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Learning the Language of Contemporary Planting Design

Many landscape architects resist planting design. It’s complex, time-consuming, and site-specific. Results are highly intertwined with implementation and maintenance. Planting is also exactly what your dad’s friends think you do – “Come over, tell me what to do with my yard. And why don’t you mow the lawn while you’re at it.” However, over the past 20 years, it’s become increasingly apparent that landscape architects can’t continue to rely on landscape contractors to “shrub up” their beautifully-rendered designs. Functioning and maintainable plantings are essential for projects to deliver the ecosystem benefits that landscape architects claim to value. High-profile projects like the High Line in New York demonstrate the power of good planting to capture the public imagination and con...Read More

Creating Better Places [Land8x8 Video]

The research is clear: Spending time outdoors, especially in green, natural settings, is good for our health. A growing body of research is demonstrating the positive measurable effects spending time in nature has on our well-being – from reducing mental distress, increasing physical activity, and extending our life span. In fact, spending time outside is so vital that doctors around the world have begun prescribing time in nature as a way of improving their patients’ health. Unfortunately, natural settings are not readily accessible to everyone, and the quality of our outdoor environments are not always conducive to human well-being. Understanding that how we shape our environment impacts our health, Stephen Cook, Principal at the Planning and Landscape Architecture firm Hitchcock Design ...Read More

AIDS Garden Chicago: A Garden Design That Will Heal and Inspire the Chicago Community

AIDS Garden Chicago, designed by Design Workshop, is a realization of a design idea, close to Alderman Tom Tunny’s heart, for a garden championed by him and a number of community organizations. The garden surrounds a 30-foot-tall sculpture designed by the late artist and activist, Keith Haring and donated to the Chicago Park District through the efforts of Ald. Tunny and support from the Chicago Parks Foundation. The sculpture, a self-portrait of Keith, was installed in November 2019. The AIDS Garden Chicago will be Chicago’s first public space to memorialize the early days of Chicago’s HIV epidemic, and to honor those who continue to fight against the disease today. Anticipated to be completed in 2020, the 2.5-acre garden is located along the magnificent shoreline of Lake Michigan just so...Read More

10 Questions with @ShitGardens

Are you tired of oversaturated beach scenes, breathy clouds of flowers, and manicured contemporary plazas filling your Instagram feed? Head over to @shitgardens, the popular Instagram feed where Bede Brennan and James Hull present images of landscapes that won’t be winning any beautification awards. We had the opportunity to ask @shitgardens a series of questions about their work. These guys focus on landscapes that don’t make it into glossy design magazines or landscape architecture textbooks. Pay attention, you might learn something – and get some good laughs along the way. Make sure to give them a follow @shitgardens on Instagram – and buy their book, Shitgardens. What makes a @ShitGarden? How do you define it? There is a spectrum. For us, shit is often a term of endearment,...Read More

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Gentrification

Gentrification is a term that emerged in the mid-1960s to explain the demographic and social changes that some neighborhoods in the London were experiencing. Since then, a vast number of articles and essays on urban transformation have sought to explain this phenomenon. In this article, we shall explore how to detect areas that are likely to be affected by this process, how to identify those that are already being affected and how to prevent this from happening to preserve heterogeneity, social inclusion, and sustainability in our cities. But what exactly is gentrification? The word gentrification coming from the English syllable “gentry”, refers to the British rural nobility. Gentrification was originally coined to describe the emergence of middle-to-higher-income social group...Read More

Flooding by Design

As volatile weather events increasingly become the norm, the importance of designing to support dynamic ecological processes – and proactive planning not just for operations and maintenance, but for the inevitable, ensuing recovery efforts – has never been more critical. A pioneering project in China’s Hunan Province, the Baxi Island River Forest exemplifies both the importance of designing in harmony with nature as well as the tremendous challenges associated with changing climates and rising water levels. The project was conceived as a catalyst to regional development and eco-tourism within the larger Dawang Mountain Development Zone. One of 16 islands along the Xiang River in Changsha, the 156-acre Baxi Island had for many years been a private island sandbar covered with poplar trees an...Read More

