Aiming to raise the visibility of the field and its practitioners, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has established an international landscape architecture prize of $100,000 to be awarded every two years, beginning in 2021. In addition, the Prize features two years of related public engagement activities to honor a living practitioner, collaborative or team for their creative, courageous, and visionary work in the field of landscape architecture.
TCLF board co-chair Joan Shafran and her husband Rob Haimes have generously provided a lead gift of $1 million to underwrite the Prize, which was collectively matched by the rest of the board and other donors, launching a $4.5 million fundraising campaign to endow it in perpetuity.
“Landscape architecture is one of the most complex and, arguably, the least understood art forms. It challenges practitioners to be design innovators often while spanning the arts and sciences in addressing many of the most pressing social, environmental, and cultural issues in contemporary society.” – Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, FAAR, TCLF’s founder, president, and CEO.
Landscape architects, artists, architects, planners, urban designers, and others who have designed a significant body of landscape-architectural projects are eligible for this award. The Prize will examine the state of landscape architecture through the honoree’s practice, showcasing how landscape architecture and its practitioners are transforming the public realm by addressing social, ecological, cultural, environmental, and other challenges in their work.
“Our involvement with TCLF, and seeing and learning about the inspired work of landscape architects, led us to think about how to raise the public’s awareness of their contributions in a more dramatic way. Supporting the Prize came out of that,” said Joan Shafran and Rob Haimes, lead donors for the prize. “We hope the Prize will provide not just recognition of exceptional people and projects but also promote a wider public discussion of the role of landscape architecture in life.”
The honoree will be chosen in a multi-layered process, including a year-long nomination period followed with selection by a five-person jury comprised of internationally prominent landscape architects, artists, educators, designers, and others. The Prize will be administered by TCLF and overseen by an independent curator.
About The Cultural Landscape Foundation
The Cultural Landscape Foundation is a Washington, D.C.-based education and advocacy non-profit established in 1998 with a mission of “connecting people to places.” The organization educates and engages the public to make our landscape heritage more visible, identify its value, and empower its stewards. The international prize will become TCLF’s fourth major program along with: What’s Out There, an exhaustive, carefully vetted and profusely illustrated database of more than 2,000 landscapes; Pioneers of American Landscape Design, featuring online and print biographies of more than 1,000 landscape architects and allied professionals, along with video oral histories; and Landslide, the advocacy initiative that draws attention to threatened and at-risk landscapes and includes an annual thematic report and traveling photographic exhibitions. TCLF also organizes conferences, tours and other events, and its work has received numerous awards, as well as repeated support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lead Image: Portland Open Space Sequence, Ira Keller Forecourt Fountain, Portland, OR, 2016. Designed by Lawrence Halprin with Angela Danadjieva, 1970. Photo © Jeremy Bittermann, courtesy The Cultural Landscape Foundation.
Attention all landscape architecture students, undergraduate, graduate, or recent graduates! Submit your best work to the 2019 Vectorworks Design Scholarship for a chance to win up to $10,000 USD, gain professional recognition, and propel yourself into a bright future of design.
The application period runs now until August 29, 2019, at which point designs are due for two rounds of judging. A panel of judges will evaluate submissions based on design integrity, originality, effective use of computer technology, and communication of design vision.
First-round winners will receive $3,000 USD and will be entered for a chance at the grand prize Richard Diehl Award, worth an additional $7,000 USD. Winners will then be revealed on October 16, 2019.
“The Vectorworks Design Scholarship is an incredible opportunity for up-and-coming designers to promote their work and win funds to support their future endeavors,” said Alice Lowy, marketing programs director at Vectorworks. “We look forward to seeing what these up-and-coming designers think of next.”
As if you needed another reason to submit, Vectorworks is offering an award outside of the cash incentive: winners’ schools will also receive free Vectorworks Designer software and complimentary training for faculty and students.
“Submit anyway, even if you think your work isn’t going to win. Be sure to write about the heart behind your project,” said Morgan Lindsay Price, a previous winner of the Vectorworks Design Scholarship, when asked what advice she’d give to prospective applicants. “I was so shocked and grateful that we won. Vectorworks gave me a huge opportunity that I never dreamed I would have had, and I’m eternally grateful.”
