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Be Seated: A Talk by Laurie Olin
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Be Seated: A Talk by Laurie Olin

When: Thursday, February 15, 2018
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Where: AIA San Francisco
130 Sutter Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, California  94104
United States

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Laurie Olin has been interested in public space and how people inhabit it for decades since he first focused upon it in Europe. The talk will present his discovery of this ubiquitous phenomenon and fascination with chairs, benches, ledges, and some of the fundamental social and physical characteristics of public furnishing. Following a brief history of the topic in western urban history, he will show examples of public seating and the design and craft involved from a selection of his award winning projects in American cities. Olin’s talk, like his recent award winning book, Be Seated, will be illustrated with a number of his sketches, drawings, watercolors, and photographs.

In Be Seated, Laurie Olin writes of his long interest in park and civic public seating, sharing his insights into the seemingly ordinary elements of these places and his concern for the importance and effects of public seating in the conduct and potential of our role as citizens and the establishment of place and community. Discovering both the extraordinary in the ordinary, and the ordinary in the extraordinary, Olin shares examples of his experience as a landscape architect, and the theory, craft, and role of seating in a number of prominent civic places, historically, as well as examples of those his firm and others have designed. Accompanying the essays are drawings and watercolors by Olin that create a dialogue between writing and image, supplying further richness to the author’s insights and point of view as a designer.

Be Seated is a 2017 J.B. Jackson Prize winner, an award given annually for outstanding books published on landscape architecture and the environment.


About the Presenter

Landscape architect, Laurie Olin, lives in Philadelphia where he has taught at the University of Pennsylvania for forty years. His award winning designs include Bryant Park in New York, The Getty Center in Los Angeles, and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.


Pricing and Registration

  • AIASF Member: $10
  • General Admission: $15
  • AIASF Student Member: $5

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