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Beyond the Certification: Weaving Ecosystem Services Into Every Landscape [Video]

At the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Miami, landscape architect Patricia Matamoros challenges the notion that sustainability and resilience should be niche concepts in landscape architecture. She emphasizes that ecosystem services should be at the core of every project undertaken by landscape architects, rather than being considered a subcategory. Patricia advocates for a shift in design approach towards understanding the symbiotic relationship between resilience and ecosystem services. She argues that this shift invites exploration of the hidden benefits that all landscape architecture projects can provide. To achieve this, she highlights the Sustainable Sites Initiative as a framework enabling the implementation of nature-based solutions aligned with site resilience. One of the projects she...Read More

Generative AI for Landscape Architecture [Video]

At the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Miami, Rocio Martinez, a landscape architect and visual artist, delved into the innovative realm of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and its profound implications for the field of landscape architecture. The presentation unfolded with Rocio sharing her initial experiment with artificial intelligence, showcasing a comparison between her original artwork and a replica generated using generative AI. This demonstration underscored the capacity of AI to mimic and reinterpret artistic concepts, offering intriguing possibilities for creative exploration within the field. Rocio explained the concept of generative AI, emphasizing its reliance on vast datasets encompassing images, videos, and music. However, she highlighted the potential issue of copyright in...Read More

Data + Design [Video]

At the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Miami, Devon King delivered a presentation on the integration of data and design in landscape architecture, emphasizing the importance of workflow, collaboration, and utilizing various software tools. As a landscape architect at EDSA in Fort Lauderdale, Devon shares insights into how data-informed design processes are transforming the industry. The presentation begins with Devon expressing excitement about discussing data-informed design, workflow, and tools utilized in landscape architecture. She highlights the goal of utilizing software without dead ends, exemplified by the transition from Rhino to Revit for documentation purposes. Devon discusses the utilization of data for visualization, analysis, and collaboration, showcasing projects where various so...Read More

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 le...Read More

Identity, Innovation, Impact: Landscape Architects Shaping Climate Solutions [Video]

During the Land8x8 Lightning Talks, landscape architect Robert Curtis of Curtis + Rogers Design Studio shares insights gained from almost five years in the landscape architecture profession. He highlights the challenges faced in addressing the climate crisis within the built environment sector, emphasizing perceived limitations and barriers to influence. Robert categorizes the landscape architect’s influence into three spheres: personal, political, and practical. Personal influence involves individual values, political influence addresses structural and systemic factors affecting the design process, and practical influence focuses on implementing design through actions. The speaker identifies barriers such as limited budgets, lack of coordination, cultural values, and regulatory chal...Read More

Call for Art! Arts Planning and Infrastructure in the Public Realm [Video]

During the Land8x8 Lightning Talks, Ashley Pelletier of Sasaki shared their Dumke Arts Plaza project as an example of collaboration and new ways of thinking and designing for public art spaces. Public art has become an increasingly important element in landscape architecture projects, with its ability to enhance public spaces and create unique experiences. However, the integration of public art presents both challenges and opportunities. There are complexities and considerations of incorporating public art within landscape architecture, using the Dumke Arts Plaza as a compelling example. Public art is a diverse and multifaceted realm, ranging from temporary to permanent installations, kinetic sculptures to visual art, and much more. As landscape architects, it is crucial to comprehend the ...Read More

Farm Park: Regenerative Landscape [Video]

Diane Lipovsky, principal and co-founder of the studio Superbloom, joined the Land8x8 Lightning Talks to highlight the creative potential and precedent of her firm’s project, the 1881 Farm Park in Aurora, CO. Whether future park visitors choose to dine at the farm-to-fork restaurant, vend at the local market space, or borrow tools from the seed and tool library, the 1881 Farm Park project aims to educate and engage people with all levels of farming experience. “Our mission is simple: we must harness the power of the Earth itself” – Kiss the Ground documentary, 2020. In the context of climate instability, productive landscapes are bountiful and necessary, particularly in the southwest region. Located directly south of the Denver International Airport, the park become...Read More

Neuro-Inclusive Spaces [Video]

Kathryn (Katie) Finnigan is a MLA Candidate at the University of Denver, the 2022 National LAF Olmsted Scholar, and a LAF Fellow for Innovation and Leadership. She observes that existing public spaces and environments are not designed with attention to the needs of neurodivergent individuals or communities. In light of this, Katie joined the Land8x8 Lightning Talks to showcase her qualitative research and Inclusive Design Toolkit. Her aim is to spark ideas and provide guidance on how landscape architecture can advance the profession while considering the diverse relationships individuals have with their community and the outdoors. Katie’s work aims to determine how outdoor environments can provide sensory support for neurodivergent populations through design interventions and real-wo...Read More

Urban Steppe [Video]

Emmanuel Didier is a landscape architect, artist, and the founding principal of Didier Design Studio. He teaches graduate level design courses at the University of Colorado Denver in Auraria, CO where his current research project, “The Living Urban Campus Initiative”,  is coming to life in partnership with the dean of the College of Architecture and Planning. The initiative aims to uncover the possibilities of designing within “urban steppe” landscapes, while simultaneously creating enjoyable campus spaces for students, faculty, and visitors.  At the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Denver, Didier set the scene by flashing two images on the screen. On the left, you see lush turf lawn covering Harvard’s campus in Cambridge, while on the right, you see an image of UC Denver’s cam...Read More

Colorado Brightfields [Video]

Scott Carman is an assistant professor of landscape architecture and urban design at Colorado State University. He joined the Land8x8 Lightning Talks to speak about his recent research and advocacy project, the Colorado Brightfields Initiative. The research project began in 2018 after Governor Jared Polis, aimed to set the state of Colorado on a path to 100% renewable energy generation by 2040.  The term “brightfield” was coined in 2012 by the EPA to describe contaminated or disturbed sites, such as brownfields, with the potential to be converted for renewable energy generation. One example can be seen as photovoltaic panels harvest solar energy over the former Hickory Ridge Landfill in Conley, Georgia. Because of the large land areas needed for renewable energy farms, land use...Read More

Next Generation Playscapes! [Video]

Sara Bonacquist is a landscape architect at Design Workshop in Denver. As a landscape architect, she understands the importance of playgrounds and outdoor play environments for children. These are critical spaces where kids experiment, find joy, express creativity, collaborate with other kids, and find community. At the Land8x8 Lightning Talks, Sara noted the responsibility and influence landscape architects have over the outdoor spaces that shape the next generation of play. “We have come a long way, but the fundamental play theories discussed are the same. We need to design mentally and physically challenging places, based in specific places/contexts, that are safe, but still fun, and accessible to everyone.” Sara recounts some of the earliest play theories: The earliest American and Eur...Read More

Shifting Paradigms: Collaboration in Practice [Video]

At the Land8x8 Lightning Talks in Denver, CO, Founder + Principal of Studio Siembra, Magdalena (Maggie) Aravena, offered insight into how the practice of landscape architecture can be transformed by new models of collaboration. A first-generation Chilean, her service and practice have always revolved around people. “Siembra,” her firm name, stems from the Spanish word “to sow” – “Sowing seeds of optimism, resilience, and beauty is what we’re doing, or what we should be doing with practice.”  Recognized as ASLA’s 2021 recipient of the Emerging Professional Medal, Magdalena is an admired professional within the Landscape Architecture community. With seven years of previous landscape architecture experience, Maggie knew there was potential to think outside of the box when it came to the futur...Read More

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