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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.

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

Time to Get Active: Resources for Advocacy and Engagement

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Climate change, infrastructure investment, public health, social equity, the EPA — whatever issues you are passionate about, it’s time to use your voice! LAF’s New Landscape Declaration asserts the vital role of landscape architecture and calls upon landscape architects to commit and act upon their ideals. One of the key calls to action is:

“We will work to cultivate a bold culture of inclusive leadership, advocacy and activism in our ranks.”

To help cultivate this culture, LAF is spreading the word about current issues and resources to help you make your voice heard. While landscape architects are uniquely positioned as designers, there is also much we can do to ensure that our leaders, policies, and institutions are working to address the defining issues of our time: climate change, species extinction, rapid urbanization, and inequity.

Follow us on Twitter (@lafoundation) to get updates on upcoming legislation, hearings, and tools for civic engagement. Here are a few of our favorite resources:

General Resources

Curated Sets of Action Items

  • 5 Calls
    https://5calls.org/
    Select the federal issues that are important to you, and based on your location, the site provides phone contact information for your representatives and an example script.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council - Take Action
    www.nrdc.org/actions
    This website makes it really easy to send messages to the appropriate decision-maker on a wide range of environmental and public health issues.
  • 350.org - Campaigns
    https://350.org/campaigns/
    This climate change and climate justice-focused group offers petitions, mobilizations, and other ways to get involved.
  • National Parks Conservation Association - Take Action
    www.npca.org/advocacy
    This website makes it really easy to send messages to the appropriate decision-maker on federal, state, and local issues affecting our national parks.
  • Alt National Park Service - Legislation Tracker
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mOJ-zjAcSNeI7b7HGKzE8U26c8LTQczJk3vLUEjdYW0/edit#gid=1028168339
    Rougue National Park Service employees compile and update this summary of bills that impact public lands and wilderness.
  • ASLA iAdvocate Network
    http://advocate.asla.org/app/register?1&m=15471
    Sign up to get email alerts with information and tools you need to quickly and effectively communicate with your policymakers about issues important to the profession

What resources are you using to follow and weigh in on issues of concern to landscape architects? Please share using the comments section below.

Join the Hundreds Who Have Signed the New Landscape Declaration

declaration-226wTo date, over 800 built environment professionals from around the world have signed LAF’s New Landscape Declaration,  a new vision and 21st century call to action for landscape architecture. Have you signed?

By signing the Declaration, you join us in asserting the vital role of landscape architecture in solving the defining issues of our time: climate change, species extinction, rapid urbanization, and inequity. Together, we can amplify our voices at this critical time when the talents and services of the landscape architecture community are so vitally needed. 

Here are some of the inspiring comments we’ve received:

  • “It’s time to reinvigorate our profession with a new and bold vision that addresses the complex social, environmental and political challenges facing the planet.” — Jeffrey Hou, Seattle, Washington
  • “As a landscape architect and environmentalist I believe our unique skill set is desperately needed. Especially now.” — Kerry Mattie, North Haven, Connecticut
  • “Never has there been a more urgent need for us to join hands and walk in the same direction towards this complex common goal.” — Amy Rampy, Austin, Texas
  • “The New Landscape Declaration is an eloquent call to action for the immediate and long future of our profession and our world. Every design decision needs to be made within its context.” — Ann Milovsoroff, Shelburne, Vermont
  • “Landscape is our remedy for our sicknesses.” — Tiganila George, Bucharest, Romania
  • “The need for interdisciplinary cooperation and vision has never seemed so urgent. As a profession people must engage at the policy level and also at the entertainment and political realm in new and innovative ways. We must show the value of landscape architecture as a means to better our communities and the environment of those communities and the natural areas within and around them.” — Ann English, Rockville, Maryland
  • “What I connect with in this declaration, is it’s relevance to all corners of the globe. Let’s foster imaginative solutions that are tangible.” — Bernice Rumble, Salt Rock, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • “Let’s turn words into action and double down on our commitment to our field and to our shared future.” — Roberto Rovira, Miami, Florida
  • “We have a collective vision, let’s share our collective tools, and achieve some collective goals faster for the sake of the planet.” — Brian R Nicholson, Denver, Colorado
  • “As an ally, I am inspired by your thoughtfulness and heart. Please, please, landscape architects, carry on!” — Daisy Barquist, Baltimore, Maryland

Show your support by signing the New Landscape Declaration and sharing it with your colleagues, students, classmates, clients, and others. www.lafoundation.org/declaration

See you in New Orleans! LAF Events at the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting

If you’ll be in New Orleans for the 2016 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO, we hope you’ll join us for these fun and thought-provoking events. LAF will participate in three education sessions, close out our 50th anniversary year with an epic Benefit featuring live jazz, and present highlights from our landmark Summit and a call to action for the future. We hope to see you!

Research and Practice: What Does It Mean? Why Do We Do It?
Fri, Oct 21, 10:30am-12pm
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 271
This Education Session with LAF’s Heather Whitlow, Eric Kramer of Reed Hilderbrand, and Kate Orff of SCAPE features an interactive panel discussion about how and why we undertake research, how we assess its legitimacy, and how we might better transform knowledge into practice. 

LAF 31st Annual Benefit2016annual-benefit-226
Fri, Oct 21, 7:00-10:30pm
The Civic Theatre (*Ticket Required)

Join top designers and leaders from practice, academia, and industry for a festive evening with great food and drink, amazing company, and a live performance from jazz icon Kermit Ruffins and The Barbecue Swingers. Proceeds support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

Women in Landscape Architecture: Pathways to Success
Sat, Oct 22, 11am-12:30pm
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 261
Moderated by Margaret Plumb of Design Workshop, this panel session features LAF’s Barbara Deutsch, Christine Ten Eyck of Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, and Thaisa Way of the University of Washington sharing their personal career paths, while discussing the opportunities for female innovators in the field.

LAF Booth in ASLA Expo Hall (#100) summit-crowd-226
Sat-Sun, Oct 22-23, 9:00am-6:00pm
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Hall E-F
Visit our booth to help LAF celebrate 50 years, see highlights from our Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future, and add your voice to The New Landscape Declaration, our 21st century call to action for the profession. 

What’s Next: The Summit on Landscape Architecture and the Future
Mon, Oct 24, 10-11:30am
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Room 356
LAF’s Barbara Deutsch, Frederick Steiner of PennDesign, Laura Solano of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and Kristina Hill of UC Berkeley present highlights from this landmark event and reflect on developing a 21st century call to action to achieve sustainability.

In addition, Kona Gray, President of the LAF Board of Directors and Lucinda Sanders, LAF Vice President of Leadership will be panelists at the Sunday morning general session on Designing for Diversity/Diversity in Design.

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/