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INTERVIEW: Boston Society of Landscape Architects’ Emerging Professionals On Engaging Young Designers

Want to boost awareness and participation in your local landscape architecture chapter but don’t know how? If you were lucky enough to attend last year’s ASLA conference in Boston, you’ve experienced first-hand the energy and ambition of the Boston Society of Landscape Architects. Located in one of the hottest spots in the country for landscape architecture schools and firms, BSLA also hosts an active Emerging Professionals group that’s been spearheading a local community around landscape architecture with fun networking events. I had the opportunity to speak with Nina Chase, BSLA EP Chair, and David Buckley Borden, BSLA EP Event Producer, about their leadership roles in the EP group and their advice for getting more people involved and active in landscape architecture.

Can you tell us about what the Emerging Professionals group is and how it differs from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects?

Across the country, local ASLA chapters support local Emerging Profession (EP) committees. Here in Boston, the BSLA EPs are a committee within the BSLA. As the name implies, EP members are emerging into their careers, as opposed to being “established.” However, we often joke that being an EP is a self-identification. We have a large contingency of members in their first 10 years of practice. We also have student members who are eager to break out of the academic scene to start making professional connections.

Is Emerging Professionals strictly a networking group or is there any fundraising involved?

We are purely a networking group and we are sponsored by Landscape Forms who provide financial support for meeting and speakers.

RELATED STORY: Interview with David Buckley Borden and the ‘Fun-A-Day’ Landscape Project

How did the two of you get involved?

Funny story, we went to school at Harvard GSD together for a whole year and never met each other! We knew of each other, but didn’t officially meet until we were both on a jury for a design review. We got to talking about the need to bring the young-gun landscape architects together to have a stronger presence in the Boston design community. There are so many of us here going to school or working in the 30+ firms in and around Boston. We wanted to showcase the energized landscape architecture community. Since then, almost 2 years ago (where has the time gone?!), we’ve been working side by side within the BSLA.

Emerging Professionals on the recent Speed Studio Tour

One of the most recent events Emerging Professionals orchestrated was the Speed Studio Tour, a series of very fast-paced visits to three landscape architecture firms in less than an hour and a half. Sounds like a lot of fun! Where did the idea come for that come from and how long did the even take to arrange and execute?

The idea for the Speed Studio Tour came from having a lot of success with a studio tour at Sasaki when we both worked there. Everyone loved seeing the office and getting a peek into the lives of other designers. We wanted to do more!

Landscape architects taking over the streets of Boston | Speed Studio Tour

We also realized that there are 3 prominent LA firms (Stephen Stimson Associates, Reed Hilderbrand, and Hargreaves Associates) within a mile radius of each other in Central Square Cambridge, MA. We thought it would be fun to riff off of the idea of speed dating and get everyone in and out of the three firms in one night. We could get a quick taste of the offices’ culture/projects/people/etc.

We had pretty ambitious goals, 3 firms, 1.5 hours, with a much needed stop at a bar at the end. We courted three friends who work at the firms and invited them to each coordinate a presentation and a tour. Each firm was given 5 mins for a presentation, 5 minutes for Q+A, and  5 minutes for a tour. Amazingly by the end of the night we were only 10 minutes behind schedule. We used an iPhone alarm to kept the pace. It got pretty funny and ridiculous, but we kept people on their toes and we made it!

Inside Hargreaves Associates

Inside Stephen Stimson Associates

What was the turn out like?

Way more than we ever expected! At the peak of the tour, about halfway through, we had 45 people in route.  It was the first time we had ever seen a parade of landscape architects in Cambridge! We had EPs from all the major firms in the area. There were also students from UMass Boston, the BAC, and the GSD, and there was a professor from MIT. We even had a dad and his son who were interested in learning more about landscape architecture.

We’re already planning our Speed Studio Tour: Boston Edition for the Fall.

Inside Reed Hilderbrand (1)

Inside Reed Hilderbrand (2)

Are there any other fun events like those that you regularly try to hold? How frequently do you hold events?

Yes! Our strategy is to build a community through events. Throughout the year, we have a number of recurring events that we program in addition to quarterly meetings about every 3 months.

At the quarterly meetings we give updates and usually invite a speaker to talk to the group. At past quarterly meetings we’ve had presentations from up-and-coming landscape architects to presentations on the how-tos of networking (which we did right before the National ASLA Meeting to brush up on our skills) and social media (aka our “Digital Media Download”).

