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I found one image in the presentation particularly compelling. That was Pier 62 with two simple additions — a graphic painted on the surface and yellow chairs spotted about facing the bay. Simple, light, easy, low cost. No pools, no shops, no “pop up” street theatre. Yet people were clearly enjoying the splendid setting of water, sun and snow-capped mountains. Even in some recent waterfront esplanades elsewhere in the world, such as the spectacular one in Barcelona, there are quiet places to be alone.
One of the unique aspects of Seattle is that it has blended two cultures that thrive on the concept of elegant restraint — Asian and Scandinavian. This may be the only place on earth where two completely unconnected cultures have advanced ideas of craft, artistry, and introspective serenity, mixed with a deep regard for the past.
So here's some advice to all this New Yorkish frenzy: Corner's current ideas would benefit from some serious editing. Sometimes the best solution is nothing at all, or at least very little. Light touches. Soft touches. Small touches. Fortunately Corner and company have shown they are good at doing these.
Let’s tone the party down and gain a bit more simplicity. Less can be more.
This story has been updated since it first appeared to restore a word dropped from the description of James Corner's background.
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