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Leaders Roundtable: Multidisciplinary Process

Each year, LAF and Landscape Forms co-host a Leaders Roundtable to foster dialogue among distinguished design professionals about emerging trends in design and professional practice.

In May, a group of 19 landscape architects, architects and interior designers, representing large and small firms, met in San Francisco to discuss integration and the multidisciplinary design process: how it works, why it sometimes falls short, and what design practitioners can do to make it better. The conversation was moderated by Joe Brown, Chief Innovation Officer at AECOM.

Participants emphasized the need for common language among the design disciplines, shared values, and cross-disciplinary opportunities at the university-level. A few excerpts from the dialogue are below. For a full summary of the conversation, see the Rountable Report on Multidisciplinary Process.

“The process is seriously broken. It’s disconnected, disaggregated. You’ve got open space over here, transportation over there, and land use, water and watershed issues somewhere else. I’m very interested in connected language and connected delivery because all these issues go together and we’re not considering whole solutions.”
                — Joe Brown, FASLA, AECOM

“We’re the artistic side of the process and we find ourselves fighting the engineers and others to preserve the purity of the construct. In fact, given our training as synthesizers and our place in the in-between zone of the different design professions, we should have confidence in our ability to re-invent the aesthetic construct as we move through the process and get inputs from our allied professionals.”
                — Jim Stickley, ASLA, LEED AP, Wallace Roberts & Todd

“The students coming out of the universities that we see are very excited, very compassionate and have a whole new way of looking at things. They’re born of the generation where you share everything and it’s forcing us to rethink how we do our day-to-day work.”
                — Kristen Lundquist, Brumbaugh Associates 

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