News & Events

LAF News

Stay up to date on LAF!

Subscribe to RSS Feed

2017 Landscape Performance Education Grant Recipients Announced

lpeg2016-montanastate-530w

To help university landscape architecture programs integrate landscape performance into their curriculum, LAF’s Landscape Performance Education Grants allow select university faculty to develop and test new approaches for standard courses. Their teaching materials and reflections are then shared through the Resources for Educators section of LAF’s LandscapePerformance.org.

Landscape performance is part of the the revised LAAB Accreditation Standards, which take effect starting with landscape architecture programs scheduled for accreditation reviews this fall. Students must learn necessary skills to predict outcomes, assess alternatives, defend design proposals, and evaluate environmental, social, and economic performance of landscape projects.

Over the last four years, LAF has awarded a total of $50,000 in Landscape Performance Education Grants to university faculty. The five $2,500 grant recipients for the Fall 2017 semester/term are:

  • Kelly Curl, Colorado State University
    Designed Landscapes – Theory and Criticism (BLA Seminar)
    This discussion-focused seminar will introduce students in their final year to landscape theory with a focus on integrating performance. Students will study the Landscape Performance Series Case Study Briefs and Benefits Toolkit. This is the only seminar course that allows students to be fully engaged in readings, writings, and discussions on designed and built landscapes. Students will also learn to measure campus landscapes with the physical tools needed to evaluate performance.
  • Catherine De Almeida, University of Nebraska 
    Materiality in Landscape Architecture (BLA Seminar)
    This course, the first of three courses in a construction sequence, introduces sophomores to AutoCAD and detailing as well as the materials and assemblies used in landscape architecture with a focus on material lifecycles and performance capabilities. Students will be exposed to the larger implications of their material choices and design decisions by viewing materials through the lens of lifecycle analysis and performance. This seminar will use illustrated lectures, readings, class discussions, model-making, assignments, field trips, analysis, computer drafting, design development, experimentation, and evaluation to explore materials with a performance lens.
  • JeanMarie Hartman, Rutgers University
    Advanced Plants (MLA Lecture and Lab/Studio)
    This lecture and studio combination course focuses on plant ecology, plant identification and planting design. Beginning with a landscape performance framework, the course will implement an active learning model, requiring students to collect plant specimens for identification, sample areas for biodiversity, and take soil samples. Rain gardens will be used during plant identification and planting design segments to measure ecological, economic, public health, social, and aesthetic performance. Visits to greenhouses and campus gardens will be used to evaluate the many ways in which plants interact with their environment.
  • Hope Hui Rising, Washington State University
    Theory in Landscape Architecture (BLA Seminar)
    This course for juniors will develop “Resilient by Design” as an emerging theory of landscape architecture for climate adaptation. The many different aspects of resilience will be used to evaluate historic and contemporary precedents and to distill spatiotemporally transferable design guidelines for adaptive landscapes. Students will create generic prototypes for design, which target various aspects of multi-dimensional resilience, and then generate alternatives for test cases. These test sites will be evaluated and fine-tuned to maximize resilience as students explore new metrics for evaluating performance.
  • Phillip Zawarus, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    Landscape Arch Design III (BLA Studio)
    This 4th-year studio course will focus on the context of the Las Vegas Valley and its unique challenges. Students will examine the global, regional, and local scale of environmental systems, analyze master plans and green infrastructure guidelines for developments adjacent to valley water networks, and conduct comprehensive analysis, synthesis, programming, and design for landscape performance. Through parametric modeling and GIS mapping, students will assess the performance of existing conditions within the Las Vegas valley in order to outline green infrastructure guidelines for the water network.

International Conference on Landscape Architecture Education

cela-sign2LAF's Barbara Deutsch, Heather Whitlow, and student volunteer extraordinaire Shuyi Yan

Two LAF staff members spent an incredible four days at the CELA/CLAEC International Conference on Landscape Architecture Education May 26-29 in Beijing. With the theme of “Bridging,” this conference is the first time that annual meetings of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) and the Education Committee of the Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture (CLAEC) have been held jointly.