Nerd Nite

We try our best to leverage existing events. Boston is ripe with lectures, meet ups, networking events, and design scene shindigs. We started, Post Lecture, where we designate a bar to meet in after a major lecture in the area. We have also hosted Nerd Nite twice. Nerd Nite is a national monthly event where two people present about a topic of their own interest/obsession and others come to listen, drink, and meet-up. This past May we co-hosted with with the Boston Society of Architects Emerging Professionals Network (BSA EPNet) and invited two speakers. The speakers were both traditionally trained as designers, one as a landscape architect and the other an architect/urban designer, but they are pursuing alternative design career tracks. It was great to work with the BSA EPNet and start to bridge between our two groups.

This year was also particularly fun because the BSLA hosted the National ASLA Annual meeting here in Boston. The EPs went above and beyond in their volunteerism for the event, creating the walking tour map, designing the host booth, and hosting the National ASLA Alumni Tailgate, among countless other efforts. The momentum was fantastic. 

RELATED STORY: Love Your Soil: What I Learned from ASLA 2013

It must be hard planning and managing these types of networking events on top of a busy work schedule. How do you motivate yourself into maintaining an active Emerging Professionals presence?

When we first began revamping the EP group in 2012, it was certainly a lot of work. At the time, we both worked at Sasaki Associates, so it was relatively easy to hold impromptu meetings and make decisions quickly. Now that the groundwork is laid out, it’s not nearly as time intensive.

The key to maintaining our engagement is that there are two of us leading this effort plus we’re supported by a great community of EPs and the BSLA leadership. Between the two of us, we often divide and conquer a project, much like this interview. It’s not just about a division of labor, but we feel accountable to one another. Beyond our partnership, we’re motivated by a mutual interest in having fun with all the BSLA EP projects and building an excited community.

Your audience exceeds emerging professionals; your events seem to attract everyone from the individual with a fleeting interest to longtime professionals. What communications strategy do you use to spread the message about your events and landscape architecture?

One of our goals is to foster an inclusive community of design professionals. From the beginning we made an effort to reimagine what the EP group could be and the role it could play in the larger professional design context. From the start, we welcomed professionals outside the traditional landscape architecture field. We don’t design in a vacuum, so why would we network in a professional vacuum?

We reach people through a variety of social media platforms (twitter, instagram, facebook, etc.) , an opt-in email list and the larger BSLA communication network. We also still use the old fashion telephone to reach out to folks. Most importantly we love to meet people face-to-face at our events. Our events-driven programming is really about setting up opportunities for people to communicate with one another.

RELATED STORY: Young Leaders at Sasaki Tackle Sea Level Rise in Interactive “Sea Change: Boston” Exhibit (LINK)

Is there anything that Emerging Professionals does that you think may be different from the approach of other landscape architecture chapters or groups?

We can’t speak to what other EP groups are doing but we can speak to how we’ve revamped the BSLA EP group. I think the key success factor to our approach is taking programming risks in an effort to stay fresh. Many professional groups fall into programming ruts. As a rule we are constantly trying out new approaches to programming with an aim of keep our events and subject matters relevant to young designers with diverse interests.

It’s not enough to be relevant to emerging landscape architecture practitioners. We pay attention to larger trends and cultural happenings to ensure we stay relevant to how young people socialize, communicate, and ultimately enjoy themselves outside the office.

We also downplay the forced networking practices and throw out everything that makes professional networking so unappealing, especially their exclusive nature and their tendency to be self-obsessed and inwardly directed. We’re really intent on building an inclusive group that is loosely organized around the design of the built environment.

RELATED STORY: LAbash 2014 Brings Landscape Architecture Students Together in UW-Madison

In what ways do you think Emerging Professionals has benefited young landscape architecture professionals and the public perception of landscape architecture?

We have had members land jobs and develop other professional opportunities through the EP group. Members have also enjoyed publication opportunities. Still, the major benefit is that one can connect to informed, engaged, active professionals and have access to a variety of professional development opportunities. Our members are exposed to both the landscape architecture field but also to the greater Boston design community.

The biggest benefit may be the fact that we regularly provide opportunities for our members to get outside the bubble of their office. Our members are very well informed young professionals. They’re aware of the local job market: What firms are prospering? Who’s winning new projects? Who’s losing talent? Who enjoys favorable reputations for having a good work environment?  This is information you won’t find on LinkedIn. Being an informed professional is beneficial to your professional success.

