Get Your Nominations & Presentation Proposals Ready

ASLA 2014 Professional General Design Honor Award. Urban Outfitters Headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA. D.I.R.T. Studio / image: JJ Tiziou

January is jam-packed with important deadlines at ASLA—see below for a roundup of opportunities closing in the next two weeks. Help to ensure your voice is heard, that you and your colleagues are recognized for your work and leadership, and your practice area is represented!

Council of Fellows Nominations
Deadline: Friday, January 26, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PST

Any ASLA member may recommend an eligible candidate for nomination for the ASLA Council of Fellows (COF). There are four nomination categories: Works, Leadership/Management, Knowledge, and Service. More information on these categories, plus guidelines, forms, and templates for submission, can be found on the COF website.

The candidate must:

  • Be a current ASLA Full Member or International Member in good standing.
  • Have achieved at least 10 continuous years of Full or International membership at the time of nomination.
  • Have demonstrated exceptional contributions over an extended period of time.
  • Have made a significant positive impact on the public and the profession beyond their local area.
  • Have received national recognition for those contributions from multiple sources.

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Professional Practice Networks Roundtable

A 2016 PPN meeting during the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO / image: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)

In the first annual PPN survey back in January 2013, members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were surveyed about their favorite spaces, with questions on the most innovative projects, the best small but mighty spaces, and favorite designed spaces, among others. In 2014, the PPN survey focused on career paths in landscape architecture. Members shared how they first discovered landscape architecture, their favorite cities and regions to work in, and how they keep up with design trends, to name just a few of the topics covered. The next survey’s theme was creativity and what makes for inspired design in landscape architecture, covering everything from where landscape architects go to feel inspired to finding the next big thing.

For 2016, we opened the survey-making process to our PPN leadership, asking each group to contribute one question that would then be shared with all 10,000+ collective PPN members. The key themes, trends, and responses to the survey were originally highlighted in the PPN News section of LAND, and we are sharing that information again here on The Field in case you missed any PPN updates.

Below are a few of the questions included in the 2016 survey. In future posts, we’ll pull out unique responses, summarize trends, and highlight the most popular answers from PPN members.

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ASLA Ask Me Anything’s for Emerging Professionals

Since 2015, ASLA’s Emerging Professionals Committee has organized more than a dozen Ask Me Anything online events, streamed via Facebook Live and available for viewing on ASLA’s Facebook page. For each AMA, participants can submit questions to the invited guest, giving those new to landscape architecture a chance to have their burning questions about the field answered by a range of practitioners, from mid-career professionals to established firm owners.

The Emerging Professionals Committee advises ASLA on Associate, Student, and Student Affiliate Member programs and services; facilitates communication with and among all emerging professional groups; communicates with faculty and chapters about ASLA programs and benefits pertaining to students and Associate Members; and promotes, encourages, and assists ASLA chapter leaders to increase professional interaction with emerging professionals.

Until the next live event, here’s a look back at past AMAs.

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Reimagining Waste Spaces & Traces

image: Alexandra Hay

Visiting New York’s City Reliquary is like walking into one of artist Joseph Cornell’s boxes—every surface inside the three-room museum is meticulously adorned with artifacts and salvaged ephemera. Display cases are crammed with items (with drawers below holding even more), the walls are covered to the ceiling, and the dim lighting enhances the sense of being immersed in a contemporary take on a cabinet of curiosities.

The current exhibition focuses on one type of relic that can be found in particular abundance: those found in the trash. NYC Trash! Past, Present, & Future, on view through April 29, 2018, begins with the history of solid waste management in New York City, and then shifts gears to look at innovative ways waste materials and management are being reconsidered today.

The seven artists and nonprofits highlighted, including Hack:Trash:NYC, the Lower East Side Ecology Center, and Materials for the Arts, employ a variety of tactics and media to transform how waste is viewed and dealt with, from competitions to find ways to reduce what gets sent to landfills to photography and art initiatives that use waste materials as a medium or as inspiration.

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Landscape Architecture Today

ASLA 2017 Professional General Design Honor Award. Central Seawall Project, Seattle, WA. James Corner Field Operations LLC / image: James Corner Field Operations

To kick off 2018, we are taking a look at what what ASLA members had to say about the state of the landscape architecture profession today. For the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) survey on creativity and what makes for inspired designs in landscape architecture, we posed a very tough last question to our members: How does the profession today stack up against historical achievements in landscape architecture?

