Author: Andrew Spiering

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Labash 2010: Day 2

Wow. Another great day at Labash 2010! I want to give a BIG HUMONGOUS thank you to the students of UNLV that planned such a successful event. These guys know what hospitality is all about!

Last night’s Happy Hour went really well. We helped score the students discounted drink prices at Hennessey’s Tavern in downtown Las Vegas. This was the first stop on their nine-hole pub crawl.

Just a side, you have to check out downtown if you ever visit Vegas. It has the old-school charm of the historic Las Vegas set under a light dome, known as the “Fremont Street Experience.” Here is a video I found on YouTube:

Back to the crawl… The students set out on a “social networking” expedition where they went to several establishments on Fremont Street sampling the local food and beverages – in moderation of course. Just think, Irish Car Bombs, Mechanical Bulls, and 150 students parading from bar to bar.

Today’s expo ended well. Our booth was full of students lounging on our sofa and orange arm chairs. We raffled off iTunes gift cards around 1 o’clock before the students attended the last lectures of the day.

Our new friends over at Permaloc had the great idea of passing out fake poker chips and gave cash prizes for the schools that turned in the most at the end of the event. I believe Ball State came away with the grand prize – $250 of cold, hard cash. Not bad, eh?!

Here are some photos we snapped as we closed down the expo. The first is with our buddy, Dean Hill, from GreenScreen. The second is with our friends over at Landscape Forms. (Just an FYI, those green lounge chairs are extremely comfortable and were donated to the school after the expo.)

After resting up back at the hotel, we all took double-decker buses to the closing ceremonies at the World Market Center to finish out the festivities with a slight downer. The key note speaker, Dale Chihuly, was a no-show. He was supposedly too sick to make his flight, but I don’t buy it. Everyone’s reaction when the announcement was made let me know I wasn’t the only one disappointed. We ended up watching a video presentation of Dale Chihuly’s work presented by documentary film maker and friend of Chihuly, Mark McDonnell. I have to say the work was brilliant, my favorites being his Jerusalem installations. But it would have been much more impressive if it were given in the 1st person. You know?

After the presentation, everyone woke up by voting (by noise) on the two video entries from Miami and Montreal for the 2012 bids. And the winner goes to… MIAMI! See you there in 2012…

Overall, Labash 2010 was a smashing success thanks again to Samantha, Fidel, Landon, and the other UNLV students that helped organize the event. We can’t wait for Labash 2011 at Purdue. Be sure to join the group to keep up-to-date until they get their site up and running. Also, please start saving up now for next year. From what I have already heard, it is going to be awesome!

Did you attend Labash 2010? If so, join the Labash 2010 group and share your stories, photos, and videos from the event.

Thanks again!
Andrew & Kevin

Labash 2010: Day 1

Labash 2010 is well underway! We had an excellent BBQ at Sunset Park yesterday evening to kick things off. Today was the first day of the expo and we had a good turnout at our booth. We are raffling off iTunes gift cards and giving away some Sharpies. (Great ideas start with a sketch!)

Our booth is located between two reputable companies – ValleyCrest Companies, who just created their firm profile on, and our friends over at Land F/X. Some other vendors at the expo this year are Dean Hill of GreenScreen, Peter Rohrer of Landscape Forms, and Paul Bambauer of IRONSMITH.

Students attended a lecturer given by Walter Hood and gathered at lunch-time for a televised rally to save UNLV’s Landscape Architecture program which has been threatened by major budget cuts.

Tonight we will be hosting another Happy Hour, so be sure to stop by if you are in the area. Stay tuned for more pics and video of the event.

Here are a few more pics of today’s activities…

Atelier Dreiseitl Opens Firm in Portland

German-based landscape architecture firm, Atelier Dreiseitl, is opening a studio in Portland, Oregon – its first site in the United States.

Launching Atelier Dreiseitl’s Portland studio are two partners and two leading principals formerly with the Portland firm Walker Macy. Mauricio Villarreal, Charles Brucker, Eric Bode and Zeljka Carol Kekez will direct the firm’s North and South Americas’ operations. Villarreal will serve as the studio’s director.