The submission only requires you answering a few questions in 150 words or less about your best individual or group project, then attaching your work.
For more information on the competition structure, eligibility, and application materials, visit: vectorworks.net/scholarship.
Don’t delay – apply today here!
If you’ve ever attended the ASLA Meeting + EXPO over the last decade, there’s a good chance you attended or at least heard about the famous Land8 Happy Hour that bills itself as “The Largest Party for Landscape Architects in the World.” It’s only natural that the largest gathering of landscape architects (ASLA Meeting + EXPO) also includes the largest social event too with over 700 attendees expected at the Happy Hour.
The 11th Annual Land8 Happy Hour returns to the city of its very first Happy Hour on October 21 at 8pm and includes an open bar, limited edition t-shirt, photo booth, networking, raffles, pub games, and dancing! Register here.
So why is it called a “Happy Hour” if it’s a late night event? Land8 Managing Partner, Matt Alcide, states that it’s a nod to Land8’s humble beginnings. At the inaugural Land8 Happy Hour in Philadelphia in 2008, it truly was a traditional happy hour with about a dozen attendees and a few pitchers of beer. While the size of the gathering has changed, the purpose has not, which is to bring landscape architects together in a relaxed informal setting to kick back after long days of meetings and educational sessions.
If you’re in town Sunday evening 10/21 in Philly, be sure to get your tickets ahead of time at land8.com! The Land8 Happy Hour is made possible by the event sponsors Anova Furnishings, Vectorworks, and Permaloc.
This article originally appeared in ASLA’s LAND.
PaveShare.org open-education curriculum for landscape architecture students and educators is now available through the Land8: Landscape Architects Network.
PaveShare.org, a free ICPI resource, links to self-guided presentations with interactive animations and a studio project library on segmental concrete pavement design and construction. Educators can supplement existing curriculum with resources from PaveShare.org and encourage students to add to a living library by uploading their completed projects to the site. Students and educators can also explore pattern design and structural principles or utilize a curriculum path.
“Segmental concrete pavement systems provide landscape architects with a proven, flexible, and durable method that also allows tremendous design freedom,” said Kendall Anderegg, ICPI Board Chair. “By teaming with the Land8 network, ICPI brings innovative design ideas and technical information to landscape architecture students and educators in a free, easy-to-use manner.”
PaveShare.org resources include:
“Concrete paver sales in the U.S. and Canada have reached post-recession highs during the last several years,” said Anderegg. “Homeowners and landscape architects frequently choose segmental concrete pavement for residential and commercial projects because of its visual appeal and durability. PaveShare.org helps the next generation of landscape architects address this growing demand.”
Students and educators can participate in the PaveShare.org curriculum by visiting www.land8.com/paveshare and clicking on the “Resources” link above the masthead.
View a video demonstrating how to use PaveShare.org:
LEAD IMAGE: The University of Tennessee at Knoxville incorporated permeable interlocking concrete pavement into a campus center upgrade. PaveShare.org is flexible, living landscape architecture curriculum delivers latest concrete paver design and technical information. View Case Study.
