ASLA 2012 – Several events related to health and well-being

Desert Botanic Garden, Phoenix, AZ. Ottosen Entry Garden.
Desert Botanic Garden, Phoenix, AZ. Ottosen Entry Garden.
image: DBG

Time flies, and it seems to fly even faster in the summer. Fall is just around the corner, and seems to be a big conference season.

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of education sessions, tours, and even keynote speakers (e.g., Dick Jackson AND Esther Sternberg in 2010) at ASLA conferences (and Healthcare Design, and Environments for Aging, etc.). I think it’s an encouraging indication of the growing interest in landscapes for human health and well-being, and also a credit to leaders and members of ASLA’s Healthcare and Therapeutic Design Professional Practice Network.

Below is a list of sessions that may be of interest.

ASLA 2012 Annual Meeting and Expo
8/28 – 10/1, 2012
Phoenix, AZ

Therapeutic Gardens For Healing and Respite
Fri, 9/28: 7:00 AM  – 4:00 PM
Field Session (tour)
Organized by Phoenix landscape architects with a special interest in outdoor healing environments, this tour focuses on five healing gardens, including designs by ASLA Award recipients Kris Floor, FASLA and Christy Ten Eyck, FASLA. Experience how these gardens enhance well-being, not only for healing patients, but also for their families and caregivers.
Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the positive impacts of gardens in healthcare settings.
  • Evaluate the physical, psychological, and social benefits of outdoor spaces.
  • Review the process of post-occupancy evaluation of various garden areas.

The photo above is of Banner Good Samaritan Health Center, one of the gardens on the tour. For a great guest blog post by Brice Bradley about several healing gardens in and near Phoenix, see “Therapy in the Desert.”

Education Sessions:

Bridging the Landscape Of Autism
Fri, 9/28: 8:30 AM  – 10:00 AM
Brian Johnson, Vincent Lattanzio, Julie Sando, and Tara Vincenta
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are increasingly present today, and this session will clarify the many related opportunities and obstacles this presents in place-making. It will suggest best-management practices to accommodate and integrate individual needs in private and public spaces during analysis and conceptual design.
Learning Objectives:

  • Create mutual and self respect for the entire community through education and accommodation.
  • Improve communication by connecting individuals with ASD to the rest of the community.
  • Provide sensory integration and reduce isolation in increments each child can control.

Have We Taken the “Play” Out of Playgrounds?
Sun, 9/30, 11:00 AM  – 12:30 PM
Walter Hood and Warren Byrd
Can we design safe playgrounds that promote adventure and imagination, or have we become overzealous with safety? Participants will explore case studies with landscape architects and clients that reflect the conflicts of design creativity, civic planning, community interaction, and protective parenting in a litigious world.
Learning Objectives:

  • Explore current trends and issues affecting playground design, including safety and accessibility.
  • Learn how designers can work with regulations without sacrificing the play in playgrounds.
  • Increase knowledge of how designers work with civic clients and communities for playgrounds.

Inside the LA Studio with Jinny Blom Landscape Design
(Jinny serves on the TLN Advisory Board and has a background in psychotherapy. She designed the Healing Garden with HRH Prince Charles of Wales for the Chelsea Garden Show in 2002.)
Sun, 9/30: 1:30 PM  – 3:00 PM
Jinny Blom’s involves meticulous attention to the structure of a garden or landscape so that the overlay expresses its true spontaneous nature. Designs express sound proportions, intelligent planting, and fine materials, from which comes the freedom to suit any and every circumstance.
Learning Objectives:

  • Develop the process of “breakdown and repair” at every level of coherent and intelligent thinking.
  • Value the true worth of all involved: people, place, materials, and all forms of life.
  • Consider matters beyond the span of our own lives.

Health By Design: Best Practices in Hospital and Senior Living Gardens
Mon, 10/1, 10:00 AM  – 11:30 AM
Teresia Hazen and Mark Epstein
(Teresia and Mark also serve on the TLN Advisory Board)
Many healthcare facilities are integrating previously under-appreciated outdoor environments into their wellness strategy, with these new natural settings labeled as healing or therapeutic gardens. This session examines the issues surrounding healthcare gardens and evaluates why some succeed while others may fail.
Learning Objectives:

  • Describe changes in medical models and how they affect healthcare design.
  • Learn the processes and constraints of designing in the healthcare field.
  • Evaluate gardens to identify areas for improvement and missed opportunities.

See you in Phoenix!

by Naomi Sachs

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