Ueberlingen, Germany-based Atelier Dreiseitl also has offices in Singapore and Beijing.

Via BizJournals

Read Full Press Release

SWA Names New President

SWA Group Names L.A.’s Gerdo Aquino President,
Joins CEO Kevin Shanley On Executive Team
of Global Landscape Architecture and Urban Design Firm

Los Angeles (March 10, 2010) – SWA Group, one of the most highly recognized landscape architectural and urban design firms in the world, announced today that Gerdo Aquino, a Managing Principal of SWA’s Los Angeles office, was named President of the firm. He joins the management team led by CEO Kevin Shanley, a Design Principal of the Houston office who was both President and CEO and now shares some of those responsibilities.

Aquino is an active designer heading the Los Angeles studio for SWA, and is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Southern California.

SWA’s Los Angeles office was recognized in 2008 with the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Honor Award for the Analysis and Planning of Chongming Island, China, where massive alluvial deposits were evaluated for their potential to create ‘new’ land and strengthen existing estuary systems at the mouth of the Yangtze River Delta. In 2009, the LA Studio received the ASLA Honor award for the Zobon Sculpture Garden, also in Shanghai, whose design interpreted local flooding of the nearby Huangpu River with a 3-dimensional composition of stone, glass and reflective water forms. Current work in the Los Angeles studio includes an international profile of projects such as a linear park along the banks of Ballona Creek in Los Angeles, the urban design of a 7 km river corridor in Sichuan Province, China, and most recently an infrastructural ‘cap’ park in Seoul, Korea.

Aquino is a registered landscape architect in six states including California, and is an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Urban Land Institute.

SWA Group (, established in 1957, is an international landscape architecture, planning and urban design firm with offices in Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, CA, Sausalito, CA, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston and Shanghai. Since its inception, SWA Group has worked in over 60 countries, and its projects have garnered more than 600 awards.

The Holodeck

I found this the other day on Landscape+Urbanism and thought it was awesome. Although, I see a slight drawback because it appears that you can only view it from certain angles.

What do you think?

IFLA Statement on Climate Change

The President of the International Federation of Landscape Architects released this statement in advance of the meeting of leaders from around the world for the United Nations Climate Change conference in Copenhagen.


Statement by the International Federation of Landscape Architects

“The International Federation of Landscape Architects encourages the development and adoption of a Global Landscape Convention to assist nations working to address the impact of climate change on the world’s landscapes and people. They offer this idea for consideration at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, on 7-18 December 2009.
‘The leaders will be talking about the landscapes of the world, as we know them, and the future of people and species that live in them, Dr Diane Menzies, the President said. ‘The expected participation by some 100 of the world’s political leaders as well as from numerous other groups reflects extreme international concern, Dr Menzies said.

‘One single change such as sea level rise, will have an immense impact on coastal cities and populations around the globe. Landscapes as we know them are endangered. In preparing an agreed approach landscape architects hope that effects on landscapes and those who live there will be reduced and processes for co-operation to mitigate impacts will be developed.’

‘Countries such as Netherlands have been developing policies to manage landscapes threatened with inundation, but small Pacific Island nations lack the resources to adequately cope with expected impacts. They may lose their homes and islands. There are thousands of kilometres of coastline in my country, New Zealand which will irrevocably change, taking with it the history, ecology, and relations people have built with these loved coastlines. This is just one small example of the immensity of change we must address,’ said Dr Menzies.

The statement released to United Nations continued with the following information.

Landscapes change All landscapes change over time. Climate change though is the greatest threat to the Earth’s landscapes. These threats include destruction of landscapes such as Pacific Islands through inundation caused by sea level rise. They include large-scale damage caused by floods and other weather related events and changes. They include impacts on ecosystems and species, and impacts on special heritage and everyday landscapes. Climate change will separate people from cherished places as they now know them.
Perversely the global thrust to minimise carbon discharge by moving to renewable energy resources including wind turbines, to reduce the effects of increased greenhouse gas emissions, is also having major visual and other impacts on landscapes around the globe. Thus the worlds landscapes (and people) are affected by the impact of climate change as well as current methods to develop renewable energy resources.