Surprisingly few people skipped this final question, and we were rewarded with extended, thoughtful responses and candid assessments of the profession. While many opinions differed and some answers directly contradicted one another, an overall sense of where landscape architects excel and where the profession doesn’t quite measure up can be gleaned. As one member put it, these are “Exciting times!!!” indeed.

Below are ASLA members’ thoughts on areas where landscape architecture is doing well, and where there are opportunities for growth and improvement.

On the Bright Side

“Beauty is being combined with environmental impact.”

“Better diversity and community engagement.”

“Better than ever—greater relevance to more areas of need and less stuffy than always working for the top 1% (most historical landscapes are relics of such practice).”

“Each era has profound challenges for landscape architects and we are currently in a period where the distinctive skills of the landscape architect, trained in designing with living systems and materials, has found its voice and is addressing the great problems of our time. This will be a very clear period of history to teach in the coming years and I hope we will continue to have extraordinary achievements to show as examples.”

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Professional Practice Networks: 2017 in Review

ASLA’s 20 Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) provide opportunities for professionals interested in the same areas of practice to exchange information, learn about current practices and research, and network with each other—both online and in person at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO.

In 2017, the PPNs created 99 posts for The Field blog and 12 Online Learning presentations. Thank you to those who shared experiences on The Field and shared their expertise as Online Learning presenters! These opportunities are open to all ASLA members, and we hope to grow our group of PPN contributors in 2018.

Below, we highlight the top five Field posts and best-attended Online Learning presentations of the year, but be sure to check out the full PPN: 2017 IN REVIEW for additional information, including:

  • PPN Live at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO,
  • PPN volunteer and leadership opportunities, and
  • the ASLA Online Learning Student & Emerging Professional SPOTLIGHT mini-series.

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ASLA’s Hands-on Activity Educates Kids and Parents at NBM’s Big Build

image: Shawn Balon, ASLA

In October, the American Society of Landscape Architects participated in the National Building Museum’s Big Build to advance the quality of the built environment by educating attendees about its impact on individual lives. The annual event brings kids and parents from the D.C. region to the museum to learn about built environment professions and participate in hands-on activities. Over the course of a day, the museum welcomed 3,300 visitors to experience various trades, crafts, and passions. The Big Build had more groups than previous years and offered a variety of hands-on activities for visitors of all ages, from preschool age and up. This challenged kids and their parents to learn something new, try something they would typically never try, and think about the ways in which they could make the built environment better.

ASLA created a hands-on activity, Create a Landform: Discover How Water Moves on Land, that educated kids, teens, and adults about landforms, watersheds, and the importance of understanding stormwater management. Throughout the day, kids of all ages and their parents took part in the exercise and learned how landscape architects work with land and water.

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Black in Design Conference: Reflections from Two Women of Color

image: Black in Design

The Black in Design Conference is a biennial event that focuses on uncovering the complex dialogues related to the intersection of design and black identity. Hosted at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University by the African American Student Union (AASU), the conference highlighted the works of emerging and seasoned design professionals, activists, artists, and educators whose common goals challenge Eurocentric methods of design, education, and engagement to create spaces and places for all people. The 2017 conference, entitled “Designing Resistance, Building Coalitions,” specifically focused on design as a social justice and activism tool that promotes equity and equality in spaces around the country that oppress or erase black and brown presence. For more information, visit the Black in Design website to watch the entire conference, and for the 2019 conference announcement.

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ASLA Call for Presentations: 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO

The ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO will take place October 19-22, 2018 in Philadelphia

ASLA is now accepting proposals for the 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO education program, taking place October 19-22, 2018 in Philadelphia. If you are interested in presenting and sharing your knowledge with the landscape architecture profession, we encourage you to submit a proposal through our online submission site.

The goal of the annual meeting education program is to provide professional development opportunities which address the diversity of practice types in the profession. Help to ensure your voice is heard and your practice area is represented by submitting a proposal!

In order to successfully submit a presentation for consideration, the following items are needed for each presentation: speaker names with a biography, a session title, marketing statement, learning objectives, outline, and sources. Submissions should speak to panel diversity and audience engagement. Additionally, all presenters must sign the speaker terms and agreement prior to the January 31 submission deadline.

