The 2013 HALS Challenge

Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, designed by Beatrix Farrandimage: www.doaks.org
Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, designed by Beatrix Farrand
image: http://www.doaks.org

The Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) was created in 2000 to document our country’s dynamic landscapes.  Each year the HALS office at the National Park Service issues a challenge, encouraging landscape architects and preservation professionals to document historic landscapes related to a new theme.

The theme of the 2013 challenge is “Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women.

Individuals and groups from every state are encouraged to complete at least one HALS short format history for a cultural landscape related to this theme, whether vernacular or designed, in order to increase awareness of the role of women in shaping the American landscape. The top three submissions will receive awards and be announced at the 2013 ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston during the HALS Meeting.

If you have not already begun a submission, there is still time to start. Short format histories should be submitted to HALS at the National Park Service no later than July 31, 2013 (c/o Paul Dolinsky, Chief of HALS, 202-354-2116).   All HALS documentation is permanently housed and publicly accessible at the Library of Congress.

Click here for more information: HALS Challenge

by  Jonathan Ceci, Chair of the Historic Preservation PPN

Time Management Tips for Designers

image: Deborah Steinberg
image: Deborah Steinberg

Who didn’t have the studio experience in school of the daunting all-nighter?  Furiously drawing scheme after scheme, the pile of crumpled trace that was once low on the ground, slowly climbing ominously high?

School too often cultivated an atmosphere of deadline-driven work that does not serve us well in our professional lives. Nonetheless, many offices run similarly to design studios, with frenzied employees working 12 or 16 hour days (or worse) to deliver a concept presentation, a bid package, etc.

As designers, we are uniquely susceptible to confusing urgency with importance.  If you have ever attended a business conference, chances are you have heard about this keystone tenet to time management.  While urgency is time-sensitive, importance is not – or it shouldn’t always have to be. Google “important + urgent + matrix” and you’ll find a variety of charts identifying time usage in the following categories: urgent and important, urgent and unimportant, not urgent and unimportant, and not urgent and important.

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Vilma Pérez Blanco: A Pioneer in Puerto Rico’s Landscape

Punto Verde, Puerto Ricoimage: Olga Angueira
Punto Verde,  San Juan, Puerto Rico
image: Vilma Pérez Blanco

I met Vilma Pérez Blanco in 2004 when I returned home to Puerto Rico from the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design after completing a Master in Landscape Architecture.  Vilma was one of the first landscape architects I contacted while searching for jobs in Puerto Rico.  She could not offer me a job at the time, but instead, she offered me her guidance, advice, and friendship, which have been way more valuable than any job.  Her strong will and character, her energy and enthusiasm for each project she has worked on for the last 54 years have inspired many of her colleagues and young professionals.  Through friendly conversations on her rooftop terrace and more formal interviews for local newspapers, I learned about her passion for design and her commitment to improve the public spaces in Puerto Rico.  She has been a key person in the development and recognition of landscape architecture in Puerto Rico.  Her design work includes a wide range of projects in scale, types, and clientele, while her active role in public and private organizations has created a positive impact on the role of the landscape architect in society.

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HOW TO BALANCE LIFE AND WORK

Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus — New Academic Complex designed by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Inc., Phoenix
Arizona State University Polytechnic Campus — New Academic Complex designed by Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Inc., Phoenix
image: ASLA

Balancing time at work with time at home is challenging especially when events in one or the other create additional stress.  The Women in Landscape Architecture PPN had an opportunity to chat with Susan Hatchell, FASLA, PLA, and current ASLA President, about a work/life balance issue last month in response to a request from a member for information on maternity leave policies in the landscape architecture industry.

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Mentorship: Connecting with Your Fellow Practitioners

image: Organization of Women Architects and Design Professionals
image: Organization of Women Architects and Design Professionals

The Women in Landscape Architecture PPN has heard that many of our members are interested in a mentorship program.  In our research on this topic, we’ve come across the following information from the Northern California chapter (NCC), which is instituting a formal program.

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