Explore ASLA 2021 Conference Education Sessions On-Demand

Inside the LA Studio with James Corner Field Operations is one of the 2021 education sessions now available on learn.asla.org. / image: Jason Mallory

If you missed ASLA 2021 in Nashville or ASLA 2022 in San Francisco this November still feels far off, check out the 37 education sessions from the 2021 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture available through ASLA Online Learning for Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™)-approved professional development hours (PDH).

They may be purchased as individual recordings or as packages, organized by track. Log in using your ASLA username and password for member discounts. ASLA Online Learning content, except for a few of the LARE Prep webinars, is free for Student ASLA members!

And in case you missed the 2021 general session, during which ASLA leaders Tom Mroz, FASLA, immediate past President, and Torey Carter-Conneen, CEO, answer the question What will ASLA look like in 2030?, the video is available to watch for free on Vimeo.

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Don’t Miss ASLA’s February Deadlines: Call for Presentations, a New SKILL | ED Workshop, and More

ASLA SKILL | ED Workshop

February may be a short month, but its last week is action-packed. First, the ASLA 2022 Call for Presentations closes later today, Tuesday, February 22, 2022. Then, this Friday, February 25, is the deadline to register to enter the ASLA Professional Awards, with submissions due March 18. And next Monday, February 28, is the deadline to apply for ASLA’s new SKILL | ED workshop, highlighted below.

Thoughtful Connections and Growing Impact is a 3-month business development series for emerging business owners and business development professionals. This workshop will coach professionals on how to build a business with purpose and intention. At the end of the workshop, you will have clear direction on how to create a business development plan, client engagement strategies to increase your project backlog, and the tools you need to create an accountability plan to keep you (or your team) on task.

This workshop is for you if:

  • You want to build your brand and attract your ideal clients.
  • You are looking for systems and processes to keep you focused and organized.
  • You are within the first five years of owning your own practice.
  • You are a business development professional in the landscape architecture industry.

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A New Design Guide for Nature Exploration Areas

by Lisa Howard, ASLA, and Willa Caughey

A child simultaneously developing fine and gross motor skills, executive function, and creative skills at Evergreen Brick Works. / image: Lisa Howard

For those with access, nature has been a healing salve throughout the pandemic—a safe space to interact with the outside world, stimulate the senses, and explore freely. But for the many without ready access to pockets of nature, the crisis served to amplify existing inequities and brought urgency to the already pressing need for more equal access to natural outdoor spaces, particularly for children.

Dedicated natural areas for children don’t need to be expansive or pristine to offer benefits, but access is key. Small pockets set aside for nature exploration that are within 15 minutes walking distance from children’s residences or schools can provide children daily or weekly access to experiences that regularly support their cognitive, physical, and social development in ways a traditional playground can’t.

Historically, children generally had more freedom to roam and explore their surrounding landscapes. From streets to backyards, vacant lots to forests, these unofficial spaces offered opportunities for children to learn, grow, and challenge themselves in an unstructured environment. Today, opportunities to play and explore in these types of landscapes have been significantly diminished by children’s increasingly structured lives, urban/suburban development, and the absence of “eyes on the street.” Nature Exploration Areas (NEAs) offer a model for reintroducing such landscapes—and their associated benefits—into children’s daily lives.

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Sharing the Poetics of Sustainable Landscapes

by Dr. Carl A. Smith, Int. ASLA

ASLA 2021 Professional General Design Award of Excellence. Natural History Museum of Utah: A Museum Without Walls. Salt Lake City, Utah. Design Workshop, Inc. / image: Brandon Huttenlocher/Design Workshop, Inc.

As well as sharing your experiences and expertise in the professional and technical aspects of sustainable and resilient landscapes, The Field can also be a place to share your interpretive and personal reflections on the environment at large, and on the shared challenges we are facing to reconcile the optimistic practice of design with the uncertainties inherent in the climate crisis.

Through photography, drawings, paintings, poems, as well as more-linear text, ASLA’s Sustainable Design & Development Professional Practice Network (PPN) leadership team encourages you to think about landscapes that have provoked a wonder of nature and an ecological conscience within you. Through practice, what places have you had a hand in creating that provide an immersive, aesthetic experience for users and, through that, might inculcate a sense of environmental wonder and responsibility? The PPN welcomes ASLA members to consider submissions for The Field that are your personal, forthright reflections on the challenges of navigating through the implementation of sustainable landscapes, as well as unapologetically aesthetically-biased and/or personal documentation of built works.

This new, broadened approach was highlighted in January’s wonderful post by Alli Wilson, Earth’s Due, which included her poem “This Earth is Due Diligence.” The post concluded with hints and tips for improving the environmental performance of projects, as well as lifting practice modes and behaviors. In that sense, Alli’s post offers both a rational and actionable focus common to most Professional Practice Network (PPN) posts, as well as something more creative and reflective. I suspect that this dual approach will chime with many of the readership whose environmental sensibilities, concerns, and aspirations cannot be fully captured by the technical and professional realm, nor perhaps with reflections on a single project.

As a little further context (and encouragement) to this new approach, I offer here a few thoughts on landscape-sustainability and place-aesthetics, and how the creative impulse might weave through sustainability thinking which, as I argued in a previous post, Sustainability, Urban Resilience, and False Resilience, remains a relevant aspirational concept.