Please visit the submission site for detailed information, including speaker policies, tactical tips, sample submission materials, and a timeline of the selection process.

ASLA members are invited to log in to the online system using their unique ASLA ID.

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Planting Design Choices for Year-Round Interest

ASLA 2017 Professional General Design Honor Award. Merging Culture and Ecology at The North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC. Surface 678 / image: Art Howard

With winter weather fast approaching, December is a good time to take a look back at ASLA’s Professional Practice Network (PPN) members’ favorite plants to add interest in all seasons. Highlighted below are responses that appeared more than once. While some members noted that their answer depended on the location, many others had a tough time picking just one answer:

“Don’t have a single favorite plant. Plants belong in communities.”

“I love all plants—they all have their place. No favorites.”

“The one that catches my eye on a walk on any day.”

“Trees that evoke an emotional response or help build memories.”

Here are a few ways our members keep their planting designs visually engaging throughout the year. The most popular picks, each mentioned five or more times:

  • Dogwoods, including Red Twig, Red Osier, and June Snow™
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea
  • Amelanchier (Serviceberry), including Shadblow and Autumn Brilliance
  • Ornamental grasses, including Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem), Muhlenbergia capillaris, and Muhlenbergia lindheimeri

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The Ripple Effect: Diversity in Design

The Diversity and Design panel at the ASLA Texas Chapter’s annual conference / image: Diana Fernandez

Diversity in design and urban policy has long been an issue the architecture and engineering industry has struggled with. In 2016, ASLA curated a keynote for the Annual Meeting and EXPO in New Orleans focusing on diversity in design and urban policy (the full general session, Designing for Diversity and Diversity in Design, can be viewed online).

Building upon numerous ASLA efforts, the panelists—Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2009-2011; Lucinda Sanders, FASLA, CEO, OLIN; Mark Rios, FASLA, Principal, Rios Clementi Hale Studios; Diana Fernandez, ASLA, Associate, Sasaki; and Kona Gray, FASLA, Principal, EDSA—each brought their own perspectives on how designers can rise to the challenge of meeting the needs of constituents whom have historically been underrepresented in the discussion for urban policy and city making. The conversation was continued on the EXPO floor, where attendees participated in a lively question and answer session focusing on topics such as education, design practice, and policy changes.

Unbeknownst to the panelists was the ripple effect the keynote had on the local ASLA chapters in attendance. Following the national conference, the panelists were approached by the Texas and Florida chapters to bring the topic of diversity in design to their local communities. Melissa Henao-Robledo, ASLA, a Landscape Forms Business Development Representative for Central and Southern Texas and a past Diversity Summit participant, worked with the ASLA Texas Chapter to organize a panel on Diversity and Design and what comes next. The panel compiled for the Texas conference sought to emphasize the demographic trends affecting the way we practice as designers. Similarly, Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA, a partner at Gentile Glas Holloway O’Mahoney & Associates, Inc., worked with the ASLA Florida Chapter to create a keynote for the chapter conference focusing on diversity in design in practice and education. Each conference provided varied opportunities to discuss the topic of diversity in design and urban policy within a regional and national context.

The impact of the 2016 keynote on diversity in design and urban policy has had a profound effect on our profession at the national and local level. From inspiring panels on the topic to creating the space for the topic to be discussed, it is a reminder of how landscape architecture can be a leading voice and presence in solving our society’s most pressing needs.

The following excerpts were taken from individual interviews of the participants and organizers of the presentations.

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Landscapes for All Seasons

Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC earlier this November / image: Alexandra Hay

With autumn colors still vividly in mind (though fading fast or already gone) and Thanksgiving nearly here, it’s the perfect time to take a look at what ASLA’s Professional Practice Network (PPN) members had to say about places they love to visit at any time of year. We picked out a few key themes and responses below. While quite a few members felt that “all landscapes are amazing in all seasons,” many had favorite spots that are as stunning in the dead of winter as the peak of summer, and at every point in between: “Every place is always changing throughout the year. You can’t experience them and understand them without being there in the moment.”

National Parks

Acadia National Park, ME – “It offers so many ecosystems—ocean, lake, river, bog, mountain. You are above the tree line, in a cave, you name it, and you can experience wild nature combined with some of the most sophisticated designed landscapes in America, all within one fairly small island.”

