Landscapes by Day & Night

ASLA 2010 Professional General Design Honor Award. The Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University, Houston, TX. The Office of James Burnett / image: Paul Hester

When we asked ASLA Professional Practice Network (PPN) members what landscape they find just as spectacular at night as during the day, a few responded that any landscape looks just as amazing no matter the time of day, while others felt that no landscape looks quite as good at night as during the day. Between these two extremes were another set of contrasts: the magic of places without light pollution, where people can take in the “beauty of the natural night sky,” and how vibrant cities can be at night. Both types of settings dominate the most popular responses:

  • New York City, with Central Park and Bryant Park mentioned most often
  • The National Mall in Washington, DC, with the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial mentioned
  • Chicago, specifically the waterfront, North Shore Drive, and Millennium Park
  • Paris, especially the courtyard of the Louvre
  • Beaches
  • Deserts

While the skillful use of lighting and the presence of water were key motifs among the most popular nighttime settings, some members praised enjoying the evening no matter where you are: “Mystery and theatrical power are enhanced at night.” We also asked members what made these spaces so captivating, whether seen by night or by day.

Continue reading

Oh, For the Love of Butterflies (and Children)!

The Bayscape Garden at Pot Spring Elementary School, Baltimore County, MD – May 29, 2017 / image: Tobi Louise Kester

Every year, Pot Spring Elementary School in Baltimore County, Maryland is faced with what seems to be a big problem. Their Bayscape Garden, where the kids are given hands-on experience with plants, insects, birds, and butterflies, looks something like this:

The Bayscape Garden at Pot Spring Elementary School, Baltimore County, MD – April, 2016 / image: Tobi Louise Kester

Located immediately adjacent to the school’s back door, the garden’s proximity to the pre-K, kindergarten, and 1st grade classrooms is no accident…it’s meant to be a part of the learning environment of the school. But each spring, after the snow melts and the mostly herbaceous plants have been dormant for many months, the Bayscape is a far cry from the vibrant, colorful, and exciting place of adventure the students might imagine when they think of gardens. It looks abandoned and forlorn, a mess that is almost lost in the open space of the school yard. It looks like it doesn’t have much potential for anything besides becoming a bigger mess!

But, as a landscape architect, I know better. I can envision the possibilities of lush vegetation, brimming with life. I see a pathway that leads through the garden, and maybe even a hideaway for quiet viewing of ecology in action (and the blending of science and artistic expression) on a personal scale. I can see children smelling the brightly colored flowers, hearing the birds, touching the delicate (yet somehow tenaciously strong) leaves, and excitedly watching the caterpillars eating the milkweeds, then forming their chrysalises, and transforming into delicate butterflies. I can see it because I’ve helped the School staff, other volunteers, and children of Pot Spring create it before!

Continue reading

Annual Meeting Education Session Highlights, Part 2

Santa Monica’s Tongva Park, featured in the ASLA Annual Meeting field session Connecting Across the I-10 Divide: Tongva Park and the Colorado Esplanade / image: Alexandra Hay

The 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO begins tomorrow, October 20! In addition to the events planned for PPN Live, each Professional Practice Network (PPN) Leadership Team also reviews the Annual Meeting education program to highlight sessions relevant to their practice areas. With over 130 courses, allowing attendees to earn up to 21 Professional Development Hours (PDH), it is an extensive program to explore, and you can do so through the Annual Meeting website and mobile app by title, speaker, topic area, and PDH type (LA CES/HSW, LA CES/non-HSW, AIA, AICP, CMAA, FL, GBCI CE, GBCI SITES, ISA, NY, etc.).

Below, we run through the second half of these education highlights (see the sessions picked by ASLA’s 10 other PPNs in our previous post):

Continue reading

Annual Meeting Education Session Highlights, Part 1

The view of Los Angeles’ City Hall from Grand Park / image: S. Greg Panosian

The 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO begins this Friday! In addition to the events planned for PPN Live, each Professional Practice Network (PPN) Leadership Team also reviews the Annual Meeting education program to highlight sessions relevant to their practice areas. With over 130 courses, allowing attendees to earn up to 21 Professional Development Hours (PDH), it is an extensive program to explore, and you can do so through the Annual Meeting website and mobile app by title, speaker, topic area, and PDH type (LA CES/HSW, LA CES/non-HSW, AIA, AICP, CMAA, FL, GBCI CE, GBCI SITES, ISA, NY, etc.).