Article by Maria Giovanna Drago Constitution Avenue by Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture along with Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects, and MEC in Canberra, Australia. Constitution Avenue is a key street in Canberra, Australia. In fact, along with Commonwealth and Kings Avenues, it forms the city’s basic geometric design guidelines that developed Canberra in the 1900s. Situated in a lively area, it’s adjacent to residential and commercial buildings, but also recreational and cultural activities. In 2016, Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture completed the renewal project after four years of construction. The renovation brought modernity to this roadside axis, rewriting its role in the city. We can say that Constitution Avenue was influenced by great western avenues like the Champs-Élysées in Paris or La Rambla in Barcelona. The City Design Walter B. Griffin was an American architect and landscape architect who won the international competition for the design of the new capital city in 1912. He and his wife, Marion, developed a plan and ran an architecture firm together. “I have planned it not in a way that I expected any government authorities in the world would accept. I have planned an ideal city – a city that meets my ideal of the city of the future,” said Griffin.Three avenues form the perimeter of the National Triangle, which is the heart of the city with public and administrative buildings as well as a tourist center. It hosts the Parliament House, the Australian Department of Defense, and the City Hill Park respectively in each of its extremities. The city neatly established around two orthogonal axes that imaginatively cross the center of the National Triangle, which is managed by the National Capital Authority. The Australian Landscape The Griffin’s first heard about the competition while on their honeymoon and pursued it once they returned home. Marion M. Griffin was responsible for the beautiful renderings that impressed the jury, while Walter was responsible for the design. Their project beat out 137 entries and brought them instant notoriety and public recognition. During Walter’s first trip to Australia he was so fascinated by the natural landscape that he gave plant names to avenues, parks, and neighborhoods such as Clienthus Circle, Blandfordia, and Telopea Park. Ultimately, his design stemmed from his fascination and the concept was characterized by an open atmosphere. Long avenues were flanked with large deciduous trees and the buildings were set in lush, grassy meadows composed of narrow paths amidst rolling hills to represent the countryside. The Avenue Constitution Avenue extends almost 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the northwest to southeast and it’s nearly parallel to the Burley Griffin Lake coastline. The City Hill and The Department of Defense are located at its edges and intersect with the Anzac Parade artery in its center. Previously a two-lane, two-way road with parking on the west side, its new design focuses on users, devoting space to pedestrians, and improving the mobility of public and private vehicles. Today there are multi-direction, double-lane roadways separated by a one-meter wide traffic island, which is tree-lined and planted with small shrubs. Due to better organization and planning, the sidewalks are now wider and the previous paths have been eliminated. They were so badly designed that pedestrians were forced to walk in “zig-zags” or into narrow corridors. Now there’s a linear and continuous pedestrian pathway, which is protected by a greenbelt. The sidewalk on the west side is comprised of several rows of trees, a pedestrian walkway, and resting places equipped with seating. Additionally, motorists can park in parallel parking spaces, which are located at intervals along the road, that also feature dedicated areas for bus stops. The Furniture Street Furniture Australia manufactured the street furniture, while Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects designed it. Throughout the urban boulevard, various wooden furniture styles dot the site including linear benches with and without backrests, C-shaped seats, and squared tables. Perhaps the most impressive detail are the brass armrests. The Flora Over the years, half of the existing oak trees have been removed because of their poor condition and replaced with English and pin oaks, Italian cypresses, and crepe myrtles. Trees are arranged in ordered rows and organized by variety. The only evergreen is the Italian cypress, while the crepe myrtle is the lone blooming tree with pink flowers from July to September. The Design Firm Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture is a midsize firm with an intimate approach to design. Their strength lies in maintaining a talented group of landscape architects and horticulturalists with a specific interest in deeply analyzing the fundamental characteristics. They focus on elements that make a landscape, cultural influences across history, and geographic evolution. We described two different approaches to a road design, but we’re not here to determine which one is better. Can you suggest any additional options? Full Project Credits Constitution Avenue: Landscape Architect: Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture Collaborators: Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects, MEC Urban Equipment: Design: Hill Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects, Manufacturing: Street Furniture Australia Tree Supplier: Established Tree Transplanters & Nurseries Location: Canberra, Australia Project Years: 2012-2016 Cost: $33 million USD Client: Roads ACT for ACT Government Recommended Reading:
Featured image: Constitution Avenue | Canberra, Australia | John Gollings | 2016
