March 28, 2016

Dhaka, Bangladesh: Land Suspended in Water

Built on a clay mound and surrounded by three rivers, Dhaka, Bangladesh is home to one of the densest populations in the world. ©KieranTimberlake

Partner Stephen Kieran was a guest earlier this month on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC, New York City's NPR station. Focusing on his work with fellow partner James Timberlake on the Dhaka Design-Research Laboratory, Kieran discussed the challenges facing the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh, as well as the book inspired by their research, Alluvium: Dhaka, Bangladesh, in the Crossroads of Water
Home to a population three times as dense as Manhattan and built on a constantly changing floodplain, Dhaka is one of the most extreme cities on earth. Kieran and Timberlake have been working with the University of Pennsylvania School of Design for nearly a decade in a research design studio that studies the relationship between the people of Dhaka and the various waterways that connect the city. Their research has culminated in their book Alluvium.  
When asked about the book's title, Kieran stated that "we in the U.S. really think of land and water as very separate things. [Bangladeshis] as people don't have a sense of the otherness or separateness between land and water. They think of the two as one in the same. Hence the term "alluvium," which is land suspended in water." 
To listen to the full interview, click here. 

March 10, 2016

Understanding Place: Seven Years of Researching in Dhaka, Bangladesh

A mind map animation was featured in the exhibit. Mind maps reveal where actions will have reactions, suggesting a network of possible points of intervention.

Associate Professor Naomi Frangos from the New York Institute of Technology's School of Architecture and Design recently invited Partner Stephen Kieran to speak about KieranTimberlake's ethic of improvement and the ways in which it leads to invention and innovation. Kieran discussed the tactics used to give rise to empathetic planning and design, citing examples from the firm's practice as well as from his work with fellow partner James Timberlake on the Dhaka Design-Research Laboratory
The Dhaka Design-Research Laboratory is a cross-disciplinary design studio held at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design. Through intensive research and annual visits, the studio seeks new ways to stimulate relevant design interventions, and to model a research-based approach for urban planning in both the developing and the developed worlds.

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March 07, 2016

Renovations Begin at LOVE Park

City and Fairmount Park Conservancy officials break ground at LOVE Park, beginning a year-long renovation process. ©KieranTimberlake

The much-anticipated renovations at Philadelphia's LOVE Park officially began last month with a groundbreaking ceremony. Attended by Mayor Jim Kenney along with other city officials, the ceremony marks the start of the year-long upgrading process that will temporarily close the park. During construction, however, the beloved LOVE statue by Robert Indiana will still be available for residents and visitors to enjoy at Dilworth Park, another KieranTimberlake project that was completed this past summer.  
Once completed, the redesigned LOVE Park will be include a new fountain, a café, and additional green space. The existing and iconic features of the park, such as the "Flying Saucer" Welcome Center, will receive energy-efficient updates while becoming ADA accessible.  

Read more about the LOVE Park renovations