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The Geodesign Framework: Prioritizing Community Voices in the Design of Future Recovery After Hurricane María in San Juan

The impact of Hurricane María, a category-4 storm and one of the strongest hurricanes in Puerto Rico’s history, resulted in a total collapse of power and communications infrastructure. In San Juan, the US territory’s capital and most populated municipality, neighbors, cleaning up, wondered what they would do next. It is during this time when I first visited the Barrio Venezuela sector of Río Piedras. Together with the local churches, organizations, and the community social work team of the University of Puerto Rico’s (UPR) CAUCE Center, we distributed supplies. Walking within the narrow walkways and steps of El Hoyo (or The Hole) is when I decided to concentrate all of my efforts as a planner and a Geodesign graduate student to help the people of Barrio Venezuela. Barrio ...Read More

2021 Residential Landscape Trends

2020 has changed our lives in many ways, deeply impacting the way we view and use our homes. As we move into 2021, which kicks off the ‘Decade of the Home’, people are rethinking where they live, how they use their space, what entertaining looks like, and more. While we hope to be traveling, eating out and returning to our normal lives, one silver lining from 2020 may be the appreciation for home, family, and a less scheduled life. We spoke with our Tilly design team about the popular requests from 2020 to help predict landscape trends for 2021. Read below and see if you agree! 1. Outdoors as an Extension of the Indoors Creating a comfortable outdoor living space that is an extension of your indoors will continue to be popular with 2021 home renovations, and not just in the warmer climates...Read More

2021 Trends in Planning & Design Influenced by 2020 Events

The global impact of the novel coronavirus will not be known for years. COVID-19 has changed the way society lives and works. While there are many lessons learned, perhaps the most important one is that the future is nearly impossible to predict. There are, however, some trends that were influenced by COVID-19 and catalyzing events in 2020 that will continue to impact planning and design in 2021. 1. Importance of the Great Outdoors Parks, trails and open space are providing a refuge for people to get out of the house, as restaurants, bars, gyms and other public gathering places are forced to limit operations or shutter their doors to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The role of parks as a community hub has not been more evident, now critical locations for socially-distanced yoga, outdoo...Read More

Land8 Social Media Awards in Landscape Architecture 2020 – Winners!

Here are the winners of the 3rd 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 EDSA – Instagram | Facebook | LinkedIn | Blog  EDSA expands on opportunities for thought leadership, showcases design expertise through innovative projects and highlights the talent and culture of the firm. Deep collaboration allows them to develop posts that inform and inspire those in the industry and the next generation of landscape architects. They un...Read More

Is Biodiversity in Cities Important?

We all know biodiversity is important. Much has been written about it in both scientific literature and public media. But how important is it? What role does biodiversity have to play in our cities? To answer those questions, we must differentiate the arguments for environmental protection. Differing arguments result in different approaches. For example, depending on if you want to protect local ecology, provide ecosystem services, or climate-proof an ecosystem, you may choose to use only native plants or also add those from outside of your region. According to research by Ph.D. D.C. Dearborn and Professor S. Kark, there are 7 main motivations for conserving urban biodiversity. In this article, we examine the most important motivations for protecting and increasing biodiversity in cities. ...Read More

Evoking Soul in Landscape Architecture [Land8x8 Video]

There has been a trend in landscape architecture to measure the success of a project using research and quantified data. However, to Christine Ten Eyck, founding principal of Ten Eyck Landscape Architects (TELA), evaluating the success of a project extends beyond quantifiable metrics and measurable outcomes. Ten Eyck defines successful projects as places designed with “soul” – those that people connect to on a deeper, more meaningful level. Soul – the inspiration, feeling, emotion, passion, spirit and energy of place – is that added sense of surprise and delight that brings meaning to a space. When you design a landscape with soul, every detail has a purpose and the use of texture, vegetation, and water form a dialog between beauty and functionality. During her presentati...Read More