Article by Maria Giovanna Drago We have selected five of the most interesting drainage solutions to show you how their impact could be implemented in the landscape. Are you planning on designing a park or renovating your home garden? While you may already have knowledge of vegetation, outdoor furniture, paving, and lighting—a troubling issue that many are faced with is an excess of water. If it rains too much a garden or park could quickly become a swamp. Once the soil becomes saturated insects start to proliferate in the water, some of which are bearers of diseases. Additionally, overflow water can make moving through a space difficult as well as damage buildings or other structures. Avoid a Bad Design Do not rely on mediocre designed systems. A poor design decreases property value up to 15 percent, without mentioning the aesthetics and usability. It’s always wise to consult an expert and shy away from do-it-yourself methods.In fact, it’s necessary to simulate the annual rainfall and snowfall of the referenced territory, considering the risk of storms, in coordination with an analysis of the soil absorption capacity. For example, soil that is predominantly made of clay does not allow water to drain as it should, so it can be mixed with sand or compost. It’s also important to consider the layers of a filtering substrate. Ultimately, you could determine the flow to be drained, the sizing and route of the drainage system, and the correct position of the tanks and inspection wells. Look for Alternatives You need the right guide to make sure a site is not only visually appealing, but also environmentally friendly and attentive to the waste of water and energy. As an additional suggestion, water can be collected in a tank and reused for irrigation purposes or for washing furnishings. This way what was first seen as a problem becomes a valuable resource. There are different types of drainage systems and we’re convinced that being a landscape architect does not mean installing pipes, but finding the proper solution that leads to a successful result. 1. Phytoremediation Herbal purification is an example that incorporates efficiency and practicality with a system of streams and small lakes. In this case, water is revealed and not hidden, since it’s used as a characteristic feature in the landscape. It’s conveyed from the various areas in an ornamental drainage stream for recreation or irrigation. The water flows slowly between plants, which act as a biological filter and together with the combined action of the gravel material, they purify it by simulating a natural process. For example, floating plants are ideal to assimilate heavy metals. Once cleansed, it can be reused to water cultivated areas or for toilet discharge. 2. A Decentralized, Integrated Green-Paving System The use of grid pavement or spaced dry laying is an interesting technique suitable for both pedestrian and vehicular paved areas. This method follows the natural cycle of rainwater based on diffusion. As a result, the manholes spaced out on waterproof surfaces disappear or diminish. A good landscape architect knows how to integrate greenery with flooring modules in a harmonious way so as not to reveal the drainage purpose, but focus on an attractive aesthetic. 3. A Draining, Concrete Paving You can opt for pervious concrete, which is commonly used in continuous surfaces such as parking areas. This also facilitates the widespread absorption of water and it’s characterized by a mixture of Portland cement, coarse aggregates, water, and additives. The very low or total absence of fine parts comprises its porous structure, which allows an easy flow of water and air. Unlike non-draining floors that absorb daytime heat, this drainage system contributes to a more favorable natural microclimate. 4. Decorative and Minimal Grids If you prefer tradition or you really need to use the common grid, don’t forget there are grids available with geometric or floral patterns, usually made of cast iron, stainless steel, or polypropylene. Or you can specify a minimal style with a narrow linear grid for a more pleasing appearance. This approach is ideal if you want to give continuity to the surface, allowing a minimal visual impact. The channels will collect water and it will be directed to siphoned wells and collection tanks. 5. The French Method Have you ever heard of French drainage? This system first appeared in France in the 1800s. It’s made of a long-limbed path filled with gravel and a perforated underground pipe to redirect water. Interestingly, it functions like a traditional well, but looks more rural and natural. In fact, it can be placed seamlessly along avenues or defining flowerbeds. This is a perfect choice for safeguarding particularly sensitive areas. Do you know of more drainage systems? Share your knowledge to the community and leave a comment in the box below. Recommended Reading:
Featured image: Quzhou Luming Park | Quzhou, Zhejiang, China | Turenscape | 2016
Article by Moreira Filho One Spadina Crescent by NADAAA with the leadership of Nader Tehrani and Katie Faulkner along with Adamson Associates, Public Work, and ERA Architects in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Located on Spadina Avenue and the north side of College Street in Toronto, this building was constructed in a roundabout that interrupts and divides the avenue. It’s impossible to pass through without seeing it, as it’s a monumental sculpture that seems to grow into the skies as you approach. Built in 1875 to house Knox College – incorporated by the University of Toronto (U of T) 12 years later – it used to harbor a theological seminary, military hospital, various departments of U of T, and a penicillin factory. Rendering this building, and giving it back to Torontonians and worldwide citizens, while linking the past to a present utilization was a big challenge for the design team. The firm chosen to develop this design was NADAAA, through the leadership of Nader Tehrani and Katie Faulkner in partnership with architect of record Adamson Associates, landscape architects Public Work, and heritage architects ERA Architects. Let’s look at some lessons we can take from them.It’s a Building for