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Leaders Roundtable: Technology and the Landscape

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 June, fourteen leading landscape architects met in Philadelphia to explore the impact of technology on the design of the landscape, the experience of landscape, and the way professionals conduct their practices. The meeting was moderated by landscape architect Rodrigo Abela of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, who kicked off the discussion by observing that, “The people in this room are probably the last generation who will remember the world before we were connected.”

While participants’ use of digital technology varied, all were very aware of the way cell phones, laptops and tablets impact the design and use of outdoor spaces. A short video and excerpts from the dialogue are below. For a full summary of the conversation, see the Roundtable Report on Technology and the Landscape.

“Two hundred years ago the landscape was the source of productivity in human settlement. It would be amazing if technology could make us more productive in the landscape again. Landscapes are good for you. The more we can encourage work activity out there, the better.”
                    — Richard Roark, LEED AP, OLIN

“People in cities are not necessarily looking for a full-blown experience of nature, but they are interested in being outside and bringing technology with them. If we embrace technology in a helpful way and make even the smallest space incredible, that will help them notice nature in those moments when they look up from the screen.”
                    — Laura Solano, PLA, ASLA, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

“Metric technology will make us better informed about people and the environments we design for them. It’s inescapable.”
                    — Lee Weintraub, FASLA, Lee Weintraub Landscape Architecture

  1. Colin BhimsenAug 19th, 2014 11:21pm
    Colin Bhimsen said:

    The technology behind landscapes shapes cities.

  2. Landscape Architecture FoundationSep 24th, 2012 10:47am
    Landscape Architecture Foundation said:

    It works for me using Firefox and the latest version of Adobe Reader. The file is 1.6MB, so perhaps it's taking awhile to load? If you still have problems, you can also access the report via the Landscape Forms blog:

  3. Laura SolanoSep 24th, 2012 9:45am
    Laura Solano said:


    FYI, The link for the Roundtable Report is not working---only hte first page downloads (and appears).

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