LAF News Blog
Stay up to date on LAF!
The 2014 LA Expo, a two-day trade show and educational conference in Long Beach, California, will feature a special Leaders’ Reception with all proceeds supporting Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) research and scholarships.
Join LAF on Thursday, February 13 at Parker’s Lighthouse, known for its spectacular views of Long Beach Harbor. The event starts at 6pm, and the $75 ticket includes food, live music, and a hosted bar for the first hour. The evening will include a panel discussion with leaders in landscape architecture Mia Lehrer, FASLA, Susan Goltsman, FASLA and Stephanie Landregan, FASLA. Event sponsors include: ValleyCrest Landscape Companies, IRONSMITH, Landscape Architect and Specifier News, Scofield, SWG Trees, Old Town Fiberglass, Rainbird, and USA Shade & Fabric Structures, Inc. Many thanks to the LA Expo for this opportunity.
The LA Expo also features a “Complimentary Learning Lab” with LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, FASLA on Friday, Feb 8 from 10-11am. Barbara will present the Landscape Performance Series, an online set of resources to quantify benefits, show value, and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions.
The LA Expo is the largest western trade show and educational conference for landscape architects, specifers, and design/build professionals. The LA Expo is produced by Landscape Communications, Inc and provides a regional venue where over 1,200 design and development professionals can exchange ideas, explore new products and technologies, and establish business relationships.
What’s Next for Landscape Architecture? LAF asked this question to attendees at the ASLA Annual Meeting EXPO in Boston. From the serious to the silly to the provocative, we got a great mix of responses from the leading practitioners, faculty, students, and others in the field. See the full range of answers on LAF’s Flickr Photostream.
We hope that your 2014 is off to a wonderful start, whatever the future holds!
From Nov 14-16, LAF held a series of events in Boston to honor the 2013 Olmsted Scholars, landscape architecture students who were nominated by their faculty for demonstrating exceptional leadership potential. Thirty-seven of this year’s 67 Olmsted Scholars traveled from across the U.S. and Canada to participate. Perhaps National Olmsted Scholar Leann Andrews best summarized the energy and camaraderie felt by all with, “This past week was nothing short of amazing.”
The culmination was the LAF Annual Benefit at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Wharf Room, where the 2013 Olmsted Scholars were recognized during a special certificate ceremony in front of the nearly 400 guests. “It was truly an honor to recognize this impressive group of individuals,” said outgoing LAF Board President Bill Main. “These incredibly bright, talented, and engaged young people will lead the profession in addressing future landscape issues.”
The Olmsted Scholars Luncheon gave the scholars the opportunity to meet each other, the LAF Board of Directors, staff, and program sponsors. Short presentations from the two National Olmsted Scholars provided insights into the amazing people and projects that the program supports. Leann Andrews, winner of the $25,000 graduate prize, discussed how she is melding her background in dance, landscape architecture, and global health. With the Olmsted funding she has been able to carry out her capstone project working with an informal ‘slum’ community in Lima, Peru to envision, design, construct, and sustain personalized home gardens. McKenzie Wilhelm, winner of the $15,000 undergraduate prize, presented her research on Alaska’s Pebble Mine and design interventions that could minimize the threatening effects of mining processes on fragile salmon habitat. 2009 National Olmsted Scholar Emily Vogler gave an update on her research on sustainable regionalism.
Following the luncheon, the scholars participated in a brainstorming session, sharing their thoughts on leadership and how to further build the community of Olmsted Scholars, who now number 243 as the program enters its seventh year. The scholars also participated in organzied tours of Sasaki’s Watertown office and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates’ Cambridge office, as well as informal dinners and other gatherings.
Thank you to the generous Olmsted Scholars Program sponsors whose support makes the financial awards and events like these possible. Photos from the Annual Benefit (now posted) and other Olmsted Scholar events (coming soon) can be found on LAF’s Flickr Photostream.
LAF celebrated Park(ing) Day in downtown DC on Sept 20, joining thousands around the world who showcased the power of parks by creating temporary parklets in metered parking spaces. Park(ing) Day 2013 saw at least 22 pop-up parks designed and built in DC by nonprofit organizations, design firms, businesses, and city agencies.
LAF partnered with Valleycrest Landscape Companies to design and build a “light touch” space, in which all materials were borrowed, repurposed or on their way to a permanent home. Hay bales lined the park to create comfortable seating and shield visitors from traffic, while dogwoods and a street tree provided shade. Purple muhly grass destined for a park in Virginia framed the space, and caught visitors’ eyes from across the street with their distinctive color. The centerpiece of the installation was cornhole — a beanbag toss which lured many a downtown office worker into a break from their routine!
More than 150 people spent time in the park during the Friday lunch hour, with hundreds more stopping to observe and photograph the space. For LAF staff, the most memorable part of the day was seeing the many different ways people chose to use the space.
Visitors played dozens of games of cornhole, making an impressive number of three point shots! LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch’s cornhole skills were showcased in this Park(ing) Day video report from the local NBC4 station. Bloggers, fellow designers, non-profit professionals, and environmental activists visited the space, many of whom toured the various temporary parks in the city.
Patrons of a nearby food truck used the hay bale seating to enjoy ice cream and root beer floats. Several young families stopped by the space to take photos. An art class from George Washington University made a surprise visit, spending about a half an hour sketching the parklet, plantings, and surroundings.
Park visitors expressed how much they enjoyed seeing a bit of extra green in their city. Thanks to all who came by, and many many thanks to ValleyCrest Landscape Companies!
For more photos of the day’s festivities, visit LAF’s Flickr page.
For a social media play-by-play, check out LAF’s Storify summary.
On Sept 20, streets across the world will look a bit greener. It’s Park(ing) Day, an open-source day where citizens, designers, and organizations reclaim parking spaces to create temporary public parks. The global event seeks to raise awareness about the high percentage of our built environment devoted to parking – and the many other creative, inspiring ways this space could be used.
LAF is partnering with ValleyCrest Landscape Companies to design and build a pop-up park near the LAF office in downtown Washington, DC. Located in front of 1900 M Street, LAF’s parklet will offer downtown workers a lighthearted break in a newfound green space. Open from 11am to 2pm, the park is designed to be “light touch,” and will be constructed with re-purposed materials including haybales, dogwood trees, and grasses, either borrowed or destined for another home. The centerpiece will be a social and recreational element designed to introduce a little bit of friendly competition for visitors – come visit and see for yourself!
2013 should see active involvement in Park(ing) Day throughout DC, including from the District Department of Transportation, which recently announced its first-time participation. Since its inaugural year in San Francisco in 2005, Park(ing) Day has inspired participation across 6 continents, with parklets designed across North America and Europe, as well as in New Zealand, Indonesia, and South Africa.