the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design The new use for the building is to house the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design. One of the big steps was the addition of an attached structure surrounded by a useful square. The new building, coupled with the historical building acts as a bridge to the adjacent neighborhoods. While all of the sides received distinct entryways, this is the first time the building has a northerly face which opens it to the city and community, giving it a new identity. The new building’s architectural design has a gothic feel to it and it also provides more natural lighting, thermo-acoustic control, and structural optimization through three cantilever trusses. Additionally, the trusses support the windows and 61 percent of the building is served by daylight. An architecture and design gallery is positioned along the northeastern edge of the site to accommodate the visual studies program and present professionally curated exhibits in design fields related to architecture, landscape architecture, urban, and visual design. The gallery also serves as a platform to advocate for the design professions and it includes a space for debate, developing ideas, and collaborating. It’s an Island of Landscape Architecture in the Middle of Downtown On the south side a raised, but separate platform was constructed to honor the original purpose of the site. Known as Belvedere, this gathering and event space maintains the view to the avenue and Ontario Lake, inviting people to enjoy the building. It also integrates the historical building and Spadina trams, opening the circulation up for pedestrians and serving as an entrance to large events in the Principal Hall. Furthermore, a passageway links the west and east sides providing access to Russell Street. Designers were quite insightful as they considered the natural calling of the site and named it “Street” because users can walk through the inside of the building. The west access is only a passage access where you can observe the junction of the buildings. Towards the east, on the opposite site, is a large plaza where academic life mixes with the community. Here visitors are greeted by a gifted oak tree, which is a symbol for U of T. Both plazas establish relationships with the “Street” due to the amenities found here. On this path, there are student lockers, a lounge, a café, offices, along with everything needed for university day-to-day life and the city. It was Built for Everyone The cross way has an intersection point inside the building in a rectangular hall where almost every big event, lecture, or class happens. It’s an auditorium courtyard that can be used with flexibility. Although this big hall offers a large scale sensation, it can be transformed and divided into smaller spaces according to the institutional schedule. Three levels of bleachers can be opened or split by glass walls. All levels can be reached by hallways and classrooms and integrate the work of students, classes, professors and activities. WATCH >>> Visit #OneSpadina during Doors Open Toronto 2017 Moreover, as they consider the whole building as an enormous sculpture, they needed to introduce a middle scale in the landscape around it. So, the designers created a series of pavilions to achieve this effect. The south side received a pavilion as the base for the entrance platform and green roofs, taking advantage of the sunlight. Also, a cistern was added that harvests storm water used to water the garden. Beside it, the design team created a park for 280 bicycles with walkways for pedestrian access. It’s the Union of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design The building opened for a preview in May and will welcome students and faculty of architecture, landscape architecture, urban design and visual studies this fall. One Spadina Crescent reflects the Toronto lifestyle. Its heritage has been preserved and its modern architecture has been seamlessly united. There are places to pass and places to sit, and it features several environmentally friendly elements such as a green roof and rain water harvesting, connecting the art of design and urban life. Full Project Credits One Spadina Crescent: Design Lead: NADAAA Architect of Record: Adamson Associates Landscape Architect: Public Work Heritage Architect: ERA Architects Civil Engineer: A.M Candaras Associates Structural Engineer: Entuitive Electrical Engineer: Mulvey & Banani Location: One Spadina Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Project Years: 2013-2017 Cost: $55 million USD Client: University of Toronto – John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design Recommended Reading:
Featured image: One Spadina Crescent, seen from above | Toronto, Canada | Roof Topper | 2017
Article by Maria Giovanna Drago We examine how urban parks in the United States have evolved over the last 160 years through a comparison of New York City’s Central Park and Chicago’s Millennium Park. Society has continually changed throughout history, often in reaction to events and novelties. Important time periods, such as industrial revolutions and wars have influenced the way of life and because of these events some people favored living in fast-paced cities while others in the countryside. These progressions can be seen in the layout of cities, particularly the urban parks. Parks allow us to better understand the struggle between nature and the built environment. Even though it seems that more attention is usually given to the expansion of cities, over the centuries urban green infrastructure has not remained static.Urban parks have roots as far back as the ancient Persians who used to hunt and breed fish in their private parks, while Greeks famously walked in public gardens and taught philosophy. Parks from past centuries still exist in many western cities, new parks didn’t substitute old parks, and both are successful in unique ways. Dating back to the 19th century, Central Park in New York City