Practice Basecamp at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Francisco earlier this month was the EXPO’s hub for a range of practice-focused programming, including fast-paced Game Changer talks and presentations on ASLA’s Climate Action Plan. Today we are taking a look back at the campfire sessions and presentations organized by ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs). These events were opportunities to meet and network with other ASLA members and conference attendees, allowing for peer-to-peer learning and knowledge-sharing. (And if this sounds like something you’d be interested in taking part in, not just at the conference but throughout the year, then consider joining your PPN’s leadership team!)
If you missed the conference this year, we hope the photos below provide a glimpse of some of Practice Basecamp’s goings-on. For those interested in watching recordings of education sessions that took place in San Francisco, 40+ sessions will be available on-demand via ASLA Online Learning in the coming weeks.
ASLA 2022 Conference on Landscape Architecture Recap: The Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN Campfire Session on Trauma Responsive Design
Kat Lewis, ASLA – Moderator
Amy Wagenfeld, Affil. ASLA – Campfire Lead
Lisa Casey, ASLA – Campfire Facilitator
Chad Kennedy, ASLA – Campfire Facilitator
The Children’s Outdoor Environments Professional Practice Network (PPN) hosted their campfire session on Saturday afternoon of the conference. PPN leaders were joined by an enthusiastic group of around twenty individuals who participated in the discussion. Our session was opened by Kat, who gave a brief overview of the purpose, with the focus not being on a single solution but to explore the complexity and considerations of trauma responsive design. But first, we needed to establish that there is no clear definition of trauma responsive design and little to no evidence-based research to support it, but there needs to be!
Amy and Lisa went through a series of questions about what trauma is, and whether there is a difference between childhood and adult trauma to engage the group and get the conversation going. They went on to talk about stress and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and how toxic stress feeds ACEs and collectively changes the child’s brain structure and negatively alters their development.
This became a call to action that launched into some brainstorming about landscape architects partnering with healthcare professionals to study the impact of landscape projects on reducing the impacts of child trauma.
We had a strong turnout for this discussion and there were many interested in joining or learning more about the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN. Even if you were not able to join us in San Francisco, we encourage you to join the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN and considering becoming a PPN leader.
Children, Nature, and Health Reference List
At our campfire session, it came up in conversation that having a list of child and nature-focused articles would be helpful. What follows is a reference list organized by topic (some articles appear in multiple sections). It is intended to be representative of recent and seminal publications and by no means covers all the amazing literature that has been published, so let’s think of this list as an evolving resource. Please share your favorite articles in the comments section and we will keep the list growing. We plan to add an expanded version to the PPN’s Resources webpage in the future.
For those who attended the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture last weekend, the PPN events in Practice Basecamp were a wonderful way to see the PPNs in action and get a sense of what these practice area-focused groups are all about—namely, providing opportunities to members for networking, peer-to-peer learning, and knowledge-sharing.
PPN leaders provide input on specific practice area needs and ASLA programming. Appointments are for one year, and all ASLA members are welcome to volunteer. Most leadership teams meet once a month via Zoom during regular working hours. Come nerd out with like-minded professionals about your practice area niche!
As a designer, one of the main things you hope for are opportunities where your experience, creative ideas, and outside-the-box thinking lend themselves to creating human experiences that make people stop and wonder. Upon initial brainstorming sessions with Assembly Atlanta developers, I knew this project would present that opportunity.
The prime goal of Assembly Atlanta is to bring a mixed-use mega-entertainment hub, unlike any other, to the metro-Atlanta area. And that is EXACTLY what is happening. In September of 2023, the team of Gray Television, The Gipson Company, Smith Dalia Architects, Kimley-Horn, and landscape architecture and planning firm HGOR will be delivering such a destination.
