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Leading the Way: The Power and Potential of Landscape Architecture [Video]

Alex Fenech, a landscape architect with Hitchcock Design Group, delivered a compelling talk during the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Miami. In his presentation, Alex emphasized the significance of leadership in the field of landscape architecture and aimed to inspire individuals at various stages of their careers, from students to seasoned professionals.

Alex began the talk by defining leadership as the ability to influence and guide decisions, groups of people, and initiatives. He expressed his passion for leadership within the landscape architecture profession and aimed to encourage and empower the audience to embark on their leadership journey. Using quotes as a narrative thread throughout the presentation, Alex drew inspiration from Walt Disney, highlighting the transformative power of leadership in shaping the world. He then connected this idea to the landscapes of wonder and beauty in Florida, stressing the responsibility landscape architects have in addressing challenges such as climate change, resilience, and sustainable development.

Alex underscored the broad impact of landscape architects, who, as leaders, play a crucial role in transforming natural resources into spaces that enhance communities. He acknowledged the challenges faced by landscape architects in advocating for their profession and navigating collaborations with allied professionals, legislators, and politicians. Alex delved into the multifaceted role of landscape architects as creators of physical, emotional, and mental spaces. He emphasized their advocacy for the growth of the profession and their involvement in impactful work beyond landscape architecture.

Alex highlighted the importance of design in leadership, emphasizing its role in influencing the success of projects. He shared anecdotes, like building a pirate ship-themed playground in Indiana, to illustrate the creative problem-solving landscape architects employ to meet client expectations. The talk explored the collaborative nature of the profession, emphasizing the importance of teamwork, respect, trust, and care for each other. Alex asserted that leaders are born in environments that foster visionary curiosity and collaboration, such as academic settings and professional workplaces.

Quoting Vince Lombardi, Alex emphasized the significance of teamwork and unity, asserting that success is not just about individual performance but how well individuals work together. He highlighted the role of professional organizations, encouraging audience members to engage beyond landscape architecture-centric groups. Alex challenged traditional notions of leadership, asserting that position and title don’t define a leader. True leadership, according to him, is about inspiring and motivating others to become their best selves. He urged the audience to lead humbly, with purpose and passion, contributing to the positive impact landscape architects can have on society.

In conclusion, Alex left the audience with a profound quote, emphasizing that the best leaders are those whose work is done so well that clients think they did it themselves. He encouraged landscape architects to embrace their role as leaders and take pride in the impact they can have on communities.

This video was filmed on January 23, 2024 as part of the Land8x8 Lightning Talks sponsored by Anova Furnishings.

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Published in Blog, Cover Story, Featured
Matt Alcide, Affiliate ASLA is the Editor of Land8

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