Sustainable land use practices
For more than a century since the profession of landscape architecture formed, we have supported the principle of stewardship of land. Landscape architects advocate the wise planning, artful design and careful maintenance of all landscapes through developing sustainable land use policies, ecologically conscious practices and working with communities to enable their loved places to be protected, or integrated into neighbourhoods and cities.

Global Landscape Convention

Based on the success of the European Landscape Convention in forewarning and assisting land managers and decision makers to tackle climate change impacts on landscapes throughout Europe, the International Federation of Landscape Architects is promoting a Global Landscape Convention. This will assist people to address the immense changes that will come about from climate change. We seek your support to promote the value of this idea as a means to address climate change impacts on the landscapes of the globe.

Climate adaptation tools

A project to investigate, assess and promote suitable Climate Adaptation Tools for Sustainable Settlements (CATSS) is currently underway, the task being undertaken by our member the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. This will provide practical support for those dealing with change and will be available next year. Other initiatives underway will address the Right to Landscape and sustainable infrastructure, all intended to continue to find better ways to manage and minimise environmental risk through sustainable design, innovative storm water management and recognition of community values. IFLA is dedicated to using all traditional and non- traditional tools available to positively influence environmental outcomes including but not limited to climate change. These ideas may include design guidelines through to education and economic tools. IFLA supports the material profiling and economic market place tools being currently developed.

Sustainable by Design
The International Federation supports the International Union of Architects on their ‘Sustainable by Design’ initiative and commend this to decision-makers and practitioners.

Sustainable world
Our members work for a sustainable world and sustainable landscapes using wise practice, methods and tools. We look to the wisdom of decision-makers in Copenhagen to minimise climate change and so reduce impacts on threatened landscapes of the world.”

Dr Diane Menzies
President, International Federation of Landscape Architects
For further information please contact:
In Brussels IFLA Secretariat and web site
In Denmark:

eBook Promo: The Little Green Book

I am happy to promote Chris Heiler’s first book entitled, The Little Green Book of Big Marketing Tips & Tactics. Here’s a description from his website, “Specifically for landscape industry professionals, The Little Green Book describes a fresh, revolutionary approach to marketing yourself and your company.”

Chris is a landscape designer and entrepreneur. He is the editor of, co-founder of, and president of Fountainhead Gardens, LLC.

Purchase the ebook
– $10

ECLAS Announces Lifetime Achievement Awards

Press Release – The European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools, ECLAS, represents the academic community of landscape architecture in Europe. ECLAS exists to foster and develop scholarship in landscape architecture. Its aims are to strengthen contacts and to enrich the dialogue between its members within the wider European social and institutional context.

For the first time, on 20th November 2009, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to European Landscape Architecture Education was given to three prominent scholars:

Professor Janez Marusič / Slovenia
Professor Mihály Mőcsényi / Hungary
Professor Dušan Ogrin / Slovenia

The awarding ceremonies were held, in parallel, in Budapest and Ljubljana.

In Ljubljana, the award was presented to Professors Janez Marusič and Dušan Ogrin, by the ECLAS president Diedrich Bruns, during the scientific conference “Dilemmas In Contemporary Landscape Architecture”. This conference was organized, on the occasion of Professors Marusič’s and Ogrin’s 70th and 80th birthdays, by the Department of Landscape Architecture of the Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, to demonstrate their great appreciation for two distinguished colleagues, the founding fathers of landscape architecture in Slovenia. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to critically reflect on current developments in landscape architecture.

