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LAF Events at the ASLA Annual Meeting

Heading to Chicago for the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO? We hope you’ll join us for some or all of the following events to celebrate, support, and raise awareness about LAF and its transformative programs. Between receiving two ASLA Professional Awards and kicking off the festivities for our 50th anniversary in 2016, it will be an epic series of events. We hope to see you!

starrynightStarry Night, LAF’s 30th Annual Benefit
Fri, Nov 6, 7:00-10:30pm
Adler Planetarium

Join top designers and leaders from practice, academia, and industry for a star-filled evening at the Adler Planetarium where floor to ceiling windows and outdoor terraces offer awe-inspiring views of the Chicago skyline. Enjoy cocktails, fine local food, and amazing company, all while raising money to support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

Landscape Performance: Determining What and How to Measure
Fri, Nov 6, 1:30-3pm
McCormick Place, Room E451A, Level 4
Don’t miss this Education Session moderated by LAF’s Heather Whitlow and featuring Skip Graffam of OLIN, Emily McCoy of Andropogon Associates, and Allyson Mendenhall of Design Workshop. Panelist will present widely applicable metrics and methods for environmental, social, and economic performance and share insights on gathering baseline data, setting objectives, and evaluating performance of built projects.

photocollage2LAF Booth in ASLA Expo Hall (#2821)
Sat-Sun, Nov 7-8, 9:00am-5:00pm
McCormick Place
Visit our booth to learn more about LAF, help kick off our 50th anniversary celebration in our photobooth, and try out the award-winning LandscapePerformance.org.

ASLA Professional Awards Ceremony
Mon, Nov 9, 12:00-1:00pm
McCormick Place - Lakeside Center, Arie Crown Theater
See the best in landscape architecture from the U.S. and around the world. LAF’s Landscape Performance Series will receive the 2015 Award of Excellence in Communications, and our Case Study Investigation (CSI) program will be recognized with an Honor Award for Research.

Announcing Our 2015 National Olmsted Scholars

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is delighted to announce that Grant Fahlgren, a master’s student at the University of British Columbia, and Maria Muñoz, an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, were selected as the 2015 National Olmsted Scholars.

fahlgren-500x700Grant Fahlgren, University of British Columbia

Grant receives the $25,000 graduate prize and intends to use the award to expand his research of collaborative partnerships between indigenous communities and designers in the Cascadia Bioregion. This research will help elucidate the connections between traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and landscape architecture and provide a foundational knowledge to inform future collaborations. Grant is pursuing a Master of Landscape Architecture and expects to graduate in November 2015.

Maria receives the $15,000 undergraduate prize. Building on her heritage and experiences in Puerto Rico, Maria plans to use the award to research the island’s network of local vendors and their sources of homegrown agriculture products. Through interviews and mapping, she will document the social networks and marketing strategies of the growers, yielding knowledge that can help increase the growth potential of the homegrown food to local market system. Maria graduates with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in May 2015.

Also honored are six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists, who each receive a $1,000 award. The graduate finalists are:

muoz-500x700Maria Muñoz, Louisiana State University
  • Andrea Johnson, City College of New York
  • Teresa Pereira, Temple University
  • Harris Trobman, University of Maryland

The undergraduate finalists are:

  • Erin McDonald, Iowa State University
  • Nathaniel Oakley, University of California, Davis
  • Daniel Zhicheng Xu, Purdue University

Two independent juries of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the winners and finalists from a group of 43 graduate and 29 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for their exceptional leadership potential. These top students earned the designation of 2015 University Olmsted Scholars and join the growing community of nearly 400 past and present Olmsted Scholars.

The 2015 jurors for the graduate award were: Mark Dawson, FASLA, LAF Board President and Managing Principal at Sasaki Associates; Chad Danos, FASLA, PLA, ASLA President-Elect and Director of Landscape Architecture at Duplantis Design Group; D’Arcy Deeks, President and CEO at IRONSMITH; Chris Fannin, Senior Vice President and Director of Planning at HOK; Daniel Martin, Director of Marketing at Permaloc Corporation and Partner at Land8 Media; and Sara Zewde, 2014 National Olmsted Scholar (Graduate) and MLA student at Harvard University.

Jurors for the undergraduate award were: Kona Gray, ASLA, LAF President-Elect and Principal at EDSA; Mark Focht, FASLA, PLA, ASLA Immediate Past President and First Deputy Commissioner at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Jim Laiche, Water Conservation Business Manager at The Toro Company; Bradford McKee, Editor-in-Chief of Landscape Architecture Magazine; Lucinda Sanders, FASLA, CEO and Partner at OLIN;  Fritz Steiner, PhD, Dean of the School of Architecture and Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture, University of Texas at Austin; and Erin Percevault, 2014 National Olmsted Scholar (Undergraduate) and BLA student at Louisiana State University.

Now in its eighth year, the 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.The Olmsted Scholars Program is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor: The Toro Company; Annual Sponsors: EDSA, HOK, OLIN, Sasaki Associates, IRONSMITH, Thomas C. and Gerry D. Donnelly, and Steven G. King, FASLA; Promotion Partner: American Society of Landscape Architects.