Do you have any parting advice for other chapters hoping to boost engagement amongst students and young professionals?

If you are not happy with your engagement track record, change whatever you are currently doing. Throw out the baby, the bathwater and the bathtub! People are energized by change. Novelty can be a real asset when it comes to planning successful networking events. We’d also recommend that people reach out to other professional groups and participate in existing cultural events that would appeal to the types of people you want to attract to your group. Most importantly, foreground the social component of your engagement efforts and do it in a fresh fashion that is in line with the youthful attitudes of young designers. In short, be engaged, inclusive and relevant.

Thanks so much Nina and David!

You can follow what their Emerging Professionals Group is up to on their website.

Interview was conducted by Lucy Wang.

Landscape Architecture Foundation Announces Winners of the 2014 National Olmsted Scholars Awards

Yesterday, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) announced the names of the two National Olmsted Scholars and six Finalists for the 2014 Olmsted Scholars Program, a national awards program that supports exceptional landscape architecture student leaders. Sara Zewde, a Harvard Graduate School of Design master’s student, was selected as the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar and will receive the $25,000 graduate prize. Louisiana State University student Erin Percevault will be awarded the $15,000 undergraduate National Olmsted Scholar award. The winners were announced two days before Olmsted’s birthday, Friday, April 25. 

Named after Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture, LAF’s Olmsted Scholars program has annually honored exceptional student leaders of landscape architecture for the past seven years. Each year, accredited landscape architecture universities across the United States and Canada are invited to nominate one undergraduate and one graduate student to the program. This year, two independent juries made up of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the two winners and six finalists from a group of 45 graduate and 30 undergraduate students.

This year’s graduate National Olmsted Scholar, Sara Zewde, plans to use her $25,000 prize to help design culturally and ecologically relevant urban landscapes in the Pequena África and Treme communities of Rio de Janiero, Brazil and New Orleans, Louisiana. She holds a Master of City Planning from MIT and a B.A. from Boston University. She expects to receive her Master of Landscape Architecture in May 2015.

Louisiana State University student Erin Percevault will use her $15,000 undergraduate award to study how to minimize the environmental degradation caused by thorium extraction in Lemhi Pass, a mountain route in the Beaverhead Mountains that lies on the Montana-Idaho border. She expects to graduate May 2015 with a Bachelor in Landscape Architecture.

The six selected National Scholar Finalists will also receive a $1,000 award each. The graduate finalists are:

  • VeraEve Giampietro, University of Washington
  • Harriett Jameson, University of Virginia
  • Anneliza Kaufer, University of Pennsylvania

The undergraduate finalists are:

  • Viviana Castro, University of Florida
  • Clemente Rico, Arizona State University
  • Blythe Worstell, Ohio State University

All 75 Olmsted Scholars will be honored at LAF’s annual benefit during this year’s ASLA conference in Denver, Colorado. These scholars join a community of over 300 past and present Olmsted Scholars.

Land8’s 2013 Year in Review Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! We hope you enjoyed the Land8 countdown to the New Year with our 2013 Year in Review series. To commemorate the very last day of 2013, here’s a series recap as well as a look back on a few of our other exciting highlights!

10 Stunning Landscape Architecture Albums of 2013

Rich with creativity and vision,  the Land8 Gallery is a fantastic resource to show off your work or to collect inspiration for your upcoming project. READ ON –>

Top 10 Landscape Architecture Discussion Threads of 2013

The Land8 Forum, which includes an archive of over 2,500 individual threads and fourteen sub-categories, continues to offer a wealth of knowledge for everyone from the prospective landscape architecture student to the professional seeking technical advice. READ ON –>

10 Most Popular Land8 Blog Posts of 2013

It’s been a busy year here on Land8–and we’ve published some of our best blog posts yet. Thanks to our talented contributors, we’ve toured landscapes around the world, counted down the winners to our fantastic design competitions, and reviewed the latest technological innovations to hit the field. READ ON –>

10 Most Viewed Land8 Landscape Architecture Groups of 2013

Unlike our more general Discussion Forum, each Land8 group features a separate sub-forum and commenting system with a focus on a specific topic. Thanks to your input, Land8’s 250+ groups have grown into valuable resources for landscape architecture. READ ON –>

We also want to thank all of you for helping Land8’s international community grow to over 16,600 members strong! We had such a strong participation rate with this year’s two fantastic design competitions–The Iron Age Design Challenge and the Cities Alive Competition–as well as in our great webinars. Our Land8 Happy Hour parties continues to be a huge hit at both LABASH and the ASLA conferences and we look forward to seeing more of you there next year!

