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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

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

Philadelphia Visions and Los Angeles Dreams: ASLA Annual Meeting + EXPO

What some of us wouldn’t give for a few rays of that Los Angeles sunshine again… Because we are coming up on the midpoint between ASLA conferences, I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the highlights of the big gathering under the bright lights in LA as well as gaze forward to a trip to the city of brotherly love for this year’s installment of the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Annual Meeting + EXPO in Philadelphia. As a quick primer, the ASLA Annual Meeting is the largest gathering or landscape architects in the world and happens every year in October. Last year’s event had over 6,300 attendees and 380 EXPO exhibitors. Through the lens of 2017’s theme “Common Ground,” over 140 educational sessions and many fiel...Read More

Landscape Architecture Children’s Book

Multidisciplinary design firm Bolton & Menk came about the idea of a children’s book when the firm was brainstorming ways to partner with communities that were hosting the Smithsonian Waterways Traveling Exhibit. The firm had completed a number of water improvement projects with a handful of the host communities and thought a children’s book about the water cycle (Walter the Raindrop) would be fun to develop and hand out in conjunction with children’s activities being offered in one of the communities. The idea grew from there as the design firm began to approach staff within its various work groups. Two more books were authored by staff within the landscape architecture and civil engineering groups. The purpose of the project has evolved into a much larger idea – to develop a se...Read More

3rd Annual ANOVA Grant for Emerging Professionals

Anova Furnishings’ Grant Competition is back again this year, offering emerging professionals the opportunity to attend the 2018 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia. Centered around a different topic each year, the competition invites participants to submit a short essay and a quick napkin sketch between April 13 to May 14, 2018 for the chance to win a $2,000 grant toward conference expenses. A panel of three practicing Landscape Architects will select the 21 best responses to be awarded the grant. To get the inside-scoop on what the jurors are looking for, I interviewed two of this year’s jurors, Stephanie Rolley, Professor and Department Head of LARCP at Kansas State University, and Annette Wilkus, Partner at SiteWorks. Here’s what they had to say. Interviews have been edi...Read More

Workaround [Land8x8]

In the spring of 2015, tension and unrest erupted in Baltimore, bringing the issues of racism and inequality to the center of national media attention. Since then, these disparities have only become more prevalent as the voices of unrest grow louder – including in Ferguson, MO, Charleston, SC, and Charlottesville, VA to name only a few. These events have been a call to action for many, leaving many to consider how they can bring about change in our social system. While such issues may at first seem to be beyond the reach of design professionals, Richard Jones, President of Baltimore-based design firm Mahan Rykiel Associates (MRA), believes that it is necessary for the profession to address inequality so that we may better meet the needs of those we serve. During his presentation at Land8x8...Read More

Transitioning to Information Modeling Workflows [WEBINAR]

With the growing pressures of tight budgets, quick project delivery, and the increasing need to integrate with Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows, landscape architects need to work smarter, not harder. Discover the Benefits of BIM for Landscapes One key way to do this is to adopt a site information modeling workflow into your practice. Site information modeling incorporates 3D modeling and BIM tools, such as smart objects, into the design process. This allows you to use data to increase your efficiency and make informed decisions. For example, with site information modeling, you can analyze your design for boundaries, area, volume, slope, cut/fill, and other data, such as water flow and sun/shade. You can document existing structures, plant materials, and site conditions and int...Read More

The Next Green Revolution [Land8x8]

Despite their ability to treat stormwater, cleanse air, and improve mental health, plants are too often an afterthought in urban design projects. What is often considered decoration or “parsley around the roast,” as famed landscape architect Thomas Church describes it, may actually have the potential to address the challenges of urbanization. That’s what Thomas Rainer asserted at Land8x8 Lighting Talks, announcing “I think it’s time to re-evaluate how the profession of landscape architecture approaches planting design.” A leading voice in ecological landscape design, Rainer is among the cohort of practitioners who are turning away from conventional horticultural practices, which encourage arranging plants as individual art pieces, and drawing inspiration from the way plants grow in nature....Read More

5 Trends Shaping Landscape Architecture in 2018

By its nature, design evolves, responding to both context and conscious. Reflecting on the prestige and tumult of 2017 (there’s too many to list), has me wondering what the next iteration of landscape architecture will be. What’s on the horizon? What are the groundswell moments that will continue to gain momentum, and what are the emerging challenges that we must confront? From the continued ripples of the LAF Declaration to finding legislative footholds to the powerful Black in Design conference, 2017 was the year that landscape architects awoke to find value in participation beyond practice as well as placing continued emphasis on of the role of place in justice, economics, and environmental stability. In no particular order, here are 5 topics that are permeating the profession of landsc...Read More

What’s New in Vectorworks Landmark 2018

This September, the third annual Vectorworks Design Summit took place in Baltimore. The event, hosted near its headquarters in Columbia, MD, showcased the lineup of programs the company offers to the design world, including Landmark, their landscape-oriented platform. Similar to last year’s conference in Chicago, Land8 was there to bring you the latest from the software company as well as our take on the impact to landscape architects. This is Part II of our continuing coverage of the Vectorworks Design Summit 2017: Vectorworks Design Summit: Celebrating BIM for Landscape What’s New in Vectorworks 2018 Interview with Adam Greenspan of PWP Landscape Architecture HISTORY OF LANDMARK Back in the day, the capabilities that are now part of the Landmark program began as just a series of pl...Read More

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