is one of the most famous and visited parks in the world. Furthermore, some modern parks are more harmonious with today’s society and show just how much life has changed. This is especially evident when looking at Millennium Park in Chicago, as a comparison to Central Park, which is 147 years older. Dimensions The size of an area demonstrates whether it’s accessible on foot and influences the type of usability. A space can be more usable if it can be walked and visited within an acceptable time, as a result it may include functions not adopted by bigger parks. Millennium Park and Central Park are two examples of large parks as they have an area of 24.5 acres (99,000 square meters) and 843 acres (3.41 square kilometers) respectively. Millennium Park can be walked diagonally from one extremity to the other in about 8 minutes, so citizens and tourists can explore it in less than a couple of hours, which reflects its modern style. Central Park is much larger and it isn’t possible to visit the entire park in a single day on foot. Additionally, it has a more naturalistic landscape and it’s evident as it was planned for a specific use and following a different philosophy. Reasons and Roots Central Park borrows inspiration from the great European parks such as Hyde Park in London and Bois de Boulogne in Paris, where the nobles and the sovereigns used to hunt, attend elite events, and enjoy carriage rides. This park is like a portion of nature embedded into the city with freely arranged trees, shrubs, and wide meadows. Central Park was dedicated in 1857, at a time when the Industrial Revolution had transformed the city. Citizens desired a green space resembling the countryside to relax and breathe fresh air, back then it was even allowed to graze sheep in the park. At the beginning of the 1900s, play fields were added, as well as swimming pools and other amenities. Millennium Park, dedicated in 2004, was the result of a design for the future of Chicago strongly pursued by then mayor, Richard M. Daley. It’s a tribute to contemporary engineering and architecture. The pavilion was designed by Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry. What to Do There are plenty of choices among the main attractions in Millennium Park. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion occupies almost the entire east side with its 4,000 fixed seats and vast lawn, which can accommodate 7,000 people. There is also the Gallery and Wrigley Plaza to the north of the west side, together with the Millennium Monument, which is reminiscent of a Greek portico. In the middle of the central square is Cloud Gate, a sculpture comprised of 110 tons of steel and nicknamed “The Bean” by British artist Anish Kapoor. Finally, another Gallery and Crown Fountain by artist Jaume Plensa are to the south, which promotes physical interaction between the public and the water through its two giant towers. In contrast, Central Park is a paradise for runners and those who enjoy outdoor activities. Golfers can play in big, green meadows and climbers can climb up emerging slate rocks. It’s also possible to play baseball in reserved spaces, skate on ice rinks, or simply wander through the paths and picnic while admiring the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Treasures Both parks are flagships to their respective cities. They undoubtedly contribute to the local architectural heritage, one for 160 years and the other for 13 years. Additionally, both parks improve the quality of life for residents and offer valued tourist destinations. Central Park was visited by 60 million people in 2016 and Millennium Park by 25 million. Moreover, both have increased the economic value of the area, especially the adjacent properties. This is not a comparison between ancient and modern. There are plenty of parks with such peculiarities that an encyclopedia wouldn’t be sufficient. It’s rather a comparison of two parks that represent their historical context and an invitation for you to observe and understand the landscapes you visit. If you’re curious about other parks, explore the Australian Garden in Cranbourne, Australia and The Grand Ensemble Park in Alfortville, France. How will the urban park of the future look? Recommended Reading:
Featured image: Central Park from Rockefeller Center | New York, New York | Andrew Mace | 2015
Article by Emily Sinclair Discover why landscape architecture students should embark on a foreign exchange. There are many clear advantages to participating in an exchange program during your time in university. From learning a new language to experiencing a new culture, becoming a foreign exchange student can change your perspective on the world around you. As landscape architecture students, we all deal with the design of spaces and the surrounding environments in our projects. While we can study theory, and delve into case studies of monumental landscape works, there is no alternative to visiting the space in person. Traveling is always an option, but there are benefits to spending a semester abroad as a landscape architecture student. 10. Exposure to Projects As mentioned above, while studying a space can be useful to your studies and forming your personal design style, nothing quite takes the place of visiting a project in person. Landscape architecture is found worldwide and each country takes its own approach to the field. By traveling to new countries, you are not only opening your mind to new experiences, but also new philosophies and values. By exploring projects with your feet, eyes, and sketchbook rather than your textbook, you can draw your own conclusions and discover something you didn’t expect to find.9. Living, Not Visiting By living in a city, rather than just visiting, you are exposing yourself to the daily activities that you might miss if you only visited for a few days and targeted the main sites. You are privy to the local color, small pocket parks, school playgrounds, bike paths and the countryside, which might not be apparent if you are checking items off a to-do list. You could also make friends with local people and take time to sit on a boardwalk or go to the beach. All of which are enhanced by actually living in a city and being immersed in the network of life that you just won’t experience through case studies and books. Being in a city for a long period of time also exposes you to seasonal changes as well as different weather situations, which may dramatically change a space. