Who Inspires You?

At the Hudson's Edge: Beacon's Long Dock a Resilient Riverfront Park, Beacon, NY, Reed Hilderbrand LLC, 2015 Professional ASLA Award of Excellence, General Design Category image: James Ewing Photography
At the Hudson’s Edge: Beacon’s Long Dock a Resilient Riverfront Park, Beacon, NY, Reed Hilderbrand LLC, 2015 Professional ASLA Award of Excellence, General Design Category
image: James Ewing Photography

Who inspires you? The brevity of the first question we asked Professional Practice Network (PPN) members in the 2015 PPN survey belies the breadth, depth, and diversity of the responses received, which ranged from specific individuals to larger groups, and from historical figures to contemporary practitioners.

The most popular answers were family members, artists, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Piet Oudolf. Inspiring landscape architects that appeared among the responses included: Andrea Cochran, FASLA; Christine Ten Eyck, FASLA; Douglas Reed, FASLA, and Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA; Dan Kiley; James Corner, ASLA; James Urban, FASLA; Julie Bargmann, ASLA; Kathryn Gustafson, FASLA; Laurie Olin, FASLA; Martha Schwartz, FASLA; Mia Lehrer, FASLA; Michael Van Valkenburgh, FASLA; Susannah Drake, FASLA; Signe Nielsen, FASLA; and Walter Hood.

Many members also responded with a broader category, rather than a specific individual:

“Artists of all media”

“Ancient Chinese garden designers”

“Aspirational thinkers”

“People with great vision and free spirit”

“People who put their talents to work to solve problems while putting their ego on the shelf”

“Nature writers”

“Field biologists / conservationists”

“Environmental activists”

“Professionals in public interest design”

“Musicians and chefs”

“I get glints of inspirations from almost everyone at different times.”

The Qinhuangdao Beach Restoration: An Ecological Surgery, Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, China, Turenscape, 2010 Professional ASLA Honor Award, General Design Category image: Turenscape
The Qinhuangdao Beach Restoration: An Ecological Surgery, Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, China, Turenscape, 2010 Professional ASLA Honor Award, General Design Category
image: Turenscape

Among the more personal sources of inspiration named were:

“My children—to make things better and more enjoyable for them in future”

“Co-workers”

“Peers within the field”

“Mentors—previous employers”

“LA students eager to change the world”

“Landscape professors”

“The women from my MLA degree class”

The Dignity of Restraint: A Historic Landscape Preservation Study for the University of North Carolina, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, 2011 Professional ASLA Honor Award, Analysis and Planning Category image: Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects
The Dignity of Restraint: A Historic Landscape Preservation Study for the University of North Carolina, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, 2011 Professional ASLA Honor Award, Analysis and Planning Category
image: Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects

Other responses—from professors to architects and artists—included:

Achva Benzingberg Stein, FASLA

Dr. Greg McPherson, ASLA, of the US Forest Service—champions trees as essential urban infrastructure

Elizabeth Meyer, FASLA

Kongjian Yu, FASLA

Peter del Tredici

Aldo Leopold

Edward O. Wilson

Gus Speth

Maya Lin

Lake|Flato Architects

Tadao Ando

William Whyte

Sheryl Sandberg

Michael Pollan

Teddy Roosevelt

Thomas Church

Thomas Moran

At the start of 2015, a questionnaire was sent out to members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs). The theme: creativity and inspired design. As you can imagine, responses were varied, and included many insightful comments and suggestions. Synopses of the survey results were originally shared in LAND over the course of 2015, and we are now re-posting this information here on The Field. For the latest updates on the results of the annual PPN Survey, see LAND’s PPN News section.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s