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Frederick Law Olmsted’s 1859 Letter Describing Vision for Central Park

Frederick Law Olmsted is known as the “father of landscape architecture.” His most famous work is his co-design of Central Park in New York City, which was established in 1857. The following letter was written while Olmsted was Superintendent of Central Park and was managing the construction of the open space he designed. The letter requests volunteer participation from a local musician to help draw the public to the city’s most famous green space. In the letter, Olmsted describes his social perception, tremendous commitment to egalitarian ideals, and how these beliefs translate to his obligation to provide managed open space for passive recreation and enjoyment, particularly for those who do not have the means to leave the city environment. Olmsted famously advocated that “com...Read More

How to Start Drawing – Simple First Steps

“I wanted to start drawing again, but I just never seem to find time for it” is a sentence we regularly hear from our colleagues. Obviously, many people would like to draw. Maybe they have fond memories of their student years when they were using sketching for design much more often or hand-drawing might have even been on the curriculum. But we believe that drawing is still a very viable tool for every designer and it’s worth picking up again, even if you haven’t been doing it for years or you want to start from scratch. Why draw? Picking up anything new is always a challenge. One has to have reasons for it and a good amount of motivation. We’ve recently written on Land8 about the motivation for drawing in “3 Reasons Why You Should Start Drawing Now”. Firstly,...Read More

2018 Vectorworks Design Summit Field Report

The 4th annual Vectorworks Design Summit held on November 4-6, 2018 in Arizona convened about six hundred landscape, architecture, lighting, and exhibition design professionals plus Vectorworks staff from North America, the United Kingdom, and beyond. Attendees had a chance to talk shop, network, and yes, party, at the luscious Sheraton at Wild Horse Pass, situated on 50 acres south of Phoenix backing up to the Sonoran Desert National Monument. The venue, which highlights native American culture, features a designed landscape including a 2.5 mile replica of the nearby Gila River (pronounced, “heela”) which serves as the spine along which all buildings and recreational amenities are arranged. Experiencing this landscape, designed by the firm WATG was an added benefit for landscape architect...Read More

An Urban Forest for Shanghai

Global cities are in the midst of an unprecedented shift as more people are choosing to live in urban areas than ever before. More housing, transportation, and public services are needed to support cities’ growing populations, which can have negative impacts on air and water quality, and residents’ access to natural environments. In addition, climate change is creating new realities like urban hot spots and rising sea levels, demanding more creativity out of planners who must make sure urban areas are livable. In response, cities around the world are investing in public green spaces and waterfronts on impressive scales, as easy access to these spaces is becoming a requirement of urban livability. International design studio HASSELL has made this new reality a primary focus, designing...Read More

Fostering the Future

Low-maintenance is a sought-after quality in landscapes — as well as in architecture, vehicles, pets, hairstyles, flooring, the personalities of prospective mates, and pretty much everything else. We use the word maintenance to connote a necessary evil we prefer to minimize, defer, or avoid. We’d all like to have a kitchen floor that doesn’t require waxing or a dog that doesn’t shed, but why must we take a dim view of the idea that a landscape needs our ongoing attention? Consciously or not, we denigrate the idea of the work of upkeep and those who perform it. The landscape architecture community isn’t unaware of the problem that we neglect and deride the idea of maintenance. In fact, many articulate and thoughtful voices in the profession have expressed that it’s time to evolve in h...Read More

Land8 Social Media Awards for Landscape Architecture 2018 – Call for Nominations!

Land8: Landscape Architects Network announces the inaugural Land8 Social Media Awards for Landscape Architecture. Land8 was founded as an online hub for landscape architecture professionals to interact with each other. It has since grown to an international community of not only landscape architects, but also those interested in learning about the field of landscape architecture with over 1.5 million followers across Land8’s social media channels. Social media has the power to significantly increase the awareness and importance of the profession of landscape architecture, and we believe industry leaders in social media should be promoted and recognized. AWARDS Eight (8) awards will be given and ranked in each of the following categories: Top 8 Social Media Accounts, Landscape Archite...Read More

Learn, Celebrate, and Connect: A Recap of the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO

Most people reading this article are likely familiar with the ASLA Annual Meeting – after all, it is the world’s largest gathering of landscape architecture professionals and students. And, with over 6,000 attendees at the 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia (October 19-22, 2018.), it’s very possible that many of you reading this article were in attendance. However, the U.S. Department of Labor identified in 2016 that there are approximately 24,700 people employed in the landscape architecture profession – and this statistic doesn’t even account for students, international professionals, and those employed in academia and government. That means upwards of 75% of landscape architecture professionals and students are missing out. When I say they are missing out, I don’t just m...Read More

Different Attitudes at the Landezine International Landscape Award Ceremony in Hamburg

On the 13th of October, the LILA (Landezine International Landscape Award) was awarded in Hamburg, Germany. The day-long event held at the Hafen City University was titled “Attitudes in Landscape Architecture”. Although it was not a symposium trying to find answers on a certain topic, the lecturers and discussions indeed offered a view of different attitudes towards the profession and its different roles in society. The talks spanned from the political role of the profession, interdisciplinary and all the way to private gardens as an archetype of the landscape architectural work. The LILA award is presented by Landezine, the renowned web portal for landscape architecture works. It was awarded for the 3rd time this year and has drawn a surprisingly large pool of applicants. The ...Read More

Pocket Parks as Urban Acupuncture

In traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture refers to the insertion of fine needles into specific parts of the human body with the aim of treating a range of symptoms. In a similar way, urban acupuncture refers to the theory of manipulating the urban fabric on a small scale to affect greater socio-environmental impacts. In this article, we look at how pocket parks might be used as an urban acupuncture tool. Urban acupuncture The phrase ‘urban acupuncture’ was first coined by the Spanish architect and city planner Manuel de Solà, and was later popularised by Finnish architect Marco Casagrande. Key to the theory is understanding the city as a holistic whole, more like a living being than a collection of dissident phenomena. Urban acupuncture theory proposes that problems within the city can...Read More

Element of Chance [Land8x8]

As landscape architects, we often find ourselves trying to tame nature into a designed form. What if, instead of working against natural systems, we invited them into our work, allowing our built work to be shaped by nature? What if, instead of considering our projects to be “complete” the day they are installed, we allow our projects to be more experimental? During the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Seattle, Dorothy Faris, Principal at Mithun, pondered these type of questions – instead of working against nature, shaping it to a form of our own design, perhaps we should let nature take part in the design process. With a background in ceramics and art history, Faris was attracted to landscape architecture as an art form – one that sculpts the land and forms our built environment. Similar to an ...Read More

New LARE Grant Program Launched by Anova

Anova Furnishings, the U.S. based contemporary outdoor furnishings manufacturer, is launching an exciting new grant program to support licensure candidates undertaking the LARE (Landscape Architecture Registration Examination). Ten awards of $1,000 each will be announced in February 2019, after an application period that kicked off at the ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Philadelphia last week. The competition is a two-step process. Applicants who meet the requirements to sit for the exam must find a sponsor who is a currently licensed landscape architect to nominate them (sponsors may only nominate one candidate). Nominations must occur between October 19 and November 30, 2018. Next, applicants will write an essay of 500 words or less explaining how their experiences with the profession ...Read More

Land8 “Happy Hour” Comes Full Circle in Philly

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 beginning...Read More

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