Olivia Chen

 

Olivia is a writer currently living in New York. She graduated from Cornell with a degree in landscape architecture where she first became curious about the challenge of sustainable (and affordable!) development. In the past, she practiced her prose as an intern at The Architect’s Newspaper and currently spends her days as an Americorps volunteer learning about urban gardening and forestry.

Olivia Chen
Dymaxion Sleep: A Hammock For Your Garden

Dymaxion Sleep: A Hammock For Your Garden

For this year's International Garden Festival at Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens, Jane Hutton and Adrian Blackwell created this garden installation called Dymaxion Sleep. The project featured

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Floating Green: A Grassy Bench

Floating Green: A Grassy Bench

A lush lawn can be a wonderful thing to stretch out on. Unfortunately, the high-maintenance needs, which include frequent seeding and fertilizing, of grass can make it more of a pain than a joy,

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Links Roundup of the Week: Roofs and Walls

Links Roundup of the Week: Roofs and Walls

For years, we have been trying to control our interior environments -- by putting up four walls and a roof, and then by stuffing insulation into walls and painting coats of funny chemicals on

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DUMBO Archway Beautification Complete!

DUMBO Archway Beautification Complete!

For those New Yorkers who look forward to the first Thursday of each month for the DUMBO Gallery Walk, now there is even more reason to head that direction: the DUMBO archway renovation is

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Envi: Composting Trash Can Provides Urban Greenery

Envi: Composting Trash Can Provides Urban Greenery

By now you have probably heard that composting helps make a garden green because it is an effective way to deliver nutrients to plants and reduce food waste. Previously we featured the Jarst

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Links Roundup of the Week: Affordable Housing

Links Roundup of the Week: Affordable Housing

Living in New York City, I've lost touch with the concept of affordable housing. However, after competition finalists were announced for an affordable student housing complex in the historic

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Design Jazz: Improvisations on the Urban Street Reception

Design Jazz: Improvisations on the Urban Street Reception

PRATT MANHATTAN GALLERY PRESENTS THEORETICAL AND INNOVATIVE EXHIBITION ON URBAN STREET DESIGN Exhibition to Document Young Designers Working to Develop Street Furniture for Bronx Community-Led

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Links Roundup of the Week: Giving Back

Links Roundup of the Week: Giving Back

Image via DepavePDX on Picasa Today, we were proud to announce that Project H, founded by former Inhabitat editor Emily Pilloton, received an Adobe Foundation Grant. Emily is proving that

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News Roundup of the Week: Climate Change

News Roundup of the Week: Climate Change

This week, we've been seeing lots of climage change news around the interweb and none too soon, as the UN Climate Change Conference is coming up in December. It will be crucial for our

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Affordable Housing Made of Recycled Materials

Affordable Housing Made of Recycled Materials

Imagine building your home exclusively of salvaged materials. No re-mixed concretes or FSC-certified woods. Just metals and woods that have been discarded. That's exactly the kind of

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West Loop Park Infuses Chicago With Green Urban Space

West Loop Park Infuses Chicago With Green Urban Space

As the construction process for Hudson Yards drags on in New York, we're glad to see green urban design is alive and well in Chicago. The windy city is no stranger to sustainable building, and

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Urban Activism: Green Plant Sleeves for City Walls

Urban Activism: Green Plant Sleeves for City Walls

Few would challenge the introduction of a bit of greenery into a city environment. Toronto residents, Eric Cheung and Sean Martindale, are making this basic urban space ideal into a reality with

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Ice Sculptures Mark 100 Days Until Copenhagen Climate Summit

Ice Sculptures Mark 100 Days Until Copenhagen Climate Summit

100 child-sized ice sculptures sit in Beijing's Temple of Earth to represent the 1 billion lives that will be lost in Asia due to water shortages caused by climate change. The art installation

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Links Roundup of the Week: Heroes of Architecture

Links Roundup of the Week: Heroes of Architecture

Last Sunday, Nicolai Ouroussoff at the NY Times wrote that New York City needs new heroes for architecture. He reminiscences about the New York Five of the 1970s who wanted to "reassert the

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Baumraum’s Froschköenig Treehouse

Baumraum’s Froschköenig Treehouse

Sitting atop thin steel stilts, the Froschköenig Treehouse conjures up ideas of a space pod just landed among a canopy of trees. Designed by well-known treehouse designer and manufacturer,

