一样,但他们又都很聪明,他们很成功,作品出色,其中许多人成为了不错的教师。还有一点是他们都不间断地思考,探索,寻找其他有好奇心的人。对环境好奇的动物更容易活下来,活得好:现在发生了什么,那里有什么,什么东西在我后面,天气怎么样,小溪深或浅……正如问问题的动物更容易存活一样,问问题的设计师也更容易茁壮成长。

The GARLICer

Interview

Zhangkan Zhou
Siyang Jing

Editor

PM: Rui Zhao
Editor: Austin
Editor:Bian
Editor: Dawei
Editor: Qinyi Zhai
Editor: Wen Zhang

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