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Research and Practice: Your Input Needed

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Landscape architecture is a practice of continual inquiry with investigation at its core. But how and why do we undertake research? How do we assess its legitimacy? Where does basic research fit in? And how might we better transform knowledge into practice?

On Friday, October 21 at the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Annual Meeting, LAF will participate in a panel to consider these questions. Eric Kramer of Reed Hilderbrand, Kate Orff of SCAPE Landscape Architecture, and Heather Whitlow of the Landscape Architecture Foundation will discuss these issues in an interactive panel session that aims to probe and envision the next frontiers of landscape architecture research.

To prepare for the session, we want to know how practitioners are using and engaging in research. If you are a landscape architecture practitioner, please take a few moments to complete this short 6-question survey:

https://PollEv.com/surveys/0xPIroHHH/web

asla2016-120wWe appreciate your input, and look forward to sharing and discussing the results during #ASLA2016 in New Orleans. Mark your calendar:

Research and Practice: What Does It Mean? Why Do We Do It?
Fri, Oct 21, 10:30am-12:00pm
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 271

Thanks for PARK(ing) with Us!

parkingday-2016-image2-530wOn Friday, September 16, LAF teamed up with BrightView and Island Press to celebrate PARK(ing) Day 2016. We took over two on-street metered parking spaces to install our temporary parklet at the corner of M and 20th Streets NW in downtown Washington, D.C.

Amidst the sounds of nearby construction work and the ever persistent jackhammer, our parklet provided a much-needed respite and buffer from Friday’s traffic, noise and chaos. BrightView graciously provided two flat-bed trucks’ worth of materials for the day — materials already enroute to their own project site for permanent installation — including container shrubs, grasses, and trees. The vegetation shielded park visitors from the M Street traffic as they enjoyed their lunch, browsed the Island Press books in the outdoor library, or stopped to pose for a “polaroid” picture.

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PARK(ing) Day 2016 brought 35 temporary installations to the streets of Washington, D.C. PARK(ing) Day newbies stopped by to learn about this international event to raise awareness and advance dialogue about how we use our urban public space. Those already hip to this 12-year tradition came prepared, using the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) online map to target our spot and bring along their own party!

Since it’s inception in 2005, PARK(ing) Day continues to be met with surprise, delight, and appreciation from passersby. For each individual mourning the loss of a parking space, there are many more who love the parklets and would like them to stay — forever. And fortunately, in Washington, D.C. there is a way to make that happen. DDOT piloted a Parklet Program beginning in the summer of 2015. The progam allows parklets, like those seen on PARK(ing) Day (but more durable), to be installed for year-round enjoyment. Many cities across the U.S. — from Sacramento to Minneapolis to Phoenix — have similar programs. Inquire with your city’s DOT for information.

For more photos of our PARK(ing) Day festivities, visit LAF’s Flickr page.

Visit us at PARK(ing) Day DC!

On September 16, PARK(ing) Day returns to take over streets across the world! Please join us for this annual event where citizens, designers, and organizations reclaim parking spaces to create temporary public parks to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat.

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This year, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is partnering with BrightView and Island Press to create a pop-up park at the SW corner of M Street and 20th Street NW. Stop by our park on Friday between 10am and 3pm to enjoy a board game, browse through the outdoor library, snap a picture in our photo garden, and meet some of the great folks at BrightView, Island Press, and LAF!

Since its inception in 2005 by the art-design-activist studio Rebar in San Francisco, PARK(ing) Day has brought awareness and inspiration to residents of cities around the world about the opportunities for our public urban spaces. This year will be the largest yet for Washington, DC with 34 groups participating to create a variety of temporary mini-parks. See an online map here.

#PARKingDay  #PARKingDayDC

New Documentary Showcases Key Themes and Energy of LAF Summit

Couldn’t attend LAF’s Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future back in June? Or were you there, but want to revisit and share some of the ideas and arguments presented in the “Declarations” and panels?

LAF has just released The New Landscape Declaration, a 20-minute documentary featuring exclusive interviews and recorded footage from the Summit. The film highlights key themes from this critical, provocative, and inspirational examination of the role of landscape architecture in addressing the challenges our our time and the next 50 years. Interviewees include James Corner, Gina Ford, Randy Hester, Mario Schjetnan, Martha Schwartz, Kongjian Yu, and many more.

With music, landscape imagery and stark text animations, filmmakers Michael Rubin, Joanna Karaman and Sahar Coston-Hardy skillfully weave together thought-provoking clips from the Summit and interviews, imbuing the documentary with the same spirit of urgency and opportunity that rang through the Summit itself.

 

Get a preview in the trailer above, or see the full film at:
http://vimeo.com/lafoundation/new-landscape-declaration

Support for the documentary was provided by PennDesign and OLIN. Additional footage was provided by Amon Focus and Visual Sound.

For those who want to see even more from the Summit, recordings from the full two days of Declarations and panels are now available and can be accessed at:
https://lafoundation.org/news-events/2016-summit/program/

Meet the 2016 National Olmsted Scholar and Finalists: The Undergraduates

The Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholars Program is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students. The program honors students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.

Here, we showcase the 2016 undergraduate winner and finalists, who were announced in April. An independent jury of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected them from a group of 32 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for being exceptional student leaders. The winner receives the $15,000 undergraduate prize and each finalist receives $1,000. All of the 2016 Olmsted Scholars will be honored at LAF’s Annual Benefit in New Orleans on October 21.

 

National Olmsted Scholar Casey Howard of the University of Oregon

Casey shares first-place team project for the 2015 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge focused on food systems. Inspired by existing drainage technology used in agriculture, Casey and team developed a concept for a living filtration system to restore soil health, protect watersheds, and preserve productive lands.

 

Finalist Kathryn Chesebrough of the State University of New York

By showcasing several influential experiences, including the Red Cup Project that she led in Syracuse, New York, Kathryn shares her thoughts on the power of art, her design perspective, and sources of inspiration.

 

Finalist David Duperault of North Carolina A&T State University

[Video forthcoming. See bio here.]

 

Finalist Lyna Nget of the University of Washington

Lyna discusses her focus on evidence-based design for sustainable, inclusive, and therapeutic environments for vulnerable populations — especially those who suffer from physical and mental illnesses and disabilities.