During the opening ceremony, LAF CEO Barbara Deutsch presented the New Landscape Declaration and participated in a  panel discussion with the conference co-hosts:

  • Katya Crawford, President, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA), Professor, University of New Mexico
  • Jie Hu, Vice President, Tsinghua Urban Planning and Design Institute
  • Xiong Li, Professor and Vice-president, Beijing Forestry University, Secretary General of Chinese Steering Committee of Master of Landscape Architecture Education, Secretary General of Education Committee of Chinese Society of Landscape Architecture
  • Rui Yang, Professor and Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Chair of Chinese Steering Committee of Landscape Architecture Education
  • Kongjian Yu, Professor, Chair of Academic Committee of College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Peking University

The panel was co-moderated by Xiaodi Zheng, Secretary General of 2017 CELA/CLAEC and Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture at Tsinghua University.

cela-panelPanelists discuss the New Landscape Declaration during the opening plenary.

LAF also hosted a pre-conference workshop on landscape performance and presented The New Landscape Declaration documentary during the conference Film Track. The Landscape Performance Track included 24 concurrent sessions, with several discussing research conducted through LAF’s Case Study Investigation (CSI) program or grant partnerships.

All-in-all, the conference was a great opportunity for knowledge-sharing, a marvelous cultural exchange, and a wonderful chance to reconnect with faculty and students from the U.S., China, and elsewhere. Many thanks to CELA, conference organizer Xiaodi Zheng, our Chinese university hosts, and the many student volunteers who took care of us, especially Shuyi Yan of Beijing Forestry University.

Engaging Students with the New Landscape Declaration

LAF’s New Landscape Declaration is a new vision and 21st century call to action for landscape architecture to make its vital contribution in solving the defining issues of our time. The Declaration, along with the Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future that gave rise to it, serve to guide, challenge, and inspire — aims befitting to an academic environment.

To help university faculty and landscape architecture departments engage with this initiative, we’ve complied a list of resources and ideas to incorporate the themes into their programs and coursework:

  • Post the New Landscape Declaration in a prominent place in your department or website. (PDF versions in English and 17 other languages are available.)
  • Screen the 20-minute Summit documentary for a class or event and facilitate a post-film discussion. (The film is closed-captioned to support less-than-ideal sound systems and non-native English speakers.)
  • Assign students to explore the Summit declarations (in videos or essay form) and report out on their favorites or write their own declaration.
  • Use the New Landscape Declaration as a tool to communicate the value and values of the landscape architecture to allied disciplines and administrators in your university.
  • Respond to the Declaration by sharing your thoughts and ideas for action with LAF, within your department, or as an editorial. We encourage and look forward to continued discourse on the future of the profession and what needs to be done.

M. Elen Deming (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Richard Hawks (SUNY-ESF), and Ken Yocum (University of Washington) have graciously shared the materials and assignments that they developed to include the Declaration in courses taught during the 2016-2017 academic year. We hope that these sample teaching materials spur other educators to take advantage of this powerful set of resources to provoke and inspire the next generation of landscape architects.

elen-class-530w

5/24 UPDATE: You can see the video product of Professor Elen Deming’s “Declaration of Values in Landscape Architecture” project here.

Five Landscape Performance Education Grants Available for Fall 2017

lpeg-2016

Last year the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) included “landscape performance” and many measurement-related requirements in its revised LAAB Accreditation Standards for all bachelor’s and master’s level landscape architecture programs. The revised standards take effect starting with landscape architecture programs scheduled for accreditation reviews in fall 2017.

To help programs integrate landscape performance into their curriculum, LAF’s Landscape Performance Education Grants allow select university faculty to develop and test models for courses, such as research and methods, site planning and analysis, design studios, and other lecture or seminar courses.

The next round of grants will be offered for the Fall 2017 term/semester with applications due June 15, 2017. Each application is to include a teaching proposal, which will be evaluated for quality and feasibility by LAF and an independent committee of educators. Grant recipients will be announced in early July.

Download Grant Application

Grant recipients will work closely with LAF and its Education Committee to finalize the teaching proposals, which will then be implemented during the Fall 2017 semester/term. Formal course evaluations will be used to determine the success and replicability of the teaching models tested, including whether specific landscape performance learning objectives are met.

Course materials developed through the Landscape Performance Education Grants are added to the Resources for Educators section of LandscapePerformance.org. This library of teaching tools includes syllabi, reading lists, and sample student assignments, as well as faculty reflections on their pedagogical approaches and experiences teaching landscape performance.

