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”
“People with great vision and free spirit”
“People who put their talents to work to solve problems while putting their ego on the shelf”
“Field biologists / conservationists”
“Professionals in public interest design”
“Musicians and chefs”
“I get glints of inspirations from almost everyone at different times.”
Among the more personal sources of inspiration named were:
“My children—to make things better and more enjoyable for them in future”
“Peers within the field”
“LA students eager to change the world”
“The women from my MLA degree class”
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
Edward O. Wilson
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.