— Land8 Team

10 Most Viewed Land8 Landscape Architecture Groups of 2013

Hope y’all are enjoying the winter holidays! For the final week of our 2013 countdown, we’re taking a look at the top 10 most viewed Land8 landscape architecture groups of 2013. Unlike our more general Discussion Forum, each Land8 group features a separate sub-forum and commenting system with a focus on a specific topic. Thanks to your input, Land8’s 250+ groups have grown into valuable resources for landscape architecture. Hit the jump to see which groups were the most popular this year!



1. SketchUp

created by John Pacyga

A place to discuss SketchUp: help, tools, and processes to make it work for Landscape Architects.

2. Portfolios and Resumes – Design Strategies

created by Jennifer de Graaf

Resumes, Portfolios, leave-behinds, mailers, digital and in print! Landscape Architects need to be able to showcase their work. Discuss the marketing materials we use to apply for jobs and show prospective clients here.

3. LEED in Landscape Architecture

created by Oona Johnsen

Discuss and get help from other landscape architecture professionals regarding LEED including topics such as: issues dealing with specific credits, becoming a LEED AP, as well as sharing project examples.


created by Brandon Reed

For anyone starting the licensure process, fed up with the licensure, or just want to share knowledge and advice or whatever…come and join me!

5. 3ds Max + Landscape Architecture

created by Michael Van Beek

Landscape architects using 3ds max for design representation UNITE. share work, images and techniques.

6. Middle East Landscape

created by Steve Buckle

Lounge for all working or considering work in the Middle East and the surrounding areas.

7. Residential Design Group

created by Kevin J. Gaughan

This is a group for professionals who focus either partially or mainly on the residential sector of Landscape Architecture.

8. Graphics

created by Brandon Reed

For all of you who want to get better at perspective sketching and color rendering or any other graphic techniques you would like to share or discuss

9. Drawing Shortcuts

created by Andrew Spiering

This group was set up for anyone who has every attended a workshop or webinar with Jim Leggitt and for those who would like to learn his Drawing Shortcut techniques.

10. Digital Assets and Resources

created by Shimi Dahan

Discusses landscape-specific software, techniques, standards, libraries, procedures, templates. An experienced landscape architect and CAD manager provides advice and consultation services.

You can explore more Land8 Groups here or, if you don’t see the one you want, create your own!

Lead image via Jim Leggitt (Drawing Shortcuts Land8 Group)

10 Most Popular Land8 Blog Posts of 2013

It’s been a busy year here on Land8–and we’ve published some of our best blog posts yet. Thanks to our talented contributors, we’ve toured landscapes around the world, counted down the winners to our fantastic design competitions, and reviewed the latest technological innovations to hit the field. Keep scrolling to read our best landscape architecture blog posts of 2013!


1. Urban Agriculture: 8 Landscape Architecture Firms Leading the Way by Abbagail Jewel Taddei

There are few landscape architecture firms today that can say Urban Agriculture Design is on their shortlist of services offered. Most firms are capable of designing a productive space, of course, whether or not they can say they specialize in this area of design is another matter. Below are eight North American Landscape Architecture firms that are leading the way through their own advocacy and stellar Urban Agriculture projects.



2. DesignIntelligence Announces Best Landscape Architecture Schools for 2014 by Lucy Wang

DesignIntelligence has just released their list for the best landscape architecture schools of 2014 with some interesting new insights. Penn State University leads this year’s undergraduate pack, snatching the coveted position as America’s top BLA program from Louisiana State University, which held the number one position for the past three years. And for the tenth year in a row, Harvard University still dominates the ranks as the best graduate landscape architecture program in America. Keep reading to see if your school made the list!



3. 10 AutoCAD Tips Every Entry-Level Landscape Architect Should Know by Land8 + Landscapeplanner

Brush up on your AutoCAD knowledge with these TEN AutoCAD tips every entry-level landscape architect should know, courtesy of Land8 member landscapeplanner!



