US Capitol Building
US Capitol Building
image: Architect of the Capitol

Take a look at your business card. How do you identify yourself as a landscape architect? RLA? LLA? CLA?  How about PLA?

Last fall, ASLA approved the Universal Designation Policy, which encourages all licensed landscape architects to use the post nominal letters “PLA” after their names. As an abbreviation of the title “professional landscape architect,” PLA allows potential clients and the general public to better identify licensed landscape architects.

Until now, there has been no uniform way for a licensed (or registered) landscape architect to indicate that he or she is licensed. Many use RLA, LLA, PLA, LA, or CLA to signify licensure. Those who have not yet been licensed often use MLA or BLA. Some landscape architects licensed in more than one state face choosing between LLA and RLA.

Continue reading

A Dinosaur in the Digital Age

CAD drawing of Overlook at The Yards Park
CAD drawing of overlook options for The Yards Park
image: M. Paul Friedberg

M. Paul Friedberg, FASLA has transitioned into the digital age and urges other older professionals to find the freedom he has discovered.

He has practiced landscape architecture for 54 years and has designed many memorable places such as Pershing Park in Washington, DC.  He has seen the tools of the profession transformed from hand drawings, watercolors and slide rules to the use of calculators and digitally produced drawings.  He started our conversation by stating “You’re talking to a dinosaur.”  He is an octogenarian landscape architect who is using CAD for his professional work.  Here are Paul’s viewpoints on his use of technology in practice based on two extended conversations with him.

Continue reading

2012 Healthcare Design Conference, November 3-6, Phoenix, Arizona

image Healthcare Design
image Healthcare Design

Phoenix, AZ offers another conference opportunity for those interested in the design of therapeutic facilities and healing landscapes:

The HEALTHCARE DESIGN Conference is the premier event devoted to how the design of responsibly built environments directly impact the safety, operation, clinical outcomes, and financial success of healthcare facilities now and into the future. With over 4100 participants at the 2011 HEATHCARE DESIGN Conference, this is the industry’s best-attended conference where attendees can earn up to 24 continuing education credits, network with peers, and influence the direction of the industry as it advances into the future.

There are a number of sessions related to the field of landscape architecture.

Continue reading

2012 HALS Challenge Update

Mission Santa Inés
Mission Santa Inés
image: HALS

HALS received 20 short form historical report entries for the 2012 HALS Challenge: Documenting the American Latino Landscape.

Sponsored by HALS, cash prizes will again be awarded to the top three submissions. Results will be announced at the Phoenix September 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo during the HALS Meeting.

Good luck to this year’s competitors and thank you for contributing such wonderful documentation projects to the HALS Collection at the Library of Congress!

Continue reading

reserve your seat on the bus

Good Sam__Rick Spalenka
Banner Gateway Hospital
image: Rick Spalenka

Field Session Focus: Therapeutic Gardens for Healing and Respite (FS003)

ASLA 2012, Phoenix, AZ


When: Friday, September 28, 7am-4pm

Leaders/Speakers; Seth Placko, Naomi Sachs, Jena Ponti Jauchius, Rick Spalenka, and Kristina Floor

PDH Credits: 5.5

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. Tour destinations include gardens at BannerGoodSamaritanHospital, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, ScottsdaleHealthcareThompsonPeakHospital, BannerGatewayHospital, and MercyGilbertHospital.

Continue reading

Concrete Courtyard to Healing Garden

Mercy Southwest Hospital courtyard
Mercy Southwest Hospital courtyard
Image: John Harte

As the current chair of the Healthcare and Therapeutic Design PPN, I was contacted by a writer from the Bakersfield Californian newspaper who was writing an article on one of Bakersfield Mercy Hospital’s new healthcare gardens. Please take a look at the article to discover what is happening in Bakersfield.  Healthcare gardens are replacing dehumanizing concrete entryways.

by:  Rick Spalenka

The Spaniel in the Spirea

Dog pads in South Lake Union Seattle image: Dean Koonts
Dog pads in South Lake Union Seattle
image: Dean Koonts

On my twenty minute walk to work through the streets of downtown Seattle in the morning, I came across an adorable and very well-trained Spaniel with her owner.  She kept exactly to her owner’s side; no pulling on the leash, no jumping on strangers, no barking at pedestrians. She sat at the intersection patiently waiting for the traffic signal to change and continue her journey through the concrete wilderness. Being impressed that this owner obviously took the time to train his dog well, I witnessed the inevitable doggie squat and deposit — and then the pair just kept on walking. No doggie bag, no pooper-scooper, no acknowledgement that they littered the sidewalk. Unfortunately, this is a common scene in less crowded streets that lack the social pressure of the many eyes of passers-by. “So what’s the big deal?” you might be thinking, and “How does this relate to urban landscapes and design?” Great questions. Let’s build the case starting with that first question.

Continue reading

What is your Favorite public space?

image:  Free Press Houston
image: Free Press Houston

As a way to take the pulse of the profession and gather information from the field, we will be conducting periodic surveys. We are kicking off this effort with a survey on public spaces. You often see organizations such as Project for Public Spaces, web sites like Planetizen, and magazines such as Dwell and Travel & Leisure, publish lists and rankings of the best public spaces. ASLA would like to know what the people who design these spaces think.

Please tell us which public space you most admire for its high quality of design: survey closes September 30th.