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2012 CSI Research Fellows Announced

Twelve faculty Research Fellows have been selected for LAF’s Summer 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. This unique research collaboration matches LAF-funded faculty and student research teams with design firms to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects as Landscape Performance Series Case Study Briefs.

Research Fellows lead the case study preparation, work with firms to identify performance benefits of select projects, and develop methods for data collection. They also receive an honorarium and funding to support a student research assistant. These select faculty members provide expertise in quantifying landscape benefits, and the academic rigor that is needed to support designers, policy-makers, and advocates who are making the case for sustainable landscape solutions.

csi-graphic-v2The following LAF Research Fellows will lead the ten Summer 2012 Case Study Investigation teams:

  • Barry Lehrman, Cal Poly Pomona
  • Molly Mehling, PhD, Chatham University
  • Jessica Canfield, Kansas State University
  • Claudia Goetz Phillips, PhD, Philadelphia University
  • Mary Myers, PhD, Temple University
  • Ming Han Li, PhD, Texas A&M University
    Bruce Dvorak, Texas A&M University
  • Bo Yang, PhD, Utah State University
  • Victoria Chanse, PhD, University of Maryland
  • Chris Ellis, PhD, University of Maryland
    Byoung-Suk Kweon, PhD, University of Maryland
  • Nancy Rottle, University of Washington

The selection process was highly competitive, with the number of proposals indicating the strong level of enthusiasm for the CSI program. CSI provides a unique opportunity for faculty to sharpen research skills, build relationships with top landscape architecture firms, collaborate with peers, and gain national exposure as thought leaders.

Projects and firms selected for participation in the Summer 2012 CSI program will be announced in April.

LAF and Landscape Performance at CELA

We’re looking forward to the upcoming Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) Conference March 28-31 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Four sessions on Landscape Performance will kick off the Research & Methods track with presentations and panel discussions from LAF staff, 2011 CSI Research Fellows, and other key leaders in the movement to set performance objectives and quantify benefits.

cela-conferenceLAF will also have an exhibitor table, hold a training for the soon-to-be-announced 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) Fellows, and host a roundtable discussion on developing a national research agenda. More details are below.

We hope to see you there!

 

Research & Methods Track

Session 1 - Wed, 2:00-3:20pm
Landscape Performance: Documenting the Benefits of Sustainable Landscape Solutions

Panel with:      Barbara Deutsch, ASLA, Landscape Architecture Foundation
                          Linda Ashby, ASLA, Landscape Architecture Foundation
                          Forster Ndubisi, PhD, ASLA, Texas A&M University
                          Christopher D. Ellis, PhD, University of Maryland

 

Session 2 - Wed, 4:30-5:30pm
Landscape Performance: Methods to Quantify Benefits

Presentations:   Lessons from LAF’s Landscape Performance Series
                              Heather Whitlow, Landscape Architecture Foundation

                              The Salvation Army Kroc Community Center Case Study
                              Mary Myers, PhD, RLA, ASLA, Temple University

Panel with:          Heather Whitlow, Landscape Architecture Foundation
                              Christopher D. Ellis, PhD, University of Maryland
                              Elen Deming, PhD, University of Illinois
                              Mary Myers, PhD, RLA, ASLA, Temple University

 

Session 3 - Thur, 8:30-9:50am
Presentations Based on 2011 Case Study Investigation (CSI) Research

Presentations:   Water Conservation in Master-Planned Communities in the Intermountain West
                              Bo Yang, PhD, Utah State University

                              Assessing Social Benefit of Green Space: POE of Lubert Plaza
                              Mary Myers, PhD, RLA, ASLA, Temple University

                              Performance benefits: The case of the Kresge Foundation Headquarters
                              Byoung-Suk Kweon, PhD, University of Maryland

                              Measuring Landscape Performance at Uptown Normal Circle and Streetscape
                              Christopher D. Ellis, PhD, University of Maryland

 

Session 4 - Thur, 10:00-11:20am
Moving Forward: Integrating Landscape Performance in Academia and Practice

Panel with:         Barbara Deutsch, ASLA Landscape Architecture Foundation
                             Kristina Hill, PhD, University of Virginia
                             Nancy Rottle, ASLA, University of Washington
                             Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, Design Workshop

csi-v2158x129

 

2012 CSI Research Fellows Meeting

Wed, 3:30-4:20pm
Meet & Greet and Training
Case Study Investigation (CSI) program overview from LAF staff for faculty members selected as 2012 LAF Research Fellows.