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ – “Always majestic, sublime, and different.”

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC and TN – “Continuous habitat diversity.”

Olympic National Park, WA – “Raw beauty and strength.”

Yosemite National Park, CA – “The quiet, magnificent rock formations and trees coupled with the light changes, the air is clean and fresh any time of the year and fragrance of pines, coupled with hundreds of miles of hiking trails that you can discover for the first time.”

Zion National Park, UT

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PPN Live in Los Angeles: The 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Review

images: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)

With the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO now behind us, it’s time to review the array of events and gatherings that took place throughout the meeting weekend through PPN Live. Attendees had numerous opportunities to network with colleagues from all 20 of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) by:

  • participating in the PPN meetings that took place in PPN Live,
  • attending a PPN-themed, exhibitor-led tour of the EXPO floor,
  • and networking with PPN peers at the EXPO Reception featuring the PPNs.

Meetings in PPN Live

PPN meetings took place throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22, and were open to all attendees, giving them the chance to meet fellow PPN members and explore different practice areas.

The EXPO’s PPN Live space offered meeting rooms, the PPN Lounge for networking, and a larger presentation space called Griffith Park Stage, which hosted our largest PPN meeting to date: the joint meeting of the Children’s Outdoor Environments and Healthcare & Therapeutic Design PPNs, which featured presentations by Joanne Hiromura, ASLA, and Naomi Sachs, ASLA.

During the PPN meetings that took place, new PPN leadership volunteers were identified for many PPNs, along with members interested in submitting posts for The Field or presenting an ASLA Online Learning webinar. Want to learn more about getting involved? Check out the PPN leadership positions to consider and send an email to propractice@asla.org if anything strikes you, or if you have any questions about the PPNs. We look forward to building on the momentum of the PPN meetings in Los Angeles!

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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.

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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):

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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):

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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PARK(ing) Day 2017 Recap

Jordan Honeyman Landscape Architecture’s parklet turned a parking space into a pollinator garden for the day / image: Alexandra Hay

Last Friday, September 15, you may have seen a few revamped parking spaces magically appear just for the day. Pop-up sitting areas, pocket parks, play spaces, picnic areas, art installations, or any number of alternate uses suddenly took the place of parked cars—all for PARK(ing) Day 2017.

Taking place the third Friday in September since 2005, PARK(ing) Day began with a single parking space re-imagined as a temporary public place by the San Francisco art and design studio Rebar. For more on PARK(ing) Day’s origins and story, check out Rebar’s PARK(ing) Day Manual. Creators of parklets this year included many chapters of ASLA, students, landscape architecture and design firms, small businesses, nonprofits, and many more.

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Call for Parklets at the 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

Experience the Gateway to Trails and Forests!, sponsored by Nature Explore, U.S. Forest Service, Arbor Day Foundation, and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation / image: Shawn Balon

ASLA and the Local Government Commission (LGC) will lead the sixth annual Parklets Initiative at the 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. ASLA is looking for local organizations and design firms to participate in the design and installation of the parklets, advocating for urban green space and activated public space throughout our cities. Planning for Parklets 6.0 will begin in late September, gearing up for the conference on February 1-3, 2018.

ASLA and the Local Government Commission (LGC) will lead the sixth annual Parklets Initiative at the 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. ASLA is looking for local organizations and design firms to participate in the design and installation of the parklets, advocating for urban green space and activated public space throughout our cities. Planning for Parklets 6.0 will begin in late September, gearing up for the conference on February 1-3, 2018. The Parklets Initiative is modeled after the PARK(ing) Day movement, which inspires the transformation of vehicular parking spaces into temporary urban parks. We bring this urban green space movement indoors, with installations located adjacent to the conference session rooms easily accessible by conference attendees. See The Field recap of the 2017 Parklets 5.0 initiative.

Parklet participants:

  • Participate in planning calls
  • Provide materials and design for a 10’x20’ parklet space
  • Share potential resources and ideas with other parklet participants
  • Provide a title and description for their parklet, which will be included on the website and printed program booklet

Parklet participants receive:

  • One (1) full conference registration
  • Name/logo on website and printed program booklet
  • Name/logo on Parklet 6.0 poster, located prominently throughout conference space
  • Special thanks in the printed program booklet
  • Mention in event summary in ASLA’s online blog, The Field

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Join us for PPN Live in Los Angeles

PPN Live at the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO / images: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)
PPN Live at the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO / images: Event Photography of North America Corporation (EPNAC)

There will be many opportunities to learn, network, and celebrate during the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles next month. In addition to the 140+ education sessions, field sessions, workshops, and special events, be sure to add PPN Live to your annual meeting plans. And, remember to register by the Advanced Deadline this Friday, September 15—registration and many ticketed events increase in price after that deadline.