UT Austin [Land8x8 Video]

As the Graduate Program in Landscape Architecture celebrates the completion of its 15th year at the University of Texas at Austin, Director Hope Hasbrouck reflects on the radical change the program has experienced since its establishment. This transformation, Hasbrouck explains, is in response to the changing context of landscape architectural design. As perspectives within the profession shift to re-orient design goals from program to performance, research and academia topics have expanded to explore the dynamics of urban systems, historical and theoretical basis for design approach, and the complexities of multidisciplinary projects. During her presentation at the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Austin, TX, Hasbrouck shared five words she is seeing in academia that she believes will guide the...Read More

ASLA 2019: A Celebration of Authenticity, A Reminder of Harmony

The ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture often feels like homecoming. Running around with 6,000-some of your colleagues, friends old and new, it’s almost impossible not to feel more educated, inspired, excited, and empowered. This year we celebrated, discussed, and challenged landscape architecture – how we perceive it, shape it, and share it – in sunny San Diego in November. With over 120 education opportunities, 14 special events, and 350 exhibitors gathered in concert, there is always something to do, something to see, something to learn, and someone to meet. With a wide range of topics varying from sustainable materials, BIM (Building Information Modeling), extending to identity and culture in our practice, this year’s conference felt especially powerful, timely, and i...Read More

Land8 Social Media Awards in Landscape Architecture 2019 – Winners!

Announcing the winners of the 2nd Annual Land8 Social Media Awards in Landscape Architecture! Social media has the power to significantly increase the awareness and importance of the profession of landscape architecture, and Land8 believes industry leaders in social media should be promoted and recognized. Be sure to follow the winners to help grow and promote the profession! Top 10 Social Media Accounts – Landscape Architecture Firms TBG Partners – A leader in the social media scene, TBG shows that landscape architects are powerful connectors – in cities and on projects – and showcases the scales in which they work, from macro to micro. At TBG, they make a concerted effort to demystify what it is that landscape architects do and educate followers on ALL aspects of landscape architec...Read More

5 Reasons Why You Should Go to LABash 2020

LABash is an annual, student-run landscape architecture conference that brings together students and professionals in the field for a weekend of educational sessions, keynote lectures, social events, networking, and career-building. This year, for the 50th anniversary of the conference, LABash is being held at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. During the weekend of April 2-4, students and professionals from across the country will come together to celebrate the theme “Rise Above Run” and hear first-hand from professionals about how they have overcome obstacles relating to the environment and social justice through the power of design. LABash is so much more than a conference – it is a sneak-peak into the future of landscape architecture. It is reassurance that the next generation of ...Read More

Leveraging Inevitabilities [Land8x8 Video]

“The future of landscape architecture includes me,” proclaims Katie Coyne, Certified Ecologist and Principal at Asakura Robinson, a planning, urban design, and landscape architecture firm. With a background in both ecology and community planning and sustainable design, Coyne leads the Urban Ecology Studio at Asakura Robinson, working alongside planners and design professionals to incorporate resilient design principles into the firm’s work. While Coyne works alongside landscape architects, she is not a professionally trained landscape architect, so when asked to present on the topic of “Next Practices in Landscape Architecture” for the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Austin, TX, Coyne considered the economic, cultural, social, and ecological goals that must be balanced for a resilient future an...Read More

Land8 Social Media Awards in Landscape Architecture 2019 – Call for Nominations!

Land8: Landscape Architects Network announces the 2nd Annual Land8 Social Media Awards in 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 Land8 believes industry leaders in social media should be promoted and recognized. < VIEW 2018 WINNERS > AWARDS Ten (10) awards will be given and ranked in each of the following categories: Landscape Architectur...Read More

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