On Asphalt is an initiative created by Paula Meijerink, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and founding principle of W-A-N-T-E-D, a design studio in the Boston Area.
The project aims to change the perception of asphalt, which surrounds us in our everyday lives, as something which can be more then simply a utilitarian use. From their site:
The asphalt landscape is the most public of all landscapes, at the same time the most undervalued. Asphalt is one of the most liberating inventions that shaped the 20th century world. It allows us to fly and drive everywhere we desire - making the entire world accessible to us. Our association with asphalt occurs on a daily basis; our streets are paved with it, we park our car on it. Asphalt is everywhere around us. Yet asphalt is for most of us a hated material. Public spaces such as parks and plazas are often seen as belonging to the traditional realm of landscape architecture. However, parking lots and roads are perhaps the most public spaces of all, as we use these spaces on a daily basis. But as a landscape space, they are often only serving the utilitarian function of accommodating the car, which it does excellently.
More to come on the projects up and coming initiatives. Until then enjoy the "CARtoons" from freelance cartoonist and illustrator Andy Singer. Inspired by several bad encounters with asphalt, he created a book of cartoons and essays depicting negative impacts on our culture and environment by our auto-obsessed society.