Through PPN Live, you can network with colleagues from all 20 ASLA Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) throughout the annual meeting weekend. This is all part of PPN Live:

  • 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 an exhibitor-led tour of the EXPO floor focused on a PPN topic area (1.0 PDH LA CES/NON-HSW).
  • Network with your PPN peers at the EXPO Reception featuring the PPNs on Sunday from 4:30 to 6:00 PM. It’s free for all registered annual meeting attendees, and non-PPN members are welcome to attend.

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ASLA Panel on Security Design

ASLA 2008 Professional General Design Honor Award. Washington Monument, Washington, DC. Olin Partnership. / image: ©Peter Mauss/Esto

ASLA hosted a panel of landscape architects to discuss the security design of public places on August 31, 2017. In view of recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Barcelona, and London, the panel examined the urgent need to ensure the public’s safety on public, government, and institutional properties. Key design goals and challenges were also addressed from various angles, with a special focus on how to provide an adequate balance between addressing threats and the beauty of the public realm. The virtual panel was recorded and can be viewed here.

The panel was moderated by Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, Executive Vice President and CEO, ASLA, Washington, D.C., and featured three speakers: Bernie Alonzo, ASLA, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Seattle; Leonard Hopper, FASLA, Weintraub Diaz, LLC, Nyack, N.Y.; and Richard Roark, ASLA, OLIN, Philadelphia.

Below we highlight a few of the key discussion topics and takeaways, plus additional resources on security design.

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2017 SPOTLIGHT Mini-Series Recap

From left to right: images from presentations by Elyana Javaheri, Associate ASLA, Bridget Ayers Looby, Associate ASLA, SITES AP, Tricia Keffer, Student ASLA, and Rachel Katzman, Associate ASLA

The 2017 Student & Emerging Professionals SPOTLIGHT mini-series concluded last week, with two webinars presented live on August 23 and 24. These opportunities for attendees to earn professional development hours (PDH) featured four presentations, two per webinar, by Student and Associate ASLA members, providing access to forward-thinking topics and discussions. Our presenters were selected after responding to a Call for Proposals earlier this year, providing an outline of their presentations and a portfolio of their work.

Over the past two months, the presenters worked with Professional Practice Network (PPN) mentors—volunteers from ASLA’s PPN leadership teams—to create their presentations for the SPOTLIGHT mini-series. Below, we recap  highlights from each. These presentations were also recorded, and are available for viewing through ASLA’s Online Learning website. The recordings are free for Student ASLA members to view; special discounts apply for full and Associate ASLA members.

First, we’d like to thank this year’s PPN mentors:

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Trends We Could Do Without

A bike path in need of some help
A bike path in need of some help. Poor maintenance was one trend ASLA’s PPN members would like to resolve. / image: Alexandra Hay

While some of the best designs are the result of transcending whatever style happens to be in fashion, there are some trends that are pretty much unavoidable if you take a look at more than a handful landscape architecture projects. To see which of these recurring themes have overstayed their welcome, we asked Professional Practice Network (PPN) members: What trend in landscape architecture annoys you the most?

Though some respondents have had enough of designers’ tendency to wear all black or the conflict of “deciding between RLA or PLA on [my] signature,” the most frequently mentioned trend was the ubiquity of “sustainability.” Members highlighted the frequent overuse or misuse of the word when applied to “shallow sustainability,” and the fact that it’s nothing new for landscape architects:

“Sustainability—was trained to do that 40 years ago! Not a new term!”

“Sustainability—creating the world smartly; what we have been doing forever.”

Other responses that appeared more than once include:

Geometric designs, including stripes and “contemporary gardens with lots of square corners that photograph well.”

Green roofs, green walls, and “GREEN anything.”

Greenwashing.

Loss of horticultural expertise.