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Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California: An Early Olmsted Design

by Chris Pattillo, FASLA

Cogswell monument left of center and typical curvilinear plot with variety of exotic trees / image: Chris Pattillo

The following article highlights the importance of documenting historic landscapes for perpetuity. For the 13th annual HALS Challenge competition, the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) invites you to document Olmsted Landscapes. 2022 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, social reformer and founder of American landscape architecture. By documenting Olmsted landscapes for HALS, you will increase public awareness of historic landscapes and illuminate Olmsted’s living legacy. Any site designed or planned in part or in full by Frederick Law Olmsted Sr., his firm, and the firm continued by his sons, John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted Junior, is eligible.

When one thinks of Olmsted, states like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, maybe Connecticut immediately come to mind, but not everyone associates the Olmsted firm with work in California, where I live. While the list of Olmsted designed projects in my state is relatively short—I’ve identified ten projects so far—some of Olmsted’s most notable and impactful work was done here in California.

Probably most notable is the planning work done for Yosemite National Park. Olmsted Sr. provided the original vision for Yosemite in 1865 and Olmsted Jr.’s statement of purpose for the National Park Service in 1916 laid the groundwork for our national park system.

The firm also developed early plans for two important university campuses in California: The University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University in Palo Alto.

One of Olmsted Senior’s earliest commissions was Mountain View Cemetery in my hometown. I documented it for HALS in 2009. For a person of such remarkable vision, it is hard to imagine that Olmsted Sr. had poor eyesight as a result of a childhood illness. It is that deficiency that kept him from fighting in the Civil War. Instead, Olmsted was charged with being an administrator setting up camp facilities for the troops, and it was this experience that later led him to be hired by John C. Fremont to manage a mining camp at the Mariposa Gold Mine in California. Olmsted arrived in Bear Valley, California, in August of 1863 and was immediately put off by what he found—a community ruled by violence, alcoholism, and exploitation. Not long after his arrival the mine closed and it was at this time that the Mountain View trustees invited him to lay out their new cemetery.

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Ecology & Restoration PPN Conference Recap and Call for Member Input

by Sohyun Park, ASLA, SITES AP, and Elyna Grapstein, Student ASLA

The Ecology & Restoration Professional Practice Network (PPN) campfire session in Nashville / image: Jason Mallory

During the ASLA 2021 Conference on Landscape Architecture in Nashville, Elyna Grapstein, Student ASLA, and Sohyun Park, ASLA, SITES AP, hosted the Ecology & Restoration Professional Practice Network (PPN) campfire session on the EXPO floor. It brought together approximately 30 participants, including students, faculty, and design professionals, for an engaging 45-minute discussion.

During this small-group, informal session, attendees participated in a mind-mapping exercise and were encouraged to list the things that were most important to them regarding restoration initiatives. The exercise prompted a group conversation about common restoration oversights.

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Shanghai Landscape Forum: The Future of Landscape

by Lee Parks, CMLI, International ASLA

The 8th Shanghai Landscape Forum was successfully held on the afternoon of December 4, 2021 at 800-Show, a Creative Park in Jing’an District, Shanghai. The event was broadcast on four live media platforms, which received the attention of the public and many peers. / image: Shanghai Jingan International Design Festival

The community of international practitioners in China represents a dynamic group of current and future landscape architects forging collaborations and deeper connections with people and organizations that share similar values to ASLA and serve the landscape profession.

In August 2021, the three founding firms of the Shanghai Landscape Forum (SLF)—Sasaki, SWA, and AECOM—met to share ideas and focus on issues that will shape the future of international practice as China advances use of technology and strives to address climate change and restore its natural environment. The 8th Shanghai Landscape Forum theme grew out of those discussions and led to ‘The Future of Landscape,’ which was held on the afternoon of December 4, 2021 after multiple delays due to the continuous disruption from COVID. As the forum could not be attended by a live audience, the event was broadcast on four live broadcast platforms, which received the attention of the public and many peers, with some 6,000 views of the live broadcast.

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Share Your Ideas at #ASLA2022 in San Francisco: Three Weeks Left to Submit

Share your expertise at the #ASLA2022 Conference in San Francisco. Submit proposals by February 22. / image: Shen Pan on Unsplash

Call for Presentations for the ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture
Deadline: Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at 12:00 NOON PT

The American Society of Landscape Architects is accepting proposals for the 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Francisco, November 11-14. Help us shape the 2022 education program by submitting a proposal through our online system by Tuesday, February 22.

ASLA seeks education proposals that will help to drive change in the field of landscape architecture and provide solutions to everyday challenges informed by research and practice. Education tracks include:

  • Changing the Culture in Practice
  • Design and the Creative Process
  • Design Implementation
  • Leadership, Career Development, and Business
  • Olmsted & Beyond: Practice in Progress
  • Planning, Urban Design, and Infrastructure
  • Resilience and Stewardship
  • Technology: Trends and Workflow

Allied professionals are encouraged to both submit presentations and speak but are not required to be members of ASLA. Landscape architecture professionals (graduates of a landscape architecture program recognized by ASLA) wishing to present must be active members of ASLA.

Education session speakers selected from this process will receive a full complimentary registration to the Conference on Landscape Architecture.

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