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How Autonomous Vehicles are Influencing Urban Design

The rise in autonomous vehicles is happening faster than many people think. NVIDIA CEO, Jensen Huang, says that fully automated vehicles will be on our roads by 2022, while Scott Keogh, Head of Audi America has promised that Audi would have its first self-driving cars ready to purchase by as early as 2020. So, with the rapid acceleration of the autonomous vehicle (AV) market, what are the main challenges we face as urban designers? And how will autonomous vehicles affect the urban fabric of our cities? Towards a New Autopia? Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, our urban and suburban environments have been primarily designed for private car use. However, there has been a recent reduction in the ownership of private vehicles. Thanks to on-demand ridesharing services like Uber and...Read More

Union Park: Immersive Play as Community Catalyst

Union Park, a master-planned community in north Texas, was first conceived in 2014 through a planning and visioning process conducted in partnership with Hillwood Communities, which has developed a series of Live Smart principles that address key lifestyle considerations like connectedness, well-being and stewardship. Ultimately planned for 2,400 single-family homes, Union Park prioritizes the outdoor setting as an integral lifestyle component — it’s the connective fabric between community destinations as well as the backdrop to restorative recreational opportunities. Its holistic planning approach accommodates a full range of recreational needs, although until recently it lacked an immersive play environment for children — but the addition of its multifaceted Exploration Park has turned t...Read More

The Most Important Chart for the Future of Landscape Architecture

The chart above is of profound importance to landscape architecture as a profession and especially for any practitioner or student under the age of thirty. This chart, which is based on the science supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, foretells that if we are to have any chance at salvaging a livable climate, humanity must essentially cease the use of fossil fuels within 30 years. Vitally too, this chart shows that we must work to draw down the excess carbon dioxide (CO2) that is already in the atmosphere. These two actions give us the best chance of bringing climate back into a balance conducive to civilization. This “below zero” era of minimal carbon dioxide emissions and increasing CO2 drawdown will have enormous implications for landscape architects. For while the need for our work ...Read More

Apply Now for the $25,000 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership

Calling all innovators in landscape architecture! The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is now accepting applications for its 2019-2020 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 explore, research, develop, and test 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 investigations, produc...Read More

3 Reasons You Should Start Drawing Now

When is the last time you packed a sketchbook and went drawing outside? Sitting down, really observing a place, understanding it more with each traced line? Maybe you’ve been drawing during your studies and stopped because you do not have the time anymore. Or you might be new to hand drawing and want to learn. We strongly believe hand drawing is something every landscape architect can benefit from. That’s why we’d like to share 3 reasons why you should definitely pick it up: 1. A New Trend Think five years back – a brief scan of competition entries in architecture and landscape architecture would show almost nothing but photorealistic renderings or photoshop montages. It was an attempt to come as close to the visual reality that is suggested to get built as possible. However, r...Read More

Evolution by Design

Great leadership is integral to the success of any business, particularly in a service industry, and leadership transition, while inevitable, is often not planned for nor adequately considered. No one lives or works forever. It’s an existential dilemma for a design consultancy: How to facilitate new leadership and preserve the cherished corporate culture — while also committing to and evolving a firm for the next generation? For TBG Partners, founded in 1987 by Earl Broussard, this process necessitated designing a transition plan from a sole proprietorship to a legacy practice — with deep consideration given to issues of ownership, purpose, leadership and work. Specific aspects included determining how to transfer years of equity and ensure generational ownership transition, determining wh...Read More

8 Ways AI is Shaping the City

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a buzz word that is currently taking the world by storm. AI has infiltrated almost every sector and is being used to create better products and services. But what exactly is AI, and how might it effect urban design? What are the potential benefits and things designers need to consider for the future? In this article we look at some of the ways AI is already influencing the city and examine what impacts these may have on our profession in the future. What is Artificial intelligence? Artificial intelligence is the term used to describe how machines can be trained to learn from experience using data analysis and advanced algorithms to better achieve specific goals. Although the term was originally coined as early as 1956, AI has become increasingly popular i...Read More

10 Billion Mouths [Land8x8]

The United Nations projects that the world’s population will be 9.8 billion by 2050, with roughly two-thirds of those people living in urban areas. To feed these nearly 10 billion mouths, it is estimated that farmers will have to produce 70% more food by 2050. However, large-scale farming is rapidly diminishing, and most available farmland has suffered from years of poor practices that led to soil erosion. This, coupled with issues of drought and rising transportation costs, has led some to believe that the future of farming might just be in the city – and indoors. During the Land8x8 Lightning Talks, Michael Grove, Principal at Sasaki, an international planning and design firm, asserted that “…productive landscapes must play a critical role in our cities.” Michael revealed how his firm is ...Read More

LARE: Choosing a State for Your First Landscape Architecture License

ASLA and CLARB have aggregated data on all states and provinces regarding education and experience requirements needed in order to sit for the LARE. The North American map provided by CLARB, shows the information for the states or provinces you are considering getting licensed in. (Note to CLARB: Please add state and province labels to your map like we talked about on the phone today.) For those of us who live and work in one state and have no plans to relocate, we generally seek licensure in that state, although District of Columbia practitioners must still seek licensure in a neighboring state, until DC completes its licensure rule-making process. ASLA has advised candidates to sit for the LARE as soon as possible, register for the exam in a state with fewer work experience requirements ...Read More

Listening to Nature – and Each Other

Landscape architects — like many designers — regularly engage with what are commonly called ‘wicked’ problems. Wicked not in the sense of evil, but in the other definition: a problem that is difficult or thorny due to incomplete, contradictory, and constantly changing information, and requirements that are hard to recognize. Urban overcrowding, climate change, economic disparity, and inequity in green space access – wicked problems, all.  As designers, we hope and expect to not only be able to conquer wicked problems, but also manage to create works of sublime beauty that are a pleasure for people to occupy and use. Ian McHarg’s influential 1969 Design With Nature focused attention on the then relatively-new idea that we shape the earth best when we plan and design with careful...Read More

LAF Fellows Merge Research with Practice at Inaugural Symposium

Landscape architecture is often touted as a broad-ranging interdisciplinary field, uniquely poised to problem solve the complex and pressing issues of the 21st century. At the first annual Landscape Architecture Foundation Innovation and Leadership Symposium, the breadth of the profession and idealism toward its future was very much on display. 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”. As the culmination of the yearlong fellowship, the six inaugural Fellows gave presentations on their projects to an audience of about 200 people in Washington, DC. Videos will be released in the near future. Tackling complex issues and transformational leadership...Read More

Deep Collaboration: Ecology, Research, Design [Land8x8]

In the face of climate change, urbanization, and social unrest, landscape architects are being asked to do more. No longer can a landscape architecture project simply be beautiful; it must also remedy environmental degradation, address social inequity, support economic development, strengthen communities, and so much more. As the complexity of challenges grow, the importance for a collaborative design process – one that invites new disciplines and diverse perspectives – becomes evident. As an urban ecologist and architect, Stephanie Carlisle advocates for this new way of working – believing that a deeper connection between urban ecologists and designers will result in the creation of better cities and a transformational impact. During the Land8x8 Lightning Talks, Stephanie revealed the syn...Read More

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