4. 10+ Resources to Enhance your SketchUp Skills by Jayson Wood

With the follow-up to Daniel Tal’s 2009 book,”Rendering in SketchUp,” hitting stores last week, Land8 continued its Webinar series with Daniel Tal showcasing SketchUp Pro’s new layout space and the improved interfacing between SketchUp Pro and AutoCAD. Much like Daniel Tal’s book series offers a holistic foundation for SketchUp success, this post provides Daniel Tal’s book recommendations and technical references in the web series to date.



5. How to Make a Portfolio: 5 Tips for Telling your Story by Andrew Spiering

Newschool of Architecture + Design (NSA+D) has put out a video to help educate their potential applicants on how to make a portfolio for graduate submissions. Not only is it a fun and useful guide, it is an example of great marketing. (It certainly made me want to create something beautiful and apply.) You will want the same, positive reaction when someone reviews your portfolio. Whether you are applying for graduate school or a new job, the following 5 Tips will help you create a portfolio that communicates who you are, what your passionate about, all while showcasing your skills and helping you stand out:



6. Five Modernist Landscape Architects by G. Ryan Smith

Modernism as a whole had a major impact on the twentieth century, especially in the arts and in design. Architecture, landscape architecture, film, movies, and art were all heavily influenced by the movement. While modernism’s impact may have been less significant in landscape architecture than in other disciplines – landscape materials, for example, didn’t change as radically in the twentieth century as did building materials in architecture – there were nonetheless many academics and practitioners who sought to move the profession forward as modernism came to prominence in the early- and mid-20th century. Below are five modernist landscape architects whose work you should be familiar with:



7. The Results are In for the CitiesAlive Student Design Challenge! by Lara Moffat

A HUGE thank you to all of the teams that submitted a design for the CitiesAlive Student Design Challenge for a new Tenderloin Community Center! The design submissions were viewed over 13,000 times with 2,361 votes cast and the winning entry with 1,043 votes goes to Ellis’ Grove, submitted by the team from Universidad Francisco Marroquin.



8. Quarry Garden 矿坑花园 | Shanghai, China by Lucy Wang

Were it not for its honor award in the 2012 ASLA General Design Awards, I might not have ever heard of the Quarry Garden, much less been willing to make the trip out to visit its rather remote location in Songjiang District–it took me over two hours on public transportation to get there from Pudong (foreign tourists are thus a rare sight here)–but I’m so glad that I did. The Quarry Garden, as well as the surrounding sights in Chenshan Botanical Garden, are highlights in my trip to Shanghai.



9. Design Library: 6 Books on Construction Details by Jayson Wood

The Land8 Webinar: ‘Details for Landscape Architects’ featuring Thomas Ryan provided a much needed look at the adapting field of detailing. Details are a Landscape Architect’s bread and butter. Consideration, intuition, and final construction are why we’re hired. The material and design consideration for a simple detail can be mind-boggling and very in-depth; But you have to set the first brick to build Rome–and that brick, it turns out, is 3/8″ inch smaller in each direction.



10. Congratulations to the Winners of the 2013 Iron Designs’ Challenge! by Andrew Spiering

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2013 Iron Designs’ Challenge! At the beginning of April, Iron Age Designs challenged you to design a winning site furnishing family consisting of a bollard, bench, and a bin. From among the 77 design submissions, a group of the Top 10 Finalists were selected. It is now with great excitement that we announce the winners of the 2013 Iron Age Designs’ Challenge. And the winners are…




Interested in writing for Land8? Shoot us a pitch or an email at — we’d love to hear from you!

Top 10 Landscape Architecture Discussion Threads of 2013

We’re returning this week to Part 2 of our Land8 2013 Countdown with a look at the most popular discussion threads launched this year. The Land8 Forum, which includes an archive of over 2,500 individual threads and fourteen sub-categories, continues to offer a wealth of knowledge for everyone from the prospective landscape architecture student to the professional seeking technical advice. Read on for the top 10 most viewed discussion threads!

