Serious Fun: The Landscapes of Claude Cormier

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For almost thirty years Claude Cormier et Associés has designed landscapes daring in scope while earnest in execution, courting controversy while inviting public accord. Produced under the leadership of Claude Cormier, the range of these projects has spanned the creation of parks and squares, the renovation of historical landscapes, and the conversion of industrial sites. While always serious in the address of function, their designs often display a touch of humor in both method and form—in all, these are works marked by “serious fun.” It is a practice unique in Canada, arguably in the world. That people use, and may even love, these urban landscapes testifies to the pleasure afforded by their designs and the humanistic dimensions of the practice. This, the first book exclusively dedicated to the landscapes of Claude Cormier and his team, provides a broad overview of their ideas and methods with insightful discussions of selected projects and the thinking behind them.

About the Authors

Marc Treib is Professor of Architecture Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, and a historian and critic of landscape and architecture who has published widely on modern and historical subjects in the United States, Japan, and Scandinavia. Recent books include Pietro Porcinai and the Landscape of Modern Italy (co-editor, 2016); Landscapes of Modern Architecture: Wright, Mies, Neutra, Aalto, Barragán (2017); The Landscapes of Georges Descombes: Doing Almost Nothing (2019); and Thinking a Modern Landscape Architecture, West & East: Christopher Tunnard, Sutemi Horiguchi (2020).

Susan Herrington is a licensed landscape architect in the United States and a landscape architect in Canada. She is a professor in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of British Columbia. Her research concerns design theories of contemporary landscape architecture, including theories regarding children’s landscapes. She is author of Landscape Theory in Design, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the Modern Landscape, On Landscapes, and Schoolyard Park. She also led the Seven Cs guidelines, which have been used in communities throughout the world.

Claude Cormier et Associés is a Montreal-based landscape architecture firm that extends its practice to forge bridges between urban design, public art, and architecture. Recipient of over 100 awards, the team’s work is distinguished not only for its inventiveness—but also its tenacious optimism in the power of design.

Format: Hardcover
Size: 8 x 10
Pages: 286

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