Leadership | XTreme LA Challenge

XTreme LA: Austin, TX

XTreme LA: Austin

September 22-24, 2010
University of Texas at Austin

Town Lake in the heart of Austin is largely surrounded by public parkland. Austin wants to responsibly develop underutilized properties around the public space to accommodate growth of the downtown area and broaden its tax base, but does not have a master plan for the south side of the lake. How that land is reorganized through landscape infrastructure is essential if development is to be successful. A Waterfront Planning Board is currently charged with rethinking the key areas of the city around the lake, reviewing all properties, and making recommendations to the city on how to proceed.

In a highly-charged day-and-a-half, two teams of 12 young professionals and students from The University of Texas master’s degree studio will develop solutions to restructure public access and guide future development. They will also create concepts for the right-of-way, landscape structures, and public space for a future light railcorridor across the lake. Final presentations will be given before an audience including local officials and interested citizens.


Bill Main, Honorary ASLA and President, Landscape Forms
Frederick Steiner, Dean, School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin
Barbara Deutsch, Executive Director, Landscape Architecture Foundation

Team Leaders

Renowned landscape architects and urban designers with extensive experience in urban revitalization projects worldwide will mentor the teams.

Susannah C. Drake RLA, RA
Principal, dlandstudio

Susannah C. Drake is the Principal of dlandstudio llc, an award-winning multi-disciplinary design firm that includes landscape architects, urban designers, sculptors, scientists and architects. dlandstudio’s recent public projects include “A New Urban Ground” designed for the Museum of Modern Art’s Rising Currents Exhibit, the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, the Brooklyn Bridge Pop-up Park, the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls in Lilongwe Africa, and the security for the New York City Police Department headquarters in lower Manhattan. Susannah received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College and MArch and MLA degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is the recipient of grants from the Graham Foundation, the James Marston Fitch Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts for research on campus landscapes and large scale urban infrastructure projects. Susannah is the trustee and Past-President of the New York ASLA, is on the board of the Van Alen Institute, serves on the campus design advisory board at Dartmouth College, and is a former director of the Fine Arts Federation and member of the Directors Council of New Yorkers for Parks. In addition to her professionalpractice, she is an adjunct professor of design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and at City College of New York. She is a registered landscape architect and a registered architect.

Sarah Kuehl
Partner, Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture

Sarah Kuehl is a design partner with over 12 years of experience working closely with Peter Walker at PWP. She has led numerous projects ranging in scale, budget, and design character, developing close partnerships with clients and bringing both design vision and project know-how to the realization of their projects. Sarah is LEED-accredited and has extensive experience in integrating site systems aimed at achieving long-term site sustainability. She has stewarded planning efforts for numerous campus landscapes, including the Speedway Mall at UT Austin and the University of Texas at Dallas. Sarah is currently involved with re-imaging San Francisco’s temporary vacant lots as well as leading planning efforts for a park at the eastern touchdown of the new Bay Bridge. Recent physical projects include the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University; the campus of Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California; and the Newport Beach City Hall and Park in Newport Beach California.Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Harvard University in 1993 and a Master in Landscape Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley in 1998. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, she currently resides in Oakland, California, with her husband and daughter.

Dean Almy
Director Landscape Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin

Dean Almy is Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Programs in Urban Design and Landscape Architecture. Since joining the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin, he has focused his teaching and research on urbanism and is the editor of Center 14: On Landscape Urbanism, published by The Center for American Architecture and Design. He holds a professional degree in architecture from Cornell University. After completing a post-professional degree in architecture and urban design, he was appointed the Walter B. Sanders Fellow at the University of Michigan in 1989, where he subsequently held the position of Assistant Professor in Architecture. He has also been a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, the Summer Academy in Prague with theCzech Technical University, and Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In 1999, Almy was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Prize for creative and scholarly research from the University of Tennessee. He is an architect and partner of Atelier Hines Almy architects whose graphic, architectural and urban design work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions and awards, including an American Institute of Architects, Austin, Citation of Honor Award in 2004, “House of the Month” from Architectural Record in 2005, a silver medal in graphic design from the American Advertising Council, and an AIA/RUDAT award for excellence in urban design.