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to meet more residents, which will allow you to be aware of the local opinion and is often different than the award descriptions and media coverage. 8. Experience a New Culture The most obvious reason to go on an exchange! One of the biggest differences for me was not only the different foods and customs, but also the values. In landscape architecture, there are many things that are valued such as healthy lifestyles and abundant green space, but the priorities change from city to city. In some cities, traffic concerns are treated with more importance than green networks. However, in other cities, the knowledge of plants and planting design is given more weight in schools. The distinct values become more apparent as you open yourself up to more of the designed environments, which you use daily. 7. Experience a Different University Culture This point is not just about the different clubs, being engaged in a different university system can be a unique experience from what you expected. For example, in my home university in Canada we often take several courses in parallel to each other, partaking in one to three lecture courses, while simultaneously taking a studio. In Sweden, where I traveled for my exchange, the standard was to take only one course at a time but spend 20-40 hours per week on that course. 6. Make New Friends As a landscape architecture student, you are already primed to find people of similar interests. As you meet other exchange students you will also be disclosed to like-minded students from your host country. As a landscape architecture student participating in a landscape architecture exchange program, I found it extremely satisfying to learn that my knowledge of the Latin plant names was adequate enough to have conversations about plants in relation to landscape architecture and design. Being from a particularly small faculty it was also refreshing to learn new terms for materials or theories that I had previously never had to consider. Additionally, it was fascinating to be challenged as we navigated language barriers, trying to categorize and name things that I might have previously taken for granted. I found many people who shared similar goals and values to myself and will remain connected to them through the years. 5. Make Connections In that same line of thought, going on exchange introduces you to new professional connections. Through the university you’ll be revealed to professors and researchers and you’ll have the chance to meet professionals and up-and-coming practitioners through your classmates. These connections may illustrate a line of work or an internship you had not previously considered. Universities and other establishments often have seminars or symposiums, which are also great opportunities to learn about new theories and research. 4. Looks Great on a Resume This is more of a general point, but it’s true. By including your exchange on your resume, you are telling your potential employer that you are responsible and adaptable. They can also assume that your time abroad gave you a more international perspective in the field, which could prove useful in a working environment. In addition to these points, most people will recognize that the undertaking of an exchange program, even simply the process of applying, organizing your documents, transcripts, visas, and finding yourself in a new city can be a complex challenge. This demonstrates that you are an excellent problem solver. 3. Travel As a foreign exchange student, you aren’t just experiencing a new city, it’s a new country and, sometimes, a new continent. As a student from North America, the ability to travel to disparate European countries while on exchange in Sweden was life changing. I took my time there as an opportunity to not only explore Sweden to its fullest, but also the neighboring countries. Sometimes it was a day trip by train, or a long weekend to another country. Being in a different continent made the urgency to see it all so much more of an achievable task. 2. Challenge Yourself Being abroad brings you new scholastic and worldly opportunities to test your knowledge and skills. You will be able to take the things you have learned up until this point and relate them to varying problems and contexts. You will find that the things that are at the forefront of your teachers’ and peers’ minds usually are not the same in a different school. This gives you the chance to explore unique ways to integrate these into your projects. You are also tested in your ability to observe and document the space around you. One of the greatest tools a landscape architect or landscape architecture student can carry with themselves is a sketchbook so make sure to stock up and keep record of your trip, you will not regret it. 1. There’s No Better Time Than Now After you graduate, these opportunities are less likely to present themselves. Once you finish school you will have significantly less flexibility to run off and live in another country for months ‘just for the experience’. Most schools have systems in place to make the transition easy, from connections with previous participants to transferring credits, your department’s advisors are likely to have the answer. So, do not let the challenge daunt you, talk to your faculty today about exchange opportunities available to you! Recommended Reading:
Featured image: Slottstradgarden | Malmö, Sweden | Emily Sinclair | 2017
Article by Radenka Kolarov Jardin des Rives by Studio Basta in Amiens, France.