1. Autocad | Full Path vs. Relative Path by Daniel Miller | RLA, LEED AP

“Anyone care to share which Autocad XREF method they use as their office standard? Every LA firm I’ve ever worked for has done Full Path XREFs as their standard, but I’m seeing architects and consultants sharing files as Relative Path XREFs.  I see the benefit to Relative paths (especially when sharing/e-transmitting files to other disciplines), but I’m curious to hear if there are any drawbacks when working mostly on a singular, in-house server where Full paths easily reside.” READ ON ->

2. Landscape Architecture Vs. Architecture by Michael Krueger

“I am a High School Junior, and I have done a lot of research in the architecture fields. I know, this is a very basic question, but I want to know what an actual Landscape Architect’s opinion of this is. Which field is better, Landscape Architecture or Architecture (for a college major)? Career-wise, which field is more rewarding/enjoyable?” READ ON ->

3. AutoCAD & Photoshop color renderings by J. Robert Wainner

“I’m an “old school” Landscape Architect….graduated from Texas A&M University in 1977.  Back in the day when “autoCAD and Photoshop” were not taught.  Every project…sketch, color rendering and final drawing were all produced “by hand”.  I took my 1st drafting course when I was 12 yrs. old (7th grade) as well as art courses and additional Architectural drawing courses through high school….it was a different world back then. Though, I still feel that “hand sketches” definitely still play a critical role in the LA design process today.” READ ON ->

4. Can you give me a realistic picture of being a landscape architect? by Lauren Davis

“So what is it like working in landscape architecture? Do you get to design the pretty, environmentally friendly city parks that I collect on tumblr? I joined hoping that your experiences can help convince to either go for it (or not)!” READ ON ->

5. What’s Wrong with This Picture: Episode III – Revenge of the Site by Jason T. Radice

“This week’s is again very simple (don’t overthink it) but is all too easy to overlook.There is a bit of controversy with this, but I stand on the side of logic. Happy hunting!” READ ON ->

6. Landscape architects salaries?? by Chiara Goltein

“What’s the typical low-high range for entry level landscape architecture positions in California? Public vs. private consulting firms?” READ ON ->

7. Designing Natural Play Spaces for Children by Jeffrey Lindstrom

“My question for you all is this; What are some of the most successful spaces, in your eyes, that are successfully connecting children to the natural world? Additionally, what is it about those spaces that make them successful and engaging? As with any “niche” of design, there are many different approaches that people are taking to outdoor classrooms, nature-based play, and establishing a connection to the natural world.” READ ON ->

8. Design Fee Shock by Greg Byrer

“After doing this for over 25 years, can someone please tell me why a $600 design fee to design all the exterior elements for a $500K property with a 30′ elevation on a lake is too expensive?” READ ON ->

9. AutoDesk Revit Architecture…for landscape architects by Andrés Felipe Fajardo

“I would like to know if anyone has first hand experience using Revit Architecture in the realm of landscape architecture. We are current trying to weigh the pros/cons of the program.” READ ON ->

10. What do you think of my portfolio cover? by Luke Mancuso


Ready to pick the brain of the Land8 Community? Start a new discussion in the forums here!

10 Stunning Landscape Architecture Albums of 2013

We’re kicking off the 2013 Land8 Year in Review with this year’s most viewed landscape architecture albums uploaded by our very talented Land8 community. Rich with creativity and vision,  the Land8 Gallery is a fantastic resource to show off your work or to collect inspiration for your upcoming project. Keep reading to see which Land8 albums were most popular in 2013!


1. Sketch Plan by Pisit Wongpisit

A prolific gallery contributor, Pisit Wongpisit is the Design Director of Impression Landscape Design, a landscape architecture firm located in Shanghai. His detailed sketches, which are overlaid on top of CAD drawings, have become a very popular source of inspiration for the Land8 community–it also tops our list for the most viewed album of 2013! View more ->


2. Gypsy by Bernard Trainor + Associates
Bernard Trainor + Associates is a Monterey-based landscape architecture firm that works on residential design throughout the diverse and beautiful landscapes of California. Carved from a challenging and steep hillside, the Gypsy landscape plays off of the residence’s crisp and contemporary lines while adding dynamic movement and texture through native shrub and grass massing. View more ->


3. Columbus, OH – 2013 by Chris Whitis
Cofounder of the recently retired SitePhocus online image library, Chris Whitis is a landscape architect with a passion for photography and travel. His Columbus, OH – 2013 album features a collection of award-winning landscape architecture projects and includes OLIN Studio/ MKSK’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Bicentennial Park by MKSK, and the Ingram Spirit of Women’s Park on the OSU campus by MKSK/ OLIN Studio. View more ->


4. Pause Court and Lawn Hill by Pok Kobkongsanti
One of Land8’s most popular members, Pok Kobkongsanti is a GSD graduate and founder of TROP, an award winning landscape architecture design firm. His residential design project Pause Court and Lawn Hill acts as a transitional zone between Pattaya beach and the client’s sales gallery, using clean geometric cut-outs on a rolling green slope. View more ->