LAF Events at the ASLA Annual Meeting

If you’ll be in Denver for the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO, we hope you’ll join us for one or more of the following events to raise awareness and support LAF programs. We’ll celebrate over $1 million awarded to students since 1986, honor our 2014 Olmsted Scholars, and launch the all-new LandscapePerformance.org, the next-generation of our award-winning Landscape Performance Series.

newheightsNew Heights, LAF’s 29th Annual Benefit
Fri, Nov 21, 7:00-10:30pm
The Studio Loft

Join top designers and leaders from practice, academia, and industry for a lively evening in the heart of Denver’s Theatre District. Enjoy cocktails, fine food, and amazing company, all while raising money to support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

LAF Booth in ASLA Expo Hall (#1556)
Sat-Sun, Nov 22-23, 9:00am-5:00pm
Colorado Convention Center
Visit our booth to learn more about LAF, register for the Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes, and see the brand-new LandscapePerformance.org.mackerel-beach

Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes
Sun, Nov 23, 4:30pm
Colorado Convention Center
Join us at our booth in the ASLA Expo Hall as we draw the winner of our one-of-a-kind trip for two to Mackerel Beach, Sydney, Australia. You can make a donation to register to win right up until the drawing. Entrants need not be present to win. All sweepstakes proceeds support LAF’s research and scholarship programs.

Stormwater BMP Performance:
What Every Landscape Architect Should Know
Sat, Nov 22, 2:30-4pm
Colorado Convention Center
Don’t miss this Education Session moderated by LAF’s Heather Whitlow and featuring Bill Wenk of Wenk Associates, Jonathan Jones of Wright Water Engineers, and Jason Berner of the US EPA. This session will describe current initiatives to document performance, protocols for measuring performance, ways to design more effective systems, and the challenges the profession could face when levels of performance aren’t realized.

Olmsted Scholar Feature: Rediscovering Colombia's Fucha River

By Viviana Castro, 2014 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist

A river that was valued once as a source of life is now channelized to control its contaminated waters, with people fearing it and perceiving it as sewage rather than a natural resource. Rediscovering the Fucha River involves exploring the opportunities of the river as a public space, creating a vision that can change the perception of the river and demonstrate how people can experience its regeneration.

I began this exploration as my senior capstone project with the goal of understating the potential of urban river restoration in Latin American development. Studying this river in particular, however, brought up many aspects that brought a different value to the notion of restoration, where first there needs to be a rediscovery.

fucha01The Fucha River today in the city of Bogotá, Colombia.

Fucha — Muyscubum for “the great female” — was one of the sources of life for the Muysca tribe in the area of Bacata (now the city of Bogotá). The Muysca had a close relationship with the river, seeing it as the place of birth for all life forms. However, as Spanish settlement began to take place, the river was used as a hydraulic source for industries developing in the twentieth century. With this change, the waters began to degrade and the river began to be seen as a source of disposal. Even the term Fucha today can be confused with the Spanish vernacular fuchi, which is a way to describe a bad smell.

The river begins with high water quality as it flows down the steep mountain ranges but begins to degrade as it enters the urban core. By the time it reaches its last stretch, the river has lost its oxygen levels and has received waste from multiple polluting sources.

I interviewed people around the river edge, asking them about their impression of the river. People commented on the constant flooding, contamination, and waste disposal into the river, and compared their experience of the river in the city to the rivers in the countryside, where activities such as paseo de olla (traditional family picnics) take place around the river. How can our culture, and the built environment, contribute to the restoration of the river?

The Rediscovering the Fucha River vision utilizes public spaces as the way to encourage a new attitude towards the river. It takes into account four general scenarios found along the one-mile stretch that repeat along the river edge and illustrates how open spaces, residences, industries, and even how the surrounding truck parking lots can contribute to the restoration of the river.

By illustrating the river through time, we can show the steps that can be taken to help its regeneration. It can begin by allowing and encouraging the river to be observed, demonstrating its value and potential through art and recreational elements. With time, the river can be approached, and eventually it can be appreciated in its natural state.  fucha03

The Fucha River runs the risk of losing its meaning and natural function if it continues to be treated as it is today. Rediscovering the Fucha River involves understanding its meaning from the past, its role today, and what it will mean for the future. Overall, this vision aims to serve as an advocacy tool towards reconsidering the value of the Fucha River within the current development of the city. This river was part of our historical values and can be restored to bring our close traditional relationship with rivers to the city. In Bogotá, we can also have a paseo de olla. Let’s recuperate our Fucha River.

To see the full Rediscovering the Fucha River report, visit: http://issuu.com/vivianacastro0/docs/resdiscover_fucha

Viviana Castro recently graduated with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (Summa Cum Laude) and a minor in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida. She is currently working at Dix.Hite+Partners in Longwood, Florida.

Meet the 2014 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 2014 undergraduate winner and finalists, who were announced last spring. An independent jury of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected them from a group of 30 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 2014 Olmsted Scholars will be honored at LAF’s Annual Benefit in Denver on November 21. We hope to se you there!

 

National Olmsted Scholar Erin Percevault of Louisiana State University

Erin discusses her research looking at how renewable energy technologies and policies affect landscape and communities.

 

Finalist Blythe Worstell of the Ohio State University

In this slideshow, Blythe shares how travel, service, and her rustbelt upbringing have shaped her design interests.

 

Finalist Clemente Rico of Arizona State University

Clemente discusses his belief that landscape architecture can be an agent for social and environmental justice and his work to develop future designers.

 

Finalist Viviana Castro of the University of Florida

In this slideshow, Viviana shares her experiences abroad and discusses plans to return to Bogota, Columbia to share her capstone research and visions for rediscovering the Fucha River.