Flexible and Future-Driven: Designing a Resilient Urban Environment for Today and Tomorrow

There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has made us question how resilient our cities are, both when it comes to the needs of their citizens and their preparedness for future crises. COVID-19 has forced us, and by extension, landscape architects and urban designers, to re-evaluate how and where we need to build community resilience to natural hazards and climate crisis. Resiliency in urban environments is of the utmost importance—allowing both the city and its occupants to survive, adapt, and even thrive in times of stress and crisis. Designers at firms like global architecture firm CallisonRTKL must be focused on resilient planning and design solutions that provide flexible solutions that can continually adapt to our future needs, even as times and technologies change and develop. ...Read More

Pardon Our Disruption x The Urban Studio

As we approach the end of 2020, we celebrate the people and movements that are driving change to achieve more just futures for ALL. From the people who have been hard at work mobilizing voters—to our steadfast community leaders and their everyday work to cultivate communities of care. Like these change-makers who inspire us, The Urban Studio also strives to be the change we want to see in the world. We do this through projects and programs that leverage art and design tools to ensure that those communities who are most affected by design are seen and heard as critical stakeholders in shaping their OWN neighborhoods and their OWN futures. The Urban Studio (US) is thrilled to announce Pardon Our Disruption, a three-part-virtual event series kick-off to our end-of-year fundraising campaign. E...Read More

Design Competition Winner Brings Ideas from Kenya

The onset of COVID-19 in cities throughout the world led to cities shutting down, becoming ghosts of their former selves.  What followed in the ensuing weeks was a metamorphosis within our streets and parks on a scale that was previously unimaginable. The pandemic precipitated a utopian glimpse into urban centers around the globe where streets have been closed to accommodate al fresco dining, bike lanes have been expanded, parks are full, the air quality is improved, and more pedestrians are seen walking the streets and trails of their neighborhoods daily. Dig Studio’s mission and culture is to teach, mentor, and support equity and diversity within the practice of Landscape Architecture.  Exploring an urban trend that was being played out in real time seemed like the perfect opportunity to...Read More

Silver Linings Found in Virtual Internships

The month of March marks the end of our campus recruiting season each year. We wrap up our visits to universities across the country and prepare for an incoming class of student interns. We dust off our teaching skills and look forward to the fresh perspective students offer. This year, planning quickly changed course when COVID-19 prompted all 120 of our professionals to begin working safely from home. While many firms were forced to pull the plug on internships altogether, the challenging circumstances fueled our drive to find a way to provide a meaningful internship experience. Fortunately, we were able to double down on our commitment to putting our people first and advocating for the profession by hosting 8 students from across the country in a nine-week virtual internship program. It...Read More

Creating Binge-Worthy Nature: Rediscovering How Children Play in Nature [Land8x8 Video]

When you think back on your happiest childhood memories, you probably think about playing outside. Those long summer nights camping in the backyard, catching fireflies, and climbing trees are among my most vivid adolescent memories. Not only did these experiences create happy memories, more and more studies show that they provided countless mental and physical health benefits too. Nature creates a unique sense of wonder for kids that no other environment can provide. However, in part due to the influx of technology, there has been a recent shift in how children spend their free time, often replacing outdoor time with screen time. The average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen. How can we create “bi...Read More

Why Landscape Architects Choose Vectorworks Landmark

In landscape architecture, many of the available software options seem to specialize in individual areas, requiring an investment in add-ons to enable more holistic workflows. This comes as a sticking point for many landscape architecture firms whose work spans beyond 2D drawings and plans. Vectorworks Landmark is known for being an all-in-one solution, which means landscape architects can work without having to invest in additional software. In this article, you’ll hear from three landscape architects who’ve switched to Vectorworks Landmark and are now benefiting from more streamlined workflows. The first firm is SiteWorks, who are based in New York City and provide a variety of landscape architecture services, including project scheduling/budgeting and construction implementation. Next i...Read More

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