For those of you able to attend the ASLA Annual Meeting in Chicago this fall, I hope you took advantage of the many opportunities to learn about, discuss and experience great campus planning and design, and network with colleagues. The first day of the conference featured a field session to the University of Chicago. Richard Bumstead, FASLA, and his colleagues led a mix of classroom and on-site discussions that showcased both techniques and results of their sustainable campus management and innovative site design.
Over the next couple of days there were a number of excellent education sessions addressing campus design and planning issues including “Resiliency in University Planning: Risks and Opportunities,” “Collaboration, Preservation, and Pedagogy: Planning and Designing Today’s Academic Campus,” and “A Dynamic Legacy: The University of Washington Campus Landscape Framework Plan.” The ASLA Professional and Student Awards Ceremony recognized one new campus landscape this year: an Honor Award in the Residential Design category for MassArt Residence Hall by Ground Inc. at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Situated along Boston’s “Avenue of the Arts,” the landscape builds on public street life to reshape its public identity, create a new center for student life, and reflect the school’s design focus.
The annual meeting of our Campus Planning and Design PPN, held on Saturday on the EXPO floor, had 49 attendees (an all-time PPN record), which is 10% of our current PPN membership of 489. This gathering provided an opportunity for PPN members to share issues or accomplishments through brief presentations, and once again the diversity, quality, and content of the presentations did not disappoint. Thank you to each of our participants: Bruce Maw, ASLA, Brigham Young University; Jonathan Ceci, ASLA, Ayers Saint Gross; Laura Tenny, ASLA, MIT Office of Campus Planning; Dean Gregory, ASLA, University of British Columbia; Krista Grote, Associate ASLA, Stanford University; Cheri Ruane, ASLA, Spurr Design Studio; and Jennifer Daniels, ASLA, Smithsonian Zoo. You can find some of these presentations on the Resources section of our PPN webpage.
A few of us also stayed an extra day after the close of the conference to take an informal tour of Northwestern University’s Main Campus led by campus landscape designer Ann Ziegelmaier. In addition to experiencing many of the recent developments on campus, we were able to have insightful conversations with their Grounds and Facilities staff about some of the policies, procedures, and issues that they have been addressing on campus.
As we look ahead to 2016, let me first extend a huge thank you to Dean Gregory, who has served as PPN Chair for the last two years; his vision and leadership has continued to build a strong Campus Planning and Design community within ASLA. As our PPN community continues to grow, I would like to create additional leadership opportunities for members to develop their skills and contribute to the PPN, perhaps as a co-chair or blog editor or event planner. If you have ideas for how the PPN can better serve us, or are looking for an opportunity for personal and professional growth, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Let me close with a couple opportunities for your consideration:
- ASLA has announced the Call for Presentations for the 2016 Annual Meeting and EXPO. Let’s continue the trend of excellent education sessions addressing campus planning and design issues. If you have an idea for a presentation, but would like some co-presenters, consider starting a conversation on our LinkedIn page. The deadline for education session proposals is January 28, 2016, and detailed information is available online. The 2016 meeting will take place October 21-24 in New Orleans at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.
- The 2016 SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture Awards is soliciting submittals in 2 categories: General Design (for built projects) and Open Space Planning and Design (which don’t have to be implemented or built). Submittals are due February 26, 2016; for more details, see SCUP’s Awards website.
- Let’s make sure we are taking full advantage of the communication tools and educational opportunities that ASLA provides to our PPN. Any member of our PPN can submit posts for The Field, the blog for ASLA’s PPNs; we are expected to author at least 4 posts over the course of the year. We also have the opportunity to produce ASLA Online Learning presentations that provide LA CES-approved professional development hours. And always feel free to start a conversation or ask a question using our LinkedIn group.
Looking forward to a productive and fulfilling 2016 both on and off the campus.
by David Cutter, ASLA, Campus Planning and Design PPN Chair