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Ville de Lumière / Ville de l'Ombre

Posted by Sam Valentine on January 28, 2018 at 6:45 PM

Even before leaving the airport, a visitor gets a sense that something is up in Paris. A portion of it -- surely -- is that you have just arrived in a famed city among throngs of people who have come see if "Grand Paris" lives up to its reputation.

Image: Sam Jacob

Paris is affect...

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Second Glances in Budapest

Posted by Sam Valentine on December 30, 2017 at 4:45 PM

It may already be obvious to the reader that I have an admiration for works of art and

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A Town of Details: Prague, Czech Republic

Posted by Sam Valentine on November 27, 2017 at 9:10 PM

Image: Sam Jacob


When speaking to a person who has visited this Bohemian capital, the name "Prague" is often said with a knowing inflection. Sometimes this change of pitch is misinterpreted as snobber...

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Blended Details in Granada, Spain

Posted by Sam Valentine on November 1, 2017 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (1)

Images: Sam Jacob and Sam Valentine

Studying built environments outside the United States reveals differences not only in architectural styles but also in cultural expectations.

In my previous

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Water from the Rock: Visiting the Alhambra

Posted by Sam Valentine on October 1, 2017 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (1)

Image: Salvador Fornell

Crouched atop a foothill of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Alhambra is many things at once: a castle, a palace, a fortified city, a museum, and a complex of gardens. Gazing upo...

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Through the Billowing Bench

Posted by Sam Valentine on August 12, 2017 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (1)

Image: Bing Maps

Parque Güell in Barcelona, Spain is a landscape like none other I've experienced. It is a challenge to describe this Anto...

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Tea with a View

Posted by Sam Valentine on July 17, 2017 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Image: Elena Svirya

Having landed in Morocco a few hours prior, my friend and I pushed through the bustling market streets of Tangier to find a good sunset perch. Our trek took us up and over hills, twisting through the ancient

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Enclosure in the Landscape

Posted by Sam Valentine on May 18, 2017 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Image: Tim Green

In my last post, I described how vi...

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Enframement in the Landscape

Posted by Sam Valentine on December 1, 2016 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (1)

Note: My next two posts will explore how "enframement" and "enclosure" are achieved in the landscape, with a focus on plant massing.

Image: Sam Valentine


Plants -- like all matter in the universe -- have mass. While mass means one thing to chemists and physici...

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Just a Dash of Color

Posted by Sam Valentine on October 29, 2016 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)


Image: Sam Valentine


In my recent travels, I had the opportunity to tour El Jardín Japones, a Japanese-themed garden park in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was remarkable to observe one foreign country's distinct style trans...

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