LABash: An Interview with the 2014 Host, UW-Madison

LABash: An Interview with the 2014 Host, UW-Madison

Are you a design or planning student seeking to attend a dynamic conference, but don’t know where to begin? Look no further – LABash is the quintessential adventure! Having attended three times in my undergraduate years I assure you that it’s a rewarding experience. Still uncertain? That is fair, but why would you miss three invigorating, fun-filled days of guest speakers, workshops, design charrettes, expos, and did I mention social events! I had the pleasure of interviewing the LABash 2014 Committee Chair, Jake Wievel, and it appears that next year’s attendees are in store for a treat at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Wisconsin State Capitol, credit: Xiang Lu

Wisconsin State Capitol, credit: Xiang Lu

  • When did LABash originate, can you speak about its history? 

LABash began as a student run conference founded by three landscape architecture students from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada in 1970. After the inaugural year, the conference rotated to different schools with landscape architecture programs across Canada and the United States. The popularity has markedly grown in the last five years as attendance from past conferences ranged from 200 to 700 students, professionals, speakers, and exhibitors.

  • What is the premise of LABash? What kind of events can an attendee expect?

LABash is a great networking tool for students, allowing them the opportunity to cultivate relationships with a tight knit group of professionals within the field.

Lakeshore Nature Preserve, credit: Xiang Lu

Lakeshore Nature Preserve, credit: Xiang Lu

It is comprised of speakers, workshops, charrettes, and social events. LABash offers a range of events depending on the host school’s program and location. For instance, Florida International University hosted LABash 2012 and organized a bike tour to showcase South Beach Miami. This year, the University of Georgia offered a design build charrette, which allowed students to participate in the design and construction of specific site elements. We’re really looking forward to presenting Madison’s unique culture.

  • Why should students attend this event?

It’s a chance to get to know other students in the profession and it opens windows of opportunity. LABash exposes students to the many different facets of landscape architecture, while merging into diverse, related fields. Also, it’s a relaxed atmosphere and allows students to get an idea of where they fit in the profession. Being able to see work from students in other programs can be very helpful and it allows a chance for collaboration that is invaluable.

Famous Wisconsin cheese curds! credit: Lucy Wang

Cheese curds! credit: Lucy Wang

  • What can attendees anticipate from LABash 2014 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison? Give us a sneak peak.

We plan to explore our heritage as an environmental school and highlight the work of our alumni, especially within the field of landscape architecture. Attendees can expect to gain insight into sustainability and ecological restoration work that is being done in Madison, as well as what it means to be a student in Madison. Additionally, LABash 2014 will celebrate Madison’s location as an urban center immersed within a great variety of natural areas. We encourage those interested in attending to explore Madison online to get a better perspective of the city. Students can expect an event that takes full advantage of Madison’s student life, and of course a wonderful variety of food and beverages. We will be providing more details on our website in the coming months and are really excited to show everyone a great time in 2014.

Agriculture Hall, UW-Madison, credit: Lucy Wang

Agriculture Hall, credit: Lucy Wang

  • What motivated the University of Wisconsin-Madison to bid to host LABash 2014? How did you win the bid?

The seniors attended LABash a few years ago and showed us pictures, and we as younger students got excited to attend LABash in 2012 at Florida International University. Prior to departing we assembled a video to bid for LABash 2014. Surprisingly, we were the only school to submit a bid, so we won by default, yet everyone was excited. In addition, we wanted to celebrate the students, professors, and alumni that encompass our program and felt what better opportunity than to host LABash. Whether you’re a student based in North America, Europe, or Asia, if you have the opportunity to attend LABash I urge you to take full advantage. This student run conference is a magical experience that has been instilling students with inspiration for over 40 years! Trust me, once you do attend you’ll understand. Interview conducted by Brett Lezon Website: Dates: March 27-29, 2014 Location: University of Wisconsin-Madison Enjoy what you’ve read! Support us and pick up one of our awesome T-shirts and hoodies today, Click the link

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