by Dr. Carl A. Smith, Int. ASLA
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.