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LAF Receives NEA Art Works Grant for CSI

artworkslogo-f3kThe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is one 38 national, regional, state, and local nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Art Works grant in the Design category.

LAF is recommended for a $25,000 grant to support the Summer 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches LAF-funded student-faculty research teams with leading practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. Ten research teams will participate in the Summer 2012, and the NEA grant will fund half of the $5,000 stipend paid to the student Research Assistant on each team.

“We are thrilled that NEA is investing in this research to show the environmental, economic, and social value of exemplary design,” said LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, ASLA.

The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications for this round of Art Works funding. The 788 Art Works grants total $24.81 million and support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Visit the NEA website for a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support.

2012 CSI Firms and Projects Announced

Over 20 design firms and 30 projects have been selected for LAF’s 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. This unique research collaboration matches LAF-funded faculty-student research teams with leading practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects as Landscape Performance Series Case Study Briefs.

Participating firms were selected based on the the quality of projects submitted, potential to produce comprehensive quantified benefits, availability of baseline information, and commitment to the research collaboration. Practitioners provide the background information and narrative for projects, help identify potential performance benefits and information to quantify them, and provide the faculty-student research teams with access to key project personnel, photos, documents, clients, and other stakeholders.

The collaborations are now underway — look for updates throughout the summer and new Case Study Briefs in the fall from these participating firms and projects:

  • aecom-stuyvesantcoveAECOM's Stuyvesant Cove Waterfront Open SpaceAECOM
    Stuyvesant Cove Waterfront Open Space
  • Beijing Tsinghua Urban Planning & Design Institute
    Beijing Olympic Forest Park
    Tangshan Nanhu Eco-city Central Park
  • The Berger Partnership
    Magnuson Park Wetlands
  • CDF, Inc.
    Queens Botanical Garden Visitor Center
    Charles City Permeable Streetscape
  • Design Workshop
    edsa-cdboscoEDSA's Castigilon del BoscoCherry Creek North & Fillmore Plaza
    South Grand Boulevard Great Streets Initiative
    Park Avenue/ Highway 50
  • Ecological Landscape Design & Restoration
    Stone Mill at the New York Botanical Garden
  • EDSA
    Castiglion del Bosco
  • EPT Design
    Frontier Project
    Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies
  • Jones and Jones
    Cedar Lake Park and Trail
  • KMS Design Group
    Black Rock Sanctuary
  • Mia Lehrer + Associates
    Vista Hermosa Natural Park
  • MIG, Inc.
    rh-centralwarfplazaReed Hilderbrand's Central Wharf PlazaWest San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail
  • Mithun
    Eden Hall Campus at Chatham University
    High Point
    Hubbard Homestead Park
  • Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority
    Tujunga Wash Greenway
  • OLIN
    Celebrezze Federal Building Plaza
  • Frederick Law Olmsted
    Back Bay Fens
  • Reed Hilderbrand
    swa-crosscreekSWA Group's Cross Creek RanchCentral Wharf Plaza
  • Sasaki
    The Avenue
  • SWA Group
    Cross Creek Ranch
  • TBG
    Park Seventeen
  • UW Campus Sustainability Fund
    Biodiversity Green Wall & Water Harvesting System
  • Wells Appel
    Pennswood Village Regional Storm Water Quality and Management System

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.