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Prefabricated Shelters Offer a Jungle Eco-Retreat

Prefabricated Shelters Offer a Jungle Eco-Retreat

Sitting among the canopy of a jungle forest near Yelapa, Mexico, these V-Houses by Heinz Legler are quite possibly an eco-adventurer's paradise. The treehouse-like structures are lofted 16 feet

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EXHIBTION OPENING: Maya Lin at PaceWildenstein Gallery

EXHIBTION OPENING: Maya Lin at PaceWildenstein Gallery

Maya Lin: Three Ways of Looking at the Earth A selection of large-scale installations from Systematic Landscapes will go on view at PaceWildenstein’s 22nd Street location in early

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NYC SUMMER STREETS: LAST DAY!

NYC SUMMER STREETS: LAST DAY!

Photo by Seth Holladay, via Flickr Today is the last day for NYC's Summer Streets 2009! NYC DOT has been closing Park Avenue from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park on Saturdays, from 7:00 a.m.

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Links Roundup of the Week: New York International Gift Fair

Links Roundup of the Week: New York International Gift Fair

The New York International Gift Fair was this week and we are sorry to say that we missed it, which is why we paid extra attention to the buzz around it -- and just like Design Week, we are

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Perforated House Questions Architectural Symbolism

Perforated House Questions Architectural Symbolism

Quirky and full of unexpected design choices, this Australian residence by Kavellaris Urban Design, asserts that holding onto old architectural aesthetics can be both silly and unsustainable.

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Links Roundup of the Week: Reburbia, Reburbia, Reburbia!

Links Roundup of the Week: Reburbia, Reburbia, Reburbia!

Suburban sprawl has become the problem of our generation -- that's why we partnered with Dwell to sponsor, Reburbia, a design competition to re-imagine the suburb. We posted the finalists

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE REBURBIA ENTRY TODAY!

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE REBURBIA ENTRY TODAY!

In July, we partnered with Dwell to launch Reburbia, a competition to imagine how the suburbs could be re-structured to be more sustainable. Asking participants to create  five images to

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Brick Habitats: Mini-Gardens for Habitat Restoration

Brick Habitats: Mini-Gardens for Habitat Restoration

Imagine having flora and fauna living inside the bricks of your building! A snow-white style fantasy? Not according to the designers of 'Brick Habitats' - bricks that have a little pocket for

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NYC: Archiculture Trailer Premier at Center for Architecture

NYC: Archiculture Trailer Premier at Center for Architecture

Event: ARCHICULTURE ROUNDTABLE AND TRAILER PREMIER Date: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 Time: 5:45 PM - 9:00 PM (ET) Location: Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, NY Cost: $10

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“The City Concealed” + “Heart of Gowanus” Screening

“The City Concealed” + “Heart of Gowanus” Screening

From the Greenpoint Video Project **Interested parties should e-mail workshop@studiomode.nu for more information. This screening is a public event that is part of the "Crisis Modes:

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Links Roundup of the Week: Eco Furniture

Links Roundup of the Week: Eco Furniture

Through the end of August, the Museum of Arts and Design is hosting a weekly evening of good drinks, food and art on Thursdays starting at 5:00 PM. Big fans of pay-as-you-wish admission to

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NYC: Future Ecologies Exhibition

NYC: Future Ecologies Exhibition

Crisis Modes : Protocols + Future Ecologies | Intensive Design Workshop | New York City | August 2009 Crisis Modes is a one-week intensive design workshop to be held in New York City from

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LOT-EK to Build Pier 57 Made of Shipping Containers!

LOT-EK to Build Pier 57 Made of Shipping Containers!

Committed to opening up NYC's waterfront to the public, the Hudson River Park Trust transforms the West side's old shipping docks -- once used to bring in cargo into the city -- into elongated

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Roll-Out Vegetable Mat Makes Gardening a Snap!

Roll-Out Vegetable Mat Makes Gardening a Snap!

Looking to grow your own vegetable garden but afraid you don't have a green thumb? Chris Chapman's Roll-Out Veg Mat could be just the solution you're searching for. The corrugated cardboard mat

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Students Design Shelter for High Bridge

Students Design Shelter for High Bridge

This past spring, New York City's Architecture for Humanity chapter (AFHny) partnered with Parsons School of Continuing Education in the spirit of volunteerism to offer a design studio for high

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