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How Circular Economy Can Build Sustainability

The circular economy seeks to move beyond traditional manufacture, use, and dispose culture to build resilience into systems, products and services throughout their lifecycle and beyond. In this article, we look at the circular economy and how it can be used in urban design and landscape architecture to improve sustainability. Linear Economy Our current approach to consumption is largely a linear process. We purchase products, use them for their useful lifecycle, and then discard them. Often this waste is not recycled or reused and simply ends up in landfill. In nature, very little is wasted. Often the faeces of one organism goes on to feed another, which in turn creates waste products that add humus to the soil. The nutrients from the humus ultimately fertilize vegetation in a closed loop...Read More

8 Degrees of Connection [Land8x8 Video]

What brought you to your profession of landscape architecture? Who encouraged you along your career path? Who has helped you succeed and attain your professional goals? These are among the questions landscape architect Shaney Clemmons, Founder and Principal of Shademaker Studio, considered as she prepared for her presentation at the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Austin, TX. When asked to present on the topic of “Next Practices in Landscape Architecture”, Clemmons reflected on those people who played a key role in her professional life and used her presentation as an opportunity to share her belief that fostering, appreciating, and maintaining these connections are key to the future of the profession. Coupling two sociology theories together, six degrees of separation (the theory that any pers...Read More

Top Video Resources for Landscape Architects

As practicing landscape architects, it can be easy to feel distanced from innovation in the field. Designers outside of major metro areas – or remote from landscape architecture schools – can find it difficult to feel knowledgeable or inspired. In small firms, particularly, the resources necessary for continuing education are often difficult to justify. Fortunately, there’s been a recent movement for universities and other organizations to release online video of lectures and presentations. These lectures may not provide the social benefit of attending a conference – and you may not get an education credit, but they can be a cheap and flexible way of learning. If you’re needing some inspiration, flick over to YouTube or Vimeo. Listen to these experts. You’ll learn somethi...Read More

Architecture and the Forest Aesthetic: Review

Situated in between several disciplines, Architecture and the Forest Aesthetic by Jana VanderGoot is organized around the central idea that humans are most fit to inhabit the forest biome. Humans flourish where trees do. Using examples exclusively located in the temperate forests in the northern and southern hemispheres, the book pursues a larger aesthetic agenda. As it moves into the affective domain, the author’s purpose is to underscore the coevolution of humans and forests and their instructive power in helping us design long-term systems that benefit this relationship. First and foremost, VanderGoot exposes readers to varied visual and verbal languages, concerns, and positions from unconventional sources. The result: an expanded disciplinary repertoire of case study projects. The chap...Read More

New International Landscape Architecture Prize Announced by TCLF

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, ar...Read More

Tampere: The Most Exciting City You’ve Never Heard Of

Tampere (Finland’s second city) is the largest inland city in the Nordic region, serving an area containing over 505,000 inhabitants. With a long and productive industrial heritage, Tampere is the fastest growing city region in Finland with a projected increase in population of 23% by 2030. With this rapid expansion and internationalisation comes a staggering estimated €6 – €10 billion investment in the city. In this article, we take a brief look at how some of that €6-10 billion is being invested in the urban design of this prosperous city. Tramway One of the major investments currently being implemented in Tampere is the new 14-mile (23 km) tramway, which connects the city centre with Hervanta to the south, the university hospital to the east, and in the second phase Hiedanra...Read More

Humanitarianism + Landscape Architecture: Crisis, Commotion and Collaboration

Mapping the Crisis  The world’s first modern atlas emerged in 1570. Nearly 450 years later, Professor Richard Weller, chair of Landscape Architecture at University of Pennsylvania, and his team produced “Atlas for the End of the World”. Atlas for the End of the World uses cartology (mapmaking) to show the world’s situations in the context of issues faced by humanity in the 21st century. Whilst Weller’s research screams to the viewers of the urgency of a changing world, often it doesn’t become a priority until it becomes critical. [Cue Humanitarianism]. The term “humanitarism” can be as ambiguous as “landscape architecture” because it is perceived to be very broad and difficult to exactly define for many. The purpose of Humanitarianism is deeply rooted in...Read More

What’s Your Big Idea? Apply for the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership!

Calling all innovators in landscape architecture! The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is now accepting applications for its 2020-2021 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership. This $25,000 year-long fellowship is a unique opportunity for mid-career and senior-level landscape architects to reflect, research, explore, create, test, and develop big ideas that will bring about positive change and expand the impact of landscape architecture. The fellowship was launched in 2016 to support innovation, cultivate transformational leadership, and foster intergenerational mentorship in the field of landscape architecture. Each year, 3-4 fellowships are awarded through a competitive application process based on a proposed project. Projects may be grounded in theoretical or historical inves...Read More

FLAA Launches 2019 Curriculum Challenge

How would you share landscape architecture with K-12 students? Future Landscape Architects of America (FLAA), a nonprofit organization, has officially launched its 2019 Curriculum Challenge. This annual competition is the brainchild of FLAA Founder Nicole Plunkett and FLAA Curriculum Chair Erin Porter, both landscape architects in Jupiter, Florida at Cotleur & Hearing. With the assistance of many volunteers and ideas, the 2019 Curriculum Challenge encourages participants to develop a teachable lesson plan which can be shared with professionals, volunteers, educators, teachers, and students world-wide. FLAA is asking participants to be innovative, diverse, and creative because there are so many ways to answer the question, “What is a landscape architect?” While FLAA is a relatively new ...Read More

How to Draw Landscapes (Like a Landscape Architect)

There is a big difference between taking a snapshot with your smartphone or taking time to draw something: the former you will likely forget, and the latter you will remember. Why is that? Drawing forces you to take time and really look at what is in front of you. It is a haptic experience. When you hold a pencil and retrace what you see, you can almost feel the object, its forms and structures. This can especially be experienced when sketching landscapes. Landscape architects deal with landscapes on different scales all the time. But landscapes are also one of the most challenging subjects to draw. That’s why today we’ll share with you some tips and tricks we find helpful for drawing them. As designers or planners, we always use drawing with a certain intention. It is a tool. As with ever...Read More

Landscape Architecture and the Zero Generation

As the climate crisis intensifies and accelerates, a new generation of activists is emerging with startling suddenness. In an effort to stem this crisis, many young people are mobilizing rapidly. Members of this group, styled “Generation Z,” were born within the last 25 years. Although derided by some as “snowflakes,” these young people are the largest generation in history. Bloomberg reports Generation Z will comprise “32 percent of the global population of 7.7 billion in 2019, nudging ahead of millennials, who will account for a 31.5 percent share.” In the US, this is a group that understands climate change. According to recent study by the Harvard Political Review, “Over 70 percent of the Gen Zers polled…agree that climate change is a problem, 66 percent of whom think it is a crisis and...Read More

Show Secrets: Design Details from the 2019 Chelsea Flower Show

You’ve probably seen photos from Chelsea Flower Show. For a week in late May each year, the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in south London are filled with show gardens and horticultural exhibits. The Chelsea Flower Show is one of the most famous garden festivals in the world. It’s organized by the Royal Horticultural Society, the United Kingdom’s primary horticulture non-profit. The Royals usually open the show. The BBC broadcasts hours of coverage. Celebrities stand and talk to the cameras about their garden love. This year, Dame Judi Dench did a talk about dutch elm disease. Other shows might be more innovative or cosmopolitan, but Chelsea has prestige. I’d been meaning to go for years. This spring, I finally got myself together, took a plane and a subway and a couple of cross-tow...Read More

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