 

Research Agenda Roundtable

Thurs, 1:00-2:00pm
Toward a National Research Agenda
Work session with LAF, Design Workshop, invited academics and pratitioners to discuss the benefits, pros, and cons of a national research agenda for the profession.

Landscape Performance in Design Education: UW's Sustainable Urban Landscapes Seminar

by Nancy Rottle, 2011 LAF Research Fellow | Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington | Director, Green Futures Research and Design Lab

How is landscape performance best incorporated into the LA curriculum? How might LAF’s Landscape Performance Series (LPS) contribute to landscape architecture education and the future practice of our current students?

These are questions that underlay incorporation of the LPS and Case Study Investigation (CSI) model into the graduate curriculum at the University of Washington during the 2011 autumn term. Collaborating with LAF, my Landscape Performance seminar tackled the production of a dozen case studies for projects that ranged from parks to schools to zoo exhibits, in the Pacific Northwest and in China.

The case study work replaced the usual term paper for my Sustainable Urban Landscapes course, which has focused on landscape performance for the last two years. The seminar readings and discussions examine concepts and practices related to the design of sustainable urban landscapes, engaging such theories as green infrastructure, green and sustainable urbanism, landscape urbanism, regenerative and closed-loop design and landscape metrics. The twist of working within the CSI collaborative model immersed students into a more interactive approach to studying performing landscapes.

fallcsi-class

Preparation for the class began over the summer, as LAF Research Assistant Pam Emerson and I met with several firms to identify and vet candidate projects for case studies. A primary qualification was the existence of performance data to adequately quantify benefits of a built project. We narrowed our list of applicable projects to the most promising, and collected as much data in advance as the firms could supply. Pam also learned the processes, resources, and issues the students would face by developing two case studies of her own.

During the autumn seminar, students worked in pairs, assisting one another in gathering data and learning the various landscape evaluation tools. They received regular feedback from me, our Teaching Assistant Delia Lacson (also a LAF Research Assistant), from each other, and from LAF. An invited guest panel of experts described various tools, resources and metrics systems, including Mithun/LBJ Wildflower Center’s carbon calculator, valuation of ecosystem services from Earth Economics, components in the i-tree suite, Seattle parks maintenance data, and Sustainable Sites program resources, especially those related to human health and well-being. The case studies went through three phases of review, including a penultimate review by the sponsoring design firm, before students submitted their final versions to LAF.

Our learning from tackling these case studies underscored, yet transcended, student awareness of the value of incorporating landscape performance goals in the design process. Students in the seminar expressed that it was valuable to learn about the tools and parameters used to design and evaluate high-performing landscapes, to gain in-depth knowledge about a particular designed landscape and its actual benefits, and to learn lessons not only from successes but also from the failures that are unfortunately so common in built landscapes (such as from soil compaction or introduction of weed seeds). The process was also a first-hand lesson in how critical it is to have adequate baseline data and inside knowledge from those involved in the design process.

Measuring and documenting the performance of landscapes is required to reshape the teaching and practice of landscape architecture so that our built landscapes actually provide the desired benefits we hope to achieve. Such measurement and communication are critical to the acceptance and culture of new landscape aesthetics, within the profession and in value formation and demands from our public and private clients. We found the pilot of this model, though still evolving, to be a critical first step in introducing students to this discussion.

LAF appreciates the dedicated work of all those involved with the 2011 UW LARCH 561 course: 2011 LAF Research Fellow Nancy Rottle, Research Assistants Pam Emerson and Delia Lacson, Ximena Bustamante, Sue Costa, Peter Cromwell, Dafer Haddadin , Chen Hai, Taj Hanson, Manami Iwamija, Jo Ming Lau, Audrey Maloney, Jessica Michalak, Haruna Nemoto, Roma Shah, Karin Strelioff, Tao Xu, Xiaobing Wang, Virginia Werner, Ying-Ju Yeh.

Landscape Performance in Design Education: LAF Takes the LPS to the Academy

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is known for its scholarships and support of education that multiplies the effectiveness of landscape architects. Now LAF is helping to introduce landscape performance into design education. This fall marks LAF’s first coordinated effort to bring the concept of landscape performance into the classroom as we work with faculty at the University of Washington and the University of Virginia to educate landscape architecture students on the importance of quantifying landscape’s ecological, economic, and social benefits.

