In 1970, Michelangelo Antonioni cast first time actress Daria Halprin as his lead in Zabriskie Point. That same year, her father, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, completed Willamette Valley Choices for the Future, a document whose influence on Oregon land use policy is still felt today.
Governor Tom McCall comissioned Choices as a caution against the “ravenous rampage of suburbia”. In it, Lawrence Halprin presented two parallel versions of the future: one which curbed urban growth and one which did not. In Zabriskie Point, Daria Halprin plays an uncompromising hippie who likewise practices the art of visualization.
After the box office failure of Zabriskie Point, Antonioni closed the Hollywood chapter of his career and returned to Italy. Lawrence Halprin’s vision continues to have powerful impact on Oregon’s approach to land use planning.
You can learn more about Halprin’s work in Oregon, and Portland in particular, at Lawrence Halprin’s Landscapes Conservancy.
“We were trying to invent new languages of dance, music and architecture”. Lawrence Halprin.
Lawrence Halprin died on Oct. 25, 2009. If you’ve ever waded in the Keller, Lovejoy or Pettygrove Fountains in downtown Portland, you’ve connected with his dream. Daria Halprin, now a dance therapist, teaches at Tamalpa Institute.