In Budapest, a ceremonial scientific session was held, in Professor Mőcsényi’s honour, to celebrate his 90th birthday. The event was organized, by the Faculty of Landscape Architecture and the Scientific Committee of Landscape Architecture, at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The ECLAS Award was presented to Professor Mőcsényi by Richard Stiles after his lecture on achievements made with the LE:NOTRE project. Diane Menzies, president of IFLA, who also gave a scientific lecture, saluted the former IFLA president Mőcsényi with a decoration.


Professor Janez Marušič (PhD)

Janez Marušič is a professor of landscape archicture; his fields of expertise are landscape planning, landscape analysis, evaluation techniques, nature conservation, and environmental impact assessment. He teaches undergraduate and graduate students at a variety of academic departments at the University of Ljubljana, the University of Maribor, and the University of Zagreb (Croatia). He has lectured as a visiting professor in the United States (Utah State University in Logan, CalPoly in Pomona, and University of Massachusetts, Amherst). He has also lectured at a number of European institutes (Agricultural University of Norway, Technical University in Vienna, and the University of Hannover).

From 1996 to 2006, Professor Marušič served as head of the Department of Landscape Architecture of the Biotechnical Faculty in Ljubljana. He is member of several committees (the Council for Environmental Protection of the Republic of Slovenia, the Office of Physical Planning of Slovenia, and the Committee of Experts at the Highway Company of Slovenia). He heads the main research group at the Department of Landscape Architecture.

In terms of non-academic work, Professor Marušič has provided consulting services for the Slovenian government and various agencies and municipalities in Slovenia. His most recent development projects include a new hydroelectric power station, high voltage overhead transmission lines, wind generators, and radioactive waste disposal site selection. His most recent research project dealt with landscape conservation problems in Slovenia, and specifically methodologies for the development of management plans for protected areas, agricultural spatial planning, strategic assessments of regional development plans, and the elaboration of guidelines for landscape improvement activities.

Professor Dušan Ogrin

Professor Ogrin is a Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture. Since the establishment of the landscape architecture programme at the University of Ljubljana, he has taught courses in landscape design studies and the theory and history of landscape design. He introduced landscape architecture studies at the Biotechnical Faculty on the postgraduate level in 1972 and on the undergraduate level in 1976. As a visiting professor, he has taught several courses in the field of landscape architecture at universities in Europe, America and Asia. He taught at Harvard University from 1983 to 1992. He is a regular lecturer on landscape design at the University of Zagreb and the University of Beijing. His research work focuses primarily on fundamental issues related to the theory of landscape architecture, the generation of landscape forms, and issues of mimesis and design language. He leads research projects in housing and planning methodology, landscape classification, and the theory of urban landscape.

Professor Ogrin has written a substantial number of landscape design projects and received several awards. He has also written five books, one of which was published in English translation by the London publisher Thames and Hudson, and in Italian translation by Fenice (Milan, 2000). His papers and articles have appeared in many journals both in Slovenia and abroad.

Professor Ogrin has chaired and been a member of several organisations in the Slovenian Parliament and other government bodies, the University of Ljubljana, and foreign institutes: IFLA Grand Council (member), the Landscape Planning Committee of the International Union for Nature Conservation (chairman), International Curatorium of the Goethe Foundation of the European Prize for Nature Conservation and Landscape Planning (member). He has also served on the editorial boards of several publications: Landscape Planning in the Netherlands and Landscape Journal in the United States. He founded the Yugoslav Association of Landscape Architects and served as its first president. He served as the national coordinator for landscape research in the Ministry of Science of the Republic of Slovenia for several mandates.

Professor Ogrin has received several awards, both national and international, for his work. The following list includes only the most important among them: the Silver Medal of Freedom of the President of the Republic of Slovenia (1997), Ludwig von Sckell-Ehrenring Award from the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts (1995), München and Peter-Joseph Lenné Gold Medal from the Johann-Wolfgang-von-Goethe Stiftung, Basel (1975).