In today’s climate of downsizing, budget reductions and program cuts, providing proof of performance to the decision-makers who impact policies, programs, investments, and land development must be a critical part of design education. Students need the skills and knowledge to quantify and communicate objective data in order for landscape solutions to compete in this burgeoning evidence-based market. 

That is why LAF has teamed with Associate Professor and Director of the Green Futures Research and Design Lab Nancy Rottle at University of Washington, and Associate Professor Kristina Hill, PhD at University of Virginia to pilot methods to integrate landscape performance in university curricula.

UW’s Sustainable Urban Landscapes: Landscape Performance graduate seminar incorporates a classroom-based pilot of LAF’s Case Study Investigation (CSI) initiative. With the assistance of two Summer CSI Research Assistants, Pam Emerson and Delia Lacson, students in the course will work with local firms to develop methods to quantify benefits and document high performing landscape projects to produce LPS Case Study Briefs. Potential projects include Hubbard Homestead, North 40 at Brightwater, Washington State University LID Center, Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park, Red Ribbon Park, and Magnuson Park. Watch for these case studies and more later this year.

At the University of Virginia, Professor Hill teaches that landscape performance is crucial to pursuing and evaluating successful design. In her Sites and Systems course, students will use the LPS this fall to review metrics that can be used to predict and/or determine levels of performance in designed public spaces. Students will also evaluate and propose other metrics based on their ability to measure diverse variables, such as aesthetic experience or walkability. Watch for new tools and calculators in the Benefits Toolkit in December.

LAF shares a vision with these talented professors of enhancing landscape design education, and ultimately leading the profession to routinely set and design for specific performance objectives, collect performance data, and document work. We thank Nancy and Kristina for taking the lead in this important movement, and for joining us in helping to prepare students to adapt to the future environment.

Contact LAF if you are interested in working with us to integrate landscape performance into your coursework. For more on this topic, look for LAF, Nancy Rottle, Kristina Hill and other CSI Fellows at the LAF Benefit, October 30 in San Diego, and the CELA Conference, March 28-31 at the University of Illinois.

Landscape Performance Series at 1 Year

It’s been a year since the Landscape Performance Series (LPS) was officially launched at LAF’s 2010 Annual Benefit by representatives of Founding Partner, the JJR/Roy Fund. Since then LAF has worked hard to build the LPS content and spread the word about this amazing resource. 

lps-launch-checkThe LPS is officially launched, Sept 10, 2010.We’ve personally introduced the LPS to over 2,000 people through 35 conferences, special events, and webinars. These include education sessions at major national conferences like the 2010 ASLA Annual Meeting, Greenbuild, CELA, LABASH, and the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, along with a host of local and regional events. While initial outreach has focused on the landscape architecture profession, soon we’ll be expanding efforts to target allied professions, nonprofits, and federal and municipal agencies. Look for our upcoming presentations at the ULI Fall Meeting, 2011 ASLA Annual Meeting EXPO, and 2011 Cities Alive Green Roof & Wall Conference.

lps-honorawardThe LPS receives an Honor Award for Communications, April 15, 2011.The extensive outreach paid off in the form of a 2011 Honor Award for Communications from the Potomac and Maryland Chapters of the American Society of Landscape Architects. To date, the LPS webpages have been viewed 56,000 times by 8,000 unique users.

The Case Study Briefs now number 18 and are the most popular LPS content. Among them, Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel, Yale’s Kroon Hall, and the Menomonee Valley Redevelopment are the most visited, while Cavallo Point is the most discussed. Our collections of Benefits Toolkit tools and Fast Facts have more than doubled since launch, and we’re working to expand the Scholarly Works to include materials from both students and faculty.

lps-casestudiesThe growing collection of LPS Case Study Briefs.Even more LPS resources are coming this fall. Our summer Case Study Investigation (CSI) initiative, which matched firms and faculty-student research teams, generated 25 new case studies and a wealth of information on methods and tools to quantify benefits.

To mark the LPS’s one-year anniversary, we’ll be rolling out one new case study per weekday leading up to LAF’s Annual Benefit in San Diego on Oct 30. Visit the LPS Case Study Briefs landing page to see the latest or get our daily announcement via Facebook.

We also want to hear from you. How are you using the Landscape Performance Series? Have the resources helped you make the case for sustainable landscape solutions? Who else needs to learn about landscape performance? What would you like to see more of? Please share you thoughts in the comment area below or by e-mailing lps@lafoundation.org.