5. Urban Sketching by Terri Wu
UTA MLA student Terri (Chunling) Wu is a talented artist with prior work experience in both civil engineering and architecture. Earlier this summer, she posted a set of her gorgeous freehand sketches and watercolor drawings that have continued to wow the community ever since! View more ->


6. 5800 Third Street, San Francisco by Miller Company
San Francisco-based Miller Company (profile) is a landscape architecture firm with a strong focus on the “constructability” of their designs. The 5800 Third Street album features a whimsical urban plaza that features playful geometric planting beds in a mixed-use development in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. View more ->


7. Recent Portfolio by Kody Smith

Kody Smith is a practicing landscape architect at design firm Dix.Lathrop in Longwood, Florida. After graduating with a BLA from Purdue University, Kody shared Photoshop project renderings from his design portfolio. View more ->


8. Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden by Gavin McWilliam + Andrew Wilson
Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson are founding partners of the UK landscape architecture firm Wilson McWilliam Studio. Longtime contributors to Land8, their Cloudy Bay Discovery Garden album spotlights a landscape project that both celebrates the New Zealand riverine landscape (where the Cloudy Bay winery and vineyard was founded) as well as a planting palette native to British gardens. View more ->


9. A Valley Garden by Mark Wallinger
Director of Mark Wallinger Landscapes Ltd., Mark is a British landscape contractor with extensive experience in garden construction projects. The “A Valley Garden” album showcases Sophie Walker’s award-winning design as well as Mark’s construction photos in addition to the spectacular final design. View more ->


10. Hand Drawing Perspective by Pisit Wongpisit
Our top 10 Land8 albums of 2013 list concludes with yet another popular photo set by Thai landscape architect Pisit Wongpisit. The album consists of a series of pen and ink perspective pieces based off of 3D SketchUp models. View more ->


Congratulations to everyone who made 2013’s top 10 list of most viewed Land8 albums! What do you think of these spectacular landscape architecture photo sets? Have a favorite? Ready to add your own album? Let us know down in the comments!

10 AutoCAD Tips Every Entry-Level Landscape Architect Should Know

Brush up on your AutoCAD knowledge with these TEN AutoCAD tips every entry-level landscape architect should know, courtesy of Land8 member landscapeplanner. Keep reading for the full list!

1. Do everything from the command prompt.  Learn how to configure the acad.pgp file.  

Image via Dave Dugdale
2. Use a four button mouse, and program the keys correctly.  

3. Master object snaps.

4. Study plot style tables in depth.  Pay attention to LINEWEIGHT, linetype, “color”, for each of the 255 colors in the individual plot style.

Image via julianlimjl
5. Clock your time doing a task, literally.  Try doing it over in half the time.  Try doing it over in half of that time.  If you are taking too long to figure things out you are moving too slowly.


Image via theilr
6. Don’t take redlining personally.  Make revisions to drawings QUICKLY. Understand WHY someone wants things a certain way.

7. PICKADD: 1, PICKFIRST: 1. AUDIT and PURGE repeatedly.

Image via Rowan Peter
8. If someone needs a drawing by a certain time, that means they need a complete product. Get the drawing in a LOT sooner to the reviewer so you will have time to revise.

9. Pastel colors read better against aerials.  RED will always catch someone’s eye no matter what.  Use a text mask for text against aerials.

10. AutoCAD is a tough learning curve.  When you are in your first job as landscape designer you need to prove your worth.  Practice AutoCAD in your free time–yes, in your free time–after work, during the week and on weekends.  Come in to the office and practice or download a free trial version and try it at home.  You will be very glad you did.

Good luck!

Land8 Goes Live on Tumblr!

Heads up Tumblr users! Land8 has just launched our very own Land8 Tumblr! Keep reading to find out why we’ve gotten on board with this popular microblogging platform.

Tumblr is a fantastic social networking site that displays multimedia posts in a dynamic new way. Extremely user friendly, the short-form blogging website is perfect for hosting inspiration photos, news feeds, and even informal portfolios.

In addition to cross-posting blog posts from the main Land8 blog, Land8 Tumblr will also curate and reblog beautiful landscape architecture images found across the web. We invite everyone to submit their thoughts, posts, and inspirational images via our Submit Page.

To track our microblog, sign up for a Tumblr account to follow our Land8 Tumblr or you can add our Tumblr RSS.

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