Designing landscapes suited for filming and producing major motion pictures and TV was previously associated with Hollywood, California. Eventually, it made its way to the quaint coastal region of the Carolinas because of scenic versatility and the need for lower production costs. Creating a Tinsletown-like hub in land-locked Atlanta was previously not a priority, even though filmmakers have utilized the state’s geography for years. Picturesque landscapes in Georgia, adorned with oak trees, bright city lights, small-town charm, and mountainous terrain, have been backdrops for films like The Hunger Games, Driving Miss Daisy, The Blind Side, and Smokey and the Bandit. Subsequently, the Georgia film industry has grown substantially over the past decade to position the state as the worldwide leader in film production.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a project execution and delivery process articulated entirely around data. Taking a step back to gain perspective, it’s hard to underestimate how critical data is in the world at large at this point in time. Truly, what is reality anymore?…Within the architecture, engineering, construction, operation, and facility management (AECO-FM) industry, a process having accelerated during the past couple of decades renders the current status of the field essentially scaffolding around a data-centric framework. I like to frame the issue by explaining that the 3D geometry—the most conspicuous exhibit of BIM product, the “model” everyone’s thinking of when thinking of BIM—is just one of the byproducts of the data embedded in the digital project.
Entering the landscape architecture practice: in a sense, our trade is one of the last to join the paradigmatic shift. A pertinent point to be made is that a certain understanding of the “BIM” acronym—where “building” is not understood as a process (the latter being the preferred interpretation today) but as the noun—explicitly all but excludes our trade entirely. This is also the reason why some professionals in the field, including myself, petition for replacing the word “building” with “project,” such as in using the “digital project” concept. But essentially all current projects are BIM—which sets their underlying structure, articulates the deliverables of most trades, and, most frequently, delivers a comprehensive normative standards framework to the project.
But along this “assimilation” process, one of the typical expectations from the rest of the trades in absorbing us as full participants is the actual informational contribution, we, as landscape architects, can pitch into the project data pool. It’s the question I’ve been asked most as a landscape architecture practice BIM manager.
The 2022 ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture begins this Friday! In addition to the events planned for the EXPO’s Practice Basecamp, each Professional Practice Network (PPN) leadership team also reviews the conference education program to highlight sessions relevant to their practice areas. With more than 120 sessions offering professional development hours (PDH), it is an extensive program to explore, and you can do so through the conference website and mobile app by track, speaker, and PDH type offered (LA CES/HSW, LA CES/non-HSW, FL, NY, AICP, GBCI, ISA, and more).
If you can’t make it to San Francisco this year, a number of education sessions will be recorded and shared as Online Learning webinars so you can still learn about the latest in landscape architecture and earn PDH on-demand.
Below, we run through education highlights by PPN practice area:
This fall, ASLA’s Community Design Professional Practice Network (PPN) solicited updates from our members from across the country to give us a snapshot of community design trends in 2022. While past posts have featured members from the PPN’s leadership team, this time our goal was to hear from members and other professionals working in community design through contributions to this collaborative post.
Landscape architects play a pivotal role in community design—we are the connectors! Our designs convey vision in built form within the public realm around us, allowing people to experience unique spaces each and every day. Designers have a significant impact on new communities, redevelopment, and infill projects. As this post reveals, community design trends are ushering in increased density and smaller living footprints, which ultimately requires a balance of space for people to live outside their residences. This challenge presents us with the opportunity to be placemakers, creating authentic and enduring landscapes that allow life to happen. As we emerge from the pandemic shift, we’re tasked with strengthening the community experience that fosters connections between people and the places we live. The following content highlights observations from designers focused on community design every day, presenting a terrific snapshot of the current trends shaping the communities we live in.
Continuing a tradition that began at the 2009 ASLA conference in Chicago when Angela Dye, FASLA, was ASLA President, this year the ASLA Northern California Chapter’s WILA Walk will explore the SOMA district, including the East Cut neighborhood, San Francisco’s new Downtown, and Yerba Buena District, the original cultural and civic institutional hub at SOMA. We will see and discuss an energetic mix of sleek residential and commercial high rises, repurposed live-work historic buildings, small businesses, corporate headquarters, new streetscapes, and public green spaces as well as a revitalization plan for the original cultural hub.