Les Hortillonnages d’Amiens is an area that stretches alongside the Somme River. Since Roman times, the land has been hard and unusable so food was cultivated on small islands in the water. In modern times, the food crops were largely lost, leaving many islands unused and without a purpose. The MCA wanted to change this and with the help of Studio Basta organized a festival for art and gardening in this area. Inspired by the ancient Roman islands, still found on the water, Studio Basta built two wooden terraces that include benches combined with native plants arranged in a perfect order of color and composition.
History As an Inspiration? There are projects all around the world that have used the history of a local area for inspiration. Jardin des Rives is a small project, yet its design relies on a distant history, one that dates back to Ancient Roman times. Romans had a specific way of plant cropping and created well-known vegetable gardens on islands. Nowadays, these islands are abandoned and largely forgotten. Studio Basta’s main idea for this project was to re-innovate these islands and use them as the driving force behind the design. So, what have they done?Whether you feel tired and just want sit, or perhaps lay and enjoy the surrounding environment while listening to the sound of water and birds, they designed a garden that could be used many ways. The terraces also serve as benches and are made of light wood with an appealing, soft look. They fit in harmony with the adjacent older trees and the newly planted shrubs. The client’s wish was to reactivate the site by the Somme River intended for a festival for garden and arts. Studio Basta’s design was the perfect answer and brings people to the water and the water to the people. Water is the Key Hired as builders of the Jardin d’Érode, the Studio Basta collective discovered the Amiens Hortillonnages during the 2011 festival. The landscape designers were moved by the beauty of this place and decided to return for a second time in 2012. This time as designers of an installation with the desire to bring the visitors closer to the water. In fact, they noticed the preceding year that even working in a setting surrounded by water, and practically in the water, they still had little contact with the aquatic world, despite their proximity. The focus of their design is, therefore, on the edges of the island, as close as possible to the bank. The banks of the islets are relatively high with respect to the water surface, which made it difficult to encounter the water. So, the wooden terraces were a solution to this challenge. A succession of gently sloping, flat surfaces act as a gradual transition between the land and the water. Also, in contrast, the middle of the islet is a dense mass of plantings with various plants commonly found in Picardy landscapes. Quality of the Environment The most essential aspect of this design was to improve the natural environment with little impact to the land. In the middle of the islet is a mass of Rosemary leaf willows. These plants are comparatively slow-growing and reach heights of 50 to 100 centimeters and widths of 1.5 to 2 meters. They are deciduous with leaves that turn into an attractive yellow color in autumn. The grey color of their foliage during summer months, shaded with blue and green, appears to mirror the sky of northern France and its “rambleur”, a greyish light characteristic of Picardy landscapes. The whole effect gives the islet a soft complexion, which blends into the neighboring landscape. Studio Basta once again proved they are a high-quality landscape architecture team. With a very simple, sophisticated, and clever choice of landscape elements, they handled the given task and created an exciting ambiance. If you haven’t seen the floating gardens of Amiens, here is your chance! What do you think about this project, would you visit it? Let us know in the comment section below! Full Project Credits Jardin des Rives: Landscape Architect: Studio Basta Location: Amiens, France Project Year: Spring 2012 Client: MCA Budget: 10.000 Euro Photos: Studio Basta Recommended Reading:
Featured image: Jardin des Rives | Amiens, France | Studio Basta | 2012