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ASLA Diversity SuperSummit Report & Resources

Participants map ASLA’s future efforts. / image: EPNAC.com

ASLA Diversity SuperSummit Report Released and Summit Resources Available on ASLA.org

In 2013, ASLA convened its first Diversity Summit with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of why landscape architecture is failing to attract a more diverse profile. Each summit has brought together a group of established and emerging landscape architects who identify as African American or Latinx to develop strategies that address diversity issues in the field.

Five years later, the 2017 Diversity SuperSummit convened the largest group of attendees to date, with 23 returning and six new participants, at the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture in Washington, D.C. Participants evaluated goals from previous summits, developed focus areas for four key diversity initiatives to guide ASLA’s work plan in the coming year, and discussed the future of the Diversity Summit format and participants.

ASLA is excited to share those conversations in the ASLA Diversity SuperSummit 2017 Report. The takeaways in the report will serve as accountability for ASLA and as an actionable guide for the newly created Career Discovery and Diversity position for the upcoming year. It can also serve as a guide for other organizations pursuing the same goal. For a summary of the full report, check out the ASLA Diversity SuperSummit 2017 Summary.

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Next Big Things in Landscape Architecture

ASLA 2016 Student General Design Honor Award. Bendway Park / image: Eric Arneson, Student Affiliate ASLA, Academy of Art University

When we asked Professional Practice Network (PPN) members about the next big thing in landscape architecture, some were too cautious to speculate about the future, answering with “I have no idea,” while others had a decidedly more self-confident answer ready: “Me.” A few members took issue with the question itself, feeling the focus on what’s next to be misguided—the next big thing in landscape architecture is “realizing we shouldn’t be looking for ‘the next big thing’ but should be paying attention to the little things.”

Given that there is so much happening right now that deserves our attention, imagining what the future may have in store is nonetheless an interesting (and pretty fun) exercise. One statement summed up a central theme of the majority of responses: “Landscape Architecture IS the next BIG THING!”

Highlighted below are the key topics that appeared most often, outlining the next big things to look out for in landscape architecture. Keep in mind these responses are from 2015—let us know in the comments what’s come up since then as the latest next big thing.

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Join us for the Student & Emerging Professionals SPOTLIGHT Mini-Series

Mark your calendars for two upcoming opportunities to earn your professional development hours (PDH) with ASLA’s Student & Emerging Professional SPOTLIGHT mini-series! Each is a two-part presentation, providing access to forward-thinking topics and discussions.

Earlier this year, ASLA launched the Call for Proposals, giving Student and Associate ASLA members the opportunity to work with Professional Practice Network (PPN) mentors to create presentations for the SPOTLIGHT mini-series. Please join us later this month to view the selected presentations!

Transitional Landscapes & Tactical Mycelium

Wednesday, August 23 at 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (Eastern)
1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW)
FREE for Student ASLA, $20 for Associate ASLA, $30 for ASLA members, $60 for non-members

Presenters:

  • Elyana Javaheri, Associate ASLA
  • Bridget Ayers Looby, Associate ASLA, SITES AP

PPN Mentors:

  • David Cutter, ASLA, Campus Planning & Design PPN Co-Chair
  • Laura Tenny, ASLA, Campus Planning & Design PPN Co-Chair
  • Kenneth Hurst, ASLA, Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN Officer and Incoming Co-Chair

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Time to Recharge

The view from the end of the hike to the top of the Diamond Head State Monument, Honolulu, HI / image: Alexandra Hay

With summer in full swing, some of you may be taking (or dreaming of taking) a summer vacation soon. Continuing with the theme of theme of creativity and inspired design, below we take a look at how Professional Practice Network (PPN) members recharge and keep that creativity flowing. While vacations and travel in general were mentioned, along with coffee and lots of naps, the most frequent response involved spending time outdoors (no surprise there).

Here are a few of our members’ favorite ways to take a break.

Take a Hike

“Get out in nature—mountains, desert or coastal.”

“Go to the beach and walk.”

“Hiking in the Catskills and viewing the landscape from a mountain top.”

“I am drawn to free-flowing rivers and creeks.”

“I fly fish as far away from people as possible.”

“Reading, hiking, leaving the phone behind.”

“Take my RV out to a park—usually end up at a US Army Corps of Engineer facility located nearby, or to a local State Forest.”

“Taking a walk through an open meadow.”

“Work in my yard.”

“Working my farm.”

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