Below, we run through the first half of these education highlights (stay tuned for sessions picked by ASLA’s 10 other PPNs this Thursday):

Continue reading

Professional Practice Network Meetings Preview

The Professional Practice Networks at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO / image: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)

The 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO is nearly here! Here’s a look at what’s planned for the Professional Practice Network (PPN) events in Los Angeles. Through PPN Live, you will get a chance to network with colleagues from all 20 Professional Practice Networks throughout the annual meeting weekend in a central location on the EXPO floor. Make the most of your PPN experience at the meeting by setting your own agenda:

  • Participate in a PPN Live session – PPN meetings take place on the EXPO floor throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, and include a variety of formats: invited speakers, fast-paced presentations, networking sessions, and more.
  • Attend a PPN EXPO Tour – Returning this year, don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn more about our exhibitors’ services and design solutions in tours led by subject matter experts around the EXPO floor. See the tour schedule here!
  • Network with your PPN peers at the EXPO Reception featuring the PPNs on Sunday from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. It’s free to all registered annual meeting attendees, and non-PPN members are welcome to attend.

PPN Meetings

Already a member of one PPN, but curious about another? Or not sure which PPN to choose (all ASLA members receive one PPN membership for free)? You are welcome to attend as many as you like! All PPN meetings take place in PPN Live on the EXPO floor, and are open to all attendees.

Saturday, October 21

9:15 – 10:00 am

10:00 – 10:45 am

12:45 – 1:30 pm

1:30 – 2:15 pm

Sunday October 22

9:15 – 10:00 am

10:00 – 10:45 am

12:45 – 1:30 pm

1:30 – 2:15 pm

Continue reading

Special Events at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO

The 2016 Women in Landscape Architecture Walk in New Orleans, part of the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO. This year’s WILA Walk in Los Angeles will take place on Monday, October 23 – don’t miss it! / image: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)

In addition to a full slate of Professional Practice Network (PPN) Meetings and PPN EXPO Tours set to take place during the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles, here are two special events to add to your annual meeting plans: the EXPO Reception featuring the PPNs on Sunday, October 22, and the Women in Landscape Architecture (WILA) Walk on Monday, October 23.

EXPO Reception featuring the PPNs
Sunday, October 22, 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Free for all meeting registrants. Meeting badge required. Non-registrants may purchase an EXPO-only pass at onsite at registration or on the ASLA mobile app ($85, professionals; $20, students, with valid student ID).

Networking doesn’t just happen online! Join fellow PPN members in person to make connections with friends and colleagues and discuss how they are contributing to the landscape architecture profession.

Two PPN EXPO Tours are also scheduled for 4:30 – 5:30 pm during the reception—Parks & Recreation and Planting Design. These are show floor tours designed to highlight PPN topic areas, offering attendees the opportunity to learn about new and improved techniques and how these improvements and services can assist in creating a successful design project. Tours will provide one professional development hour (PDH) for attendees. Tour sign-up and departure take place at PPN Live on the EXPO floor, and tours will be available to the first 30 participants to sign up. See our previous Field post for more information on all 9 PPN EXPO Tours scheduled to take place October 21-22.

Continue reading

Coming Up in Los Angeles: PPN EXPO Tours

Tiffany Kafka, of Kafka Granite, presents to the Ecology & Restoration PPN EXPO Tour in New Orleans at the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO. Attendees learned about the options for landscape architects to consider when selecting pathway materials for trails, walkways, and bike paths. / image: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)

Returning this year after a successful debut in New Orleans in 2016, don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn more right on the EXPO floor at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles. The Professional Practice Network (PPN) EXPO Tours are show floor tours designed to highlight PPN topic areas. The tours offer attendees the opportunity to learn about new and improved techniques and how these improvements and services can assist in creating a successful design project.

Tours will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22, during EXPO hours and will provide one professional development hour (PDH) for attendees. Tour sign-up and departure will take place at PPN Live on the EXPO floor, and tours will be available to the first 30 participants to sign up.

ASLA will offer annual meeting attendees 9 PPN EXPO Tours this year, each for 1.0 PDH LA CES/HSW:

Saturday, October 21

Sunday, October 22

See below for more information on each tour, or click the tour title above to jump ahead to that tour’s information.

Continue reading

Places with Potential

ASLA 2017 Professional Research Honor Award. Rendering Los Angeles Green: The Greenways to Rivers Arterial Stormwater System (GRASS), Los Angeles, CA. 606 Studio Cal Poly Pomona / image: 606 GRASS I Team, Cal Poly Pomona

When we asked ASLA’s Professional Practice Network (PPN) members what place has the most potential to be transformed by landscape architecture, the top answer was perfectly clear: cities came up again and again in the responses. Specific cities that were mentioned include Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle, Oakland, Utica, Washington, DC, and Hong Kong.

Many responses also called out specific urban areas that are especially good places for landscape architects to rethink:

“Cities, particularly vacant/underused publicly owned land.”

“Cities/brownfields and other abused urban spaces.”

“Historic landscapes of urban centers.”

“Inner city housing.”

“Leftover urban spaces: rights-of-way, utility easements, artificial drainage ‘improvements.’”

“Old, worn-out city parks.”

“Urban streetscapes.”

Continue reading