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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

Vectorworks Design Scholarship – Apply to Win $10,000!

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 incredi...Read More

Updating Denver’s Urban Drainage Systems to Handle the Impacts of Development, Population Growth and Climate Change

Since its founding in 1858, Denver, Colo. has been a city marked by periods of rapid growth and expansion. During once such period in the late 1800s, over three square miles of land to the northeast of downtown was completely urbanized in less than a decade. Unfortunately, in their haste developers failed to recognize the importance of a vital drainageway that collected stormwater from the Montclair and Park Hill drainage basins, a watershed covering over 17 square miles. As the area transitioned from natural rolling plains to a grid of paved streets and rooftops, an insufficient piped stormwater system soon led to floodwaters lapping at the doors of the residents who had settled in the working-class neighborhoods of Cole and Clayton. Reporting on this flooding dates back to the early 1900...Read More

Old Town Burleson: Historic Railway as Catalyst to Urban Renewal

Decades before Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) began building what today is the longest light rail system in the United States, people and freight were shuttled between north Texas communities by an impressive interurban rail system of electric trolley cars that would ultimately span hundreds of miles across north Texas. Beginning in 1900 with an inter-city railway connecting Denison and Sherman, an interurban line connecting Dallas and Fort Worth was built in 1902, and in 1911 a line from Fort Worth to Cleburne, with a prominent stop in Burleson, went on line as well. The railway system was efficient and effective — cars traveled at 60 miles per hour and made commuting into the city for work or entertainment convenient and inexpensive — and lasted more than 40 years, until the advent of ...Read More

LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium: Emerging Ideas for the Future of the Profession

At the annual LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium in Washington, DC, seven emergent voices in landscape architecture shared their ideas that will drive the future of the profession. These seven voices were the 2018-2019 cohort of the LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership. Each of the fellowship recipients engaged in a yearlong journey to develop their leadership capacity and work on ideas that have the potential to create positive and profound change in the profession, the environment, and humanity. LAF established the Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership in 2016 to “foster transformational leadership capacity and support innovations to advance the field of landscape architecture”. This $25,000 fellowship is an opportunity for professionals to dedicate 12 weeks of time over th...Read More

Inform/Engage/Collaborate [Land8x8 Video]

Landscape architects and urban planners are frequently tasked with translating the unique desires of a community into a meaningful public space that seamlessly integrates into the existing community fabric. In order to ensure the long-term success of such a project, sincere and intentional community engagement efforts must be made to understand the community’s needs and incorporate their values. Understanding how to best engage community stakeholders in the design process is critical to ensuring a high level of community investment and pride. During the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Seattle, Tim Slazinik, landscape architect at GGLO Design, discussed how his firm is looking for ways to engage the public in a deeper, more impactful way. Community engagement strategies take on many different fo...Read More

How One City is Designing for Climate Change

As the City of Boston grapples with climate change and sea level rise, teams comprised of Landscape Architects, Urban Planners, and Engineers have been collaborating to truly understand the scale of the impact, and propose innovative solutions that incorporate natural systems. Recognizing the Challenges of Climate Change Coastal Resilience Solutions for East Boston and Charlestown, a project led by Kleinfelder Engineering and Stoss, was a direct response to recommendations in the Climate Ready Boston report (2016) that the city ‘prioritize and study the feasibility of district-scale flood protection’ and ‘develop local climate resilience plans in vulnerable areas to support district-scale climate adaptation’. The City of Boston chose to address East Boston and Charlestown first because the...Read More

Uniting People Across the Development Transect

In the world of design and planning, one of our biggest challenges lies in the placemaking endeavor — creating a sense of community in a new or unremarkable development lacking notable history or existing bonds among people. How can we create anew an identity, a sense of belonging, and pride of ownership in a setting in which those aspects are nonexistent? These characteristics are cornerstones of a successful development — whether a residential community or the proverbial third place — in contexts spanning the urban to rural transect, and their foundation lies in establishing planning and design principles focused on connectedness, diversity and flexibility. The notion of connectedness includes not only physical connections between people and their environment, but also social and emotion...Read More

Assuming Beauty [Land8x8 Video]

During the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Seattle, Laura Rose, Principal at the landscape architecture and planning firm Walker Macy, contemplated the role of beauty in design. At a time when landscape architects are leading the discourse on mitigating climate change, fostering community, and enacting social change, it is peculiar for Rose to center her discussion on beauty. While the art of design is still very central to what we do, the work of landscape architects has evolved beyond the romantic ideals of landscape being solely something to look at. Yet, after listening to her presentation, it becomes clear that the term “beauty” describes much more than just aesthetic appeal or artistic whimsy. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines beauty as “the quality or aggregate of qualit...Read More

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