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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

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

Paveshare.org Now on Land8!

PaveShare.org open-education curriculum for landscape architecture students and educators is now available through the Land8: Landscape Architects Network. PaveShare.org, a free ICPI resource, links to self-guided presentations with interactive animations and a studio project library on segmental concrete pavement design and construction. Educators can supplement existing curriculum with resources from PaveShare.org and encourage students to add to a living library by uploading their completed projects to the site. Students and educators can also explore pattern design and structural principles or utilize a curriculum path. “Segmental concrete pavement systems provide landscape architects with a proven, flexible, and durable method that also allows tremendous design freedom,” said Kendall ...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

Beyond Our Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Research and Design for Health [Land8x8]

At a time when environmental crises are becoming more prevalent and the health industries are acknowledging the critical role the environment plays on human health, designers are stepping up to explore how landscape architectural interventions can address health issues. The profession of landscape architecture is poised to tackle the issues of both human and environmental health, states Jorge “Coco” Alarcon of Peru at Land8x8 Lightning Talks. Promoting health in the fields of architecture and landscape architecture, Coco shared how he has leveraged his design background to improve the health of impoverished communities. Holding a Master’s of Landscape Architecture degree and working for the University of Washington, Coco’s research focuses on the relationships between green spaces an...Read More

Podcasts in the Spotlight: 10 Brilliant Shows for Design Enthusiasts

In 2017, 112 million Americans listened to a podcast and 42 million listen to a podcast on a weekly basis. This amounts to 15% of the total US population, which is five times more than weekly visits made to the movies. “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something NEW.” – Dalai Lama The reason why podcasts are so popular is because most of us want to learn new things and broaden our knowledge base. They are the 21st century’s offline radio. Podcasts can be a great tool for landscape architects to keep track of current trends and topics, feed new vocabulary to your brain, or give you a deeper perspective of the world. Next time you are doing research for a project you should take 30 minutes out of your day, possibl...Read More

LARE – Comment or No Comment: What is that Mysterious Tab For?

As anyone who has sat for the LARE exam knows, at the top of the screen of every question is a tab that says, “Comments.” The first time I saw this, during the exam, I was intrigued. After all, CLARB’s LARE intro videos show examples of the exam interface, which show only the screen tab called, “Exhibits” for graphic questions on Sections 3 and 4. No mention is made anywhere about a tab called “Comments,” including during the tutorial given in the exam room prior to launching the LARE. “Would CLARB offer words of encouragement in this Comments tab?”, I wondered during the first few minutes of my exam. After the adrenaline rush of the exam’s first few minutes wore off, I did click on one of the Comments tabs, only to discover a blank window in which to type. Who will read this, ...Read More

Forest and Architecture [Land8x8]

There is something so serene about being in a forest. Whether it’s the peaceful silence or beautiful surroundings, being immersed in nature has actually been proven to affect you both physically and emotionally. However, while the forest is an environment often preferred by humans, it displays little resemblance to the loud and crowded cities in which most of us choose to live. With an increase in global urbanization, there is a need to adapt the urban environment, bringing aspects of the forest into our cities. During her presentation at Land8x8 Lightning Talks, Jana VanderGoot, architect and founding partner at VanderGoot Ezban Studio, explores how we can create cities that mimic the benefits of the forest. Forests have the ability to capture carbon, moderate temperature, purify water, a...Read More

Interview with Adam Greenspan of PWP Landscape Architecture

In the Fall of 2017, 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 III 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 ABOUT PWP LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE Adam Greenspan, a design partner at PWP Landscape Architecture, has been the lead designer ...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

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