Grant Competition for Emerging Professionals

Calling all emerging professionals: Get your pen out, and bring on the creative ideas. The 2017 National Grant Competition for Emerging Professionals in Landscape Architecture has just been announced! This competition, created by Anova Furnishings, will award 21 winners $2,000 to fund attendance at the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles, CA.

The competition, which debuted last year, challenges emerging professionals to come up with and pitch their own idea, preparing them for future client meetings. Receiving over 120 entries in 2016 with the question “What change would you make in your region if money were no object?”, entrants were invited to share their vision along with a quick napkin sketch. The 21 winning entries show a diversity of ideas and the broad depth of interests among landscape architects across the US.

Napkin sketches from winners of the 2016 grant competition.

This year’s topic, “Global climate change is impacting local conditions everywhere – how should Landscape Architects respond?” is particularly pertinent. Entrants are asked to submit a 500-word essay, a quick napkin sketch, and a 140-character summary. The sketching component is intended to harness a landscape designer’s ability to quickly and effectively communicate their ideas. A jury of three practicing landscape architects decide on the winners based on four criteria: originality and creativity, written communication, the napkin sketch, and disciplinary positioning.

A profession trained in ecology and design, landscape architects are well-suited to tackle the big environmental issues of today, such as climate change, heat islands, and sea level rise. One of the four judging criteria, disciplinary positioning, focuses on this very topic. As stated in the grant FAQs, entries “should help elevate the perception of landscape architecture as a discipline that catalyzes positive change.” This grant is an opportunity to showcase the profession and its ability to help solve today’s challenges.

First place winner, Zheng Lu of EDSA designed this self-sustaining island in Florida that generates enough solar, wind, and water energy to power inland development.

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Anova Furnishings has been around for over 40 years as innovators in the design and manufacturing of outdoor furniture. Long-time supporters of the landscape architecture profession, Anova created this grant to accelerate emerging professionals’ careers. Eric Gilbert, CEO of Anova, says the grant came to mind as the company asked themselves: “How are we going to help and impact this industry in a way that is meaningful, fun, and different?” Providing emerging professionals a platform to share their ideas ideas and the opportunity to learn from others at the ASLA Annual Meeting, the competition accelerates personal growth.

Eric believes that attending the ASLA Annual Meeting is particularly beneficial because it is “a place to get new ideas, and a fantastic platform to get out of your office space and go explore something new.” With over 100 education sessions and workshops, and the largest gathering of landscape architecture professionals and students in the world, the ASLA Annual Meeting certainly is an incredible opportunity to learn, engage, and inspire each other. With such a great prize available, why not share your ideas?

Submissions are accepted beginning April 1st and will remain open until April 30th. For more information and to submit your entry, visit the competition website.

Why attend the ASLA Annual Meeting? Read Land8’s recap of the 2016 Annual Meeting and EXPO.

Stephanie Marino is a landscape architect practicing in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Comment by J. Robert Wainner on May 1, 2017 at 10:13pm

Though, I won't be entering this DESIGN COMPETITION......I think it's relevant to keep in mind. HOW CO2 figures into all of this.  My research has taught me (see - The Global Warming Policy Foundation....on-line)...Article:  "2015 Annual GWPF Lecture" in London, England (2015).  CWPF stands for:  "Common Sense On Climate Change".

The main speaker at this Annual Meeting was Patrick Moore, PhD (Ecology - 1974) and a Co-Founder of "Green Peace".  He left Green Peace after 15 yrs. as a member.

In Patrick Moore's lengthy and detailed speech, he stated "CO2 is not responsible for Global Warming Climate Changes & that man-kind is not responsible for Global Climate Change".  Global Warming is actually cased by several factors....including some we don't even understand.

Patrick Moore spoke of the importance of CO2 for the benefits of plant life (that sustains both people and animals on our Planet).  Mr. Moore mentioned that we had a very similar period of "warming" back during the height of the Roman Empire that is almost identical to Earth in 1989.  He stated that the Earth has been warming and cooling (and the climate has been constantly changing) for Millions of years...always has, always will.

NOW, "Air Pollution & Water Pollution" are two totally different and unrelated World Wide concerns to deal with.  But, IMO, even reducing the Air Pollution problems World Wide would cost Trillions of dollars every year (I've read...and that would be for the next 100 yrs.), HOW could that effort possibly be funded?  I seriously doubt  if the Paris Agreement will hold up.  The Nations with the worst air pollution are India, China, Iran, Pakistan and Russia.....and the U.S.  HOW will anyone or  any Nation force all of the other Nations of the World to do "anything" to reduce their air pollution? Those Nations are much more concerned about having a strong matter the side effects.  In the U.S. (8 of the top 10) most air polluted cities are in California.  And, California is supposed to have some strong EPA (auto emissions regulations).  A majority of the Nations who belong to the U.N. can't even seem to afford to pay their annual dues to the, HOW could we expect those Nations to fund a massive undertaking like eliminating "air pollution".

Asking or requiring all the people on our Planet to give up their gasoline driven cars is not practical or possible.  And, switching entirely to "electric" driven automobiles is not feasible or practical either.

I believe the "Paris Agreement Conference" was held back in 2015.  And, there were environmental scientists attending from all over the World.  I seriously doubt if, together, they came up with a resolution to the problem/s.  The U.S. economy is, how are we to tackle the problem of air pollution?  And, how are 3rd World Nations...especially, the very poor Nations going to be able to solve these problems in their Nations?

But, my main point here is....I agree with Patrick Moore's research (findings) concerning CO2.  We can't blame CO2 for "Global Warming" or "Global Climate Change".  The Earth has only warmed approx. 1 degree over the past 300 yrs...but, people actually live better lives in warm weather than they do in cold weather.  More CO2 is a major plus for the plant life here on well as all people and animals.

I do believe that this DESIGN COMPETITION is a good idea.  Maybe the creative young LA minds will come up with some creative "solutions"?!

J. Robert (Bob) Wainner

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