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Orion Magazine | Video

Stone River: The Passion of Jon Piasecki

Landscape architect Jon Piasecki, talks about nature, the woods, and a recent multi-year stone works project in New York State — Stone River.

Jon Piasecki is a graduate of Harvard University (with a Masters in Landscape Architecture in 1995), and Cornell University (with a B.S. in forest ecology in 1989). In 2004, he received the Prince Charitable Trust Rome Prize awarded by the American Academy in Rome, and was in residence at the Academy in 2005.

This film was created for Orion Magazine and has been posted here with their kind permission.

For more on Jon Piasecki, please check out this slideshow and essay.

Posted in: Media, Social Good

Comments [10]

Inspiring, thanks.
Bill Mill

Wonderful, absolutely an inspiration. Truly a man who "gets it."

I've done some stonework myself, while helping my dad, and I really felt now that my dad has similiar passion for doing these things, as Jon here. And it's very admirable.
Big thanks.

Just wanted to signal appreciation for bringing this extraordinary project to attention via Design Observer.

And to acknowledge and thank the filmmaker for the 'slow film' strategies that give the viewer time to fully contemplate and comprehend the project, the maker, the method and the place.

And for the use of field recorded sound (rather than music) to create a sense of anticipation and involvement.

More please.
Gary Warner

This is so inspiring. The passion behind it all is heart-warming. Incredible video. I'm speechless.
Ashley Adams : Online Printing

I too enjoyed the film.
I would have been interested in hearing more about the Incas.

Boldly, I think the water-way could have been 12 inches wider or of varying widths. Yes, I know very boldly.


I don't know what to think, part of its beautiful but the other part of me wonders why there needs to be a stone path through the woods, farmers made stone walls to divide land but people don't need paths to walk through the woods. I like to feel the real earth beneath my feet, the things I know I didn't put there or some other human put there. I like to see a path of dirt that is there because other humans before me have walked this same path, thus helping to create that path. That being said the stone work itself appears to be remarkable.
Ethan Bodnar

I love to go for walks in the woods. There is something so special about it because I hate living in the city. Everybody is rushing about all the time and don't seem to have the time for each other. I think that nature is to most amazing artist as can be seen in leaves, flowers and butterflies.

This was a beautifully and sensitively made documentary that I wish were 45 minutes longer. The stonework is precise and magical. Although I completely understand another poster's remarks questioning the necessity of a stone path through the woods, I also believe that this walkway exquisitely blends humanity, art and nature, as well as providing an fitting interface between the comfort zone of urban-acclimated persons and the natural world. For those who would be timid about a walk through the woods (and I've met many), this "stone river" draws them in, reveals the timeless beauty of the woods, allowing them a beautiful transition between concrete and earth.

I read the press articles on the Golden Bough website ( and the description of trail markers made of natural material or of native plant landscapes gladdened my heart. I hope that Mr. Piasecki updates his website with more images, as well as a link to this film. An exciting discovery for me.

mind opening and also great to see someone with so much passion in their work as well.
Leigh Igoe

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