Professor Mihály Mőcsényi

Mihály Mőcsényi, professor of landscape architecture, is a doctor of Hungarian Academy of Sciences. During his long and successful carrier he has furthered the development of the practice and the education of Hungarian landscape architecture and enhanced its appreciation both nationally and internationally. One of his greatest successes in the Hungarian educational development is the deed of foundation of the Faculty of Landscape Architecture in 1992. He has built up wide international professional connections, which he always utilized in the interest of furthering education in landscape architecture. He encouraged his students to go on study trips abroad, even in times when this was not an easy task to organize in Hungary, because of political reasons. By means of his successes in international design exhibitions (many of his plans for the “Hungarian Garden” at various events have won prizes), and through his professional appreciation, he was elected vice-president of IFLA Central Region in 1982, and president of IFLA in 1986.

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2009 Landscape Institute Awards Announced

Peter Youngman Award. Winner: Olympic Delivery Authority for Olympic Park

Via Landscape Institute

This year’s Landscape Awards, presented by environmentalist Jonathan Porritt, gave the industry’s top prize to Gillespies and the accolade for outstanding contribution to landscape went to the ODA.

This brochure provides a nice overview, although It would have been great if they included more photos of the award winning projects. Feel free to flip through their awards brochure below:

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Book Promo: Google SketchUp for Site Design

I am excited to promote Daniel Tal’s new book, Google SketchUp for Site Design: A Guide to Modeling Site Plans, Terrain and Architecture. The above video gives a good inside on what the book has to offer. Here is the written description via the publisher’s website – Wiley (a proud sponsor of Land8Lounge – eh eh) – if the video doesn’t do the trick:

“Google SketchUp for Site Design illustrates a holistic approach to SketchUp: how it works and more importantly, what to do with it. Filled with tutorials from front to back, the book focuses on the start and completion of projects that include rich detail and expression. Each part and chapter of the book builds on the previous chapters and tutorial. Also included are links to supplemental on-line resources such as YouTube tutorials and free tutorial and example models from 3D Warehouse. The book is useful for all SketchUp proficiency levels including beginners, hobbyists, and professionals.”

Daniel Tal is a practicing landscape architect in Denver, Colorado, and a SketchUp specialist who conducts workshops and seminars on SketchUp for landscape architects and architects. He is an active member here on Land8Lounge by contributing blog posts and moderating the SketchUp forum category.

You can find out more information about Daniel Tal and his book here;

and on the publisher’s website here:


Land8 Happy Hour – Chicagostyle!

Thanks to everyone able to attend this year’s Land8 Happy Hour – Chicagostyle! And many thanks to Baseline and Vectorworks for sponsoring the event. For those of you who missed it this year, we met at the Exchequer Restaurant on the Saturday night of the 2009 ASLA Conference for some Chicagostyle deep dish pizza and cold beverages. There were close to 70 people who attended and it was awesome to meet everyone in person.

Here are some pictures of the event…

During the first hour, visitors made themselves comfortable. Sitting at the table in the forground is Scott Munroe. He later won the Tallest Hat Contest. In the background you see the screen with a running slideshow of members’ work from the Gallery. (Right) Scott showing off his hat.

It was great to see how the event crossed so many boundaries. Here Eric Gilbey of Vectorworks makes friends with Jeremiah Farmer of Land F/X.

Here is the packed house around the midpoint of the evening.

Some folks stuck around afterward to continue the conversation and help finish off the rest of the pizza.

Thanks again to everyone who attended and made the evening so much fun. Here’s to next year!

Sponsored by:

Fire Destroys Well Known Landscape Architecture Firm

Sausalito Fire Destroys Shades of Green Landscape Architecture Studio

Sausalito, CA – A fire that broke out last evening in a three-story building on Pine Street is under control after it destroyed the studio space of Shades of Green Landscape Architecture. The start of the fire is still under investigation along with the total damage. I was happy to blog about their successes in this post, but this news is, simply put, awful. I have yet to speak with principals Ive Haugeland and Tyler Manchuck, or their associate Jamie Morf, so I can only imagine their devastation. I encourage you to drop them your well-wishes below, or on their profiles.

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