LAF has awarded five Landscape Performance Education Grants each year for the last three years. This fourth round will bring the total in mini-grants awarded to educators to $50,000.

2016 Landscape Performance Education Grant Recipients Announced

calpolyslo-class

As landscape architects increasingly engage in addressing complex challenges like climate change, urbanization, and public health, it is critical that they be able to communicate the measurable benefits of design solutions.

This year the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) included “landscape performance” and many measurement-related requirements its revised LAAB Accreditation Standards for all bachelor’s and master’s level landscape architecture programs. In their training, students must now learn skills necessary to predict outcomes, assess alternatives, defend design proposals, and evaluate environmental, social, and economic performance of landscape projects.

To help university landscape architecture programs integrate landscape performance into their curriculum, LAF’s Landscape Performance Education Grants allow select university faculty to develop and test models in standard courses. Their teaching materials and reflections are then shared through the Resources for Educators section of LAF’s LandscapePerformance.org.

For the Fall 2016 semester/term, five $2,500 mini-grants were awarded for the following courses:

  • Kenneth Brooks, FASLA, FCELA, PLA, Arizona State University
    Design Research Methods (MLA/Interdisciplinary Research Methods)
    A traditional lecture course that explores a range of research methods, techniques and strategies applied to the enterprise and advancement of design. The class is a required core course for 85 graduate students in professional design programs of architecture (MArch), interior architecture (MIA), industrial design (MID), landscape architecture (MLA), visual communications design (MVCD) and urban design (MUD).This course is designed to give Design and other students an intellectual framework and experience in conceptualizing, conducting and applying research methods and strategies that will permit them to advance the knowledge base and practice capabilities of designers and problem-solvers. A primary focus of the course is cultivating scholarship, inquiry and evaluation that enhances and enriches the effectiveness and performance practice of professional design.
  • Brad Collett, ASLA, RLA, LEED AP, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    Operative Landscapes (MLA Seminar)
    Contemporary challenges posed by urbanization, climate dynamics, evolving economies and social paradigms have changed the demands we place on the designed landscape. Landscape architects in North America and around the world have risen to this challenge, revealing new possibilities for the economic, social and environmental performance of landscapes in public, private and infrastructural territories. Operative Landscapes examines the historical contexts and emergent theory driving this shift in the practice of landscape architecture, and surveys contemporary projects as a basis for understanding multi-scalar design approaches, technical details and maintenance regimes. An emphasis is placed on built landscapes and living systems as integral parts of site stormwater management approaches and regional water resource infrastructure.
  • Kirk Dimond, MLA, LEED AP, University of Arizona
    Site Engineering (MLA Site Engineering)
    Site Engineering for landscape architects requires students to develop the comprehension and skills necessary to maintain health, safety, and welfare through the manipulation of topography and water. To reinforce this, knowledge objectives with associated performance measures, organized under the four natural elements of earth, water, fire and air, will challenge students to develop technical competency through lectures and exercises that also provide the means to measure and evaluate their decisions through understanding landscape performance.  Culmination of the material is tested in a comprehensive final project requiring a full grading plan that demonstrates evidence of responsible design decisions.
  • Joseph Ragsdale, ASLA, FAAR, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
    Design Theory and Exploration Focus Studio (BLA Studio)
    This third and fourth year vertical studio links technical competencies with design explorations and applied landscape architecture theory studies.  For sites located on the university campus, students will establish current performance criteria and metrics, propose design ideas in connection with an updated master plan, and evaluate changes in performance metrics of proposed design solutions.  The course is structured around three activities, a technical module focusing on landscape performance, a design module emphasizing design exploration and a theory seminar reinforcing contemporary landscape architecture theory.
  • Rebekah VanWieren, MLA, MS, Montana State University
    Advanced Landscape Design Studio: Landscape Design Scenarios for Water Conservation in the Middle Rockies (Landscape Design BS Studio)
    This studio will integrate landscape performance principles and metrics with a design project for the City of Bozeman, Water Conservation Division. Students will analyze the ecology and lifecycle of designing landscapes through field explorations around four themes: water, vegetation and soil, energy, and human health and well-being. These findings will be applied to design performance alternatives for water resource resiliency in the semi-arid West.

Over the last three years, LAF has awarded a total of $37,500 in Landscape Performance Education Grants to university faculty with five mini-grants awarded each year.