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2015 Landscape Performance Education Grant Recipients Announced

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As landscape architects are increasingly engaged to address complex challenges like climate change, urbanization, and public health, it is critical that they be able to communicate the measurable benefits of design solutions. Therefore, landscape architecture students need awareness and the technical skills to predict outcomes, assess alternatives, defend design proposals, and evaluate the environmental, economic, and social performance of landscape projects.

LAF’s Landscape Performance Education Grants allow select university faculty to develop and test models for integrating landscape performance into standard landscape architecture course offerings. Five $2,500 mini-grants were awarded to these faculty members for the Spring 2015:

  • Kenneth Brooks, FASLA, FCELA, PLA, Arizona State University
    Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio IV (MLA Studio) and Special Topic: Design Performance (MLA Seminar)
    In the studio course, each student will develop a systematic performance assessment of their design to illustrate how the proposal accommodates a program and site. In the seminar course, students will use their studio projects as the basis for developing and demonstrating design performance assessment.
  • Ellen Burke, PLA, LEED AP, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
    Project Design and Implementation Focus Studio (BLA Studio)
    This upper-division studio will teach an understanding of landscape as a living system. Through a combination of research, program design and quantification assignments, students will be asked to choose and design a ‘performative’ landscape and to understand and describe their proposals through the lens of landscape performance.
  • Reid Coffman, PhD, Kent State University
    Urban Ecological Systems (MLA, MArch, MUD Joint-seminar)
    In this cross-disciplinary graduate seminar, students will conceptualize green infrastructure applications and, using various calculators, determine before and after scenario performances in various categorical areas: hydrology, energy, nutrients, biological diversity, and human health.
  • Yi Luo, PhD, Texas Tech University
    Landscape Architecture Design Process
    (BLA Studio and Lecture)
    As the first BLA design studio course at Texas Tech, it familiarizes students with the typical design process of a landscape project. Background information on landscape performance will be taught, followed by the design process of a landscape, and concluding with student projects that utilize methods learned and quantify potential performance benefits.
  • Emily Vogler, Rhode Island School of Design
    Site Analysis and Planning (MLA Seminar)
    Through weekly lectures, workshops and field exercises, this course will cover both the theory and techniques of site analysis and planning. Students will learn how to measure, analyze and map physical, biological and social attributes on a site, as well as synthesize site specific data into design solutions.

Grant recipients will work with LAF throughout the duration of the classes and use formal course evaluations to determine the success and replicability of the teaching models used. Course materials developed through the Landscape Performance Education Grants will be added to the Resources for Educators section of LandscapePerformance.org, which offers teaching tools like syllabi, reading lists, and assignments for faculty members interested in teaching landscape performance to the next generation of design professionals.icpifoundation-new

The Landscape Performance Education Grants are made possible with support from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s Foundation for Education & Research. A total of ten $2,500 grants have been awarded in 2014 and 2015.

Thanks for an Extraordinary Year!

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) invests in research and scholarships to increase our collective capacity to achieve sustainability and cultivate the next generation of design leaders. In 2014, LAF marked an important milestone, having awarded over $1 million to over 500 students since 1986. During this same period, LAF also invested $2.2 million in research initiatives.  

As 2015 gets underway, we’d like to send out a big thank you to all of our friends, donors, and partners whose support helped us accomplish the following in 2014:toast-crop

  • Awarded $122,500 to students.
  • Launched the next-generation Landscape Performance Series as its own website: LandscapePerformance.org.
  • Produced 20 new LPS Case Study Briefs through the Case Study Investigation (CSI) program with 7 faculty-student-practitioner teams.
  • Recognized 75 new Olmsted Scholars, including the $25,000 graduate and $15,000 undergraduate national winners.
  • Awarded $12,500 in mini-grants to faculty to develop and test models for integrating landscape performance in design education.
  • Launched a new “5 Questions with…” interview series with top leaders in landscape architecture.

This year, LAF will continue to build on these transformative initiatives with new website modules, enhanced communications, and expanded outreach. Look for our much-awaited guidebook on evaluating landscape performance, a powerful new clearinghouse of teaching tools for landscape architecture faculty, and even more resources to help you design better and make the case for sustainable landscape solutions.

We couldn’t do what we do without our many supporters! As another ambitious year gets underway, please consider investing in the foundation by making a contribution online or learning about the many ways to support LAF.

Remember LAF in Your Year-End Giving

Through its leadership, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) continues to expand awareness about the value of landscape solutions to create healthy, resilient, livable places. LAF’s research and scholarship programs increase the capacity of not only the landscape architecture profession to create change, but also the many professionals and advocates who share LAF’s mission and are critical to its success.

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In 2014, LAF celebrated these key milestones, which would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors and sponsors:

  • Awarded over $1 million in scholarships to over 500 students since 1986
  • Recognized over 300 Olmsted Scholars since 2008
  • Launched the next generation of the award-winning Landscape Performance Series: LandscapePerformance.org

2015 will be another ambitious year for LAF. Your support of the Foundation by year-end will help us to continue to deliver innovative programs and expand our impact. Show your commitment and give back to the profession by making a tax-deductible contribution online, making an honor or memorial gift (you’ll get a printable certificate to share), or learn about the many ways to support the Foundation.

LAF is a tax-exempt organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your charitable contribution is deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Welcome 2014-2015 Board of Directors

The 2014-2015 LAF Board of Directors began its term on November 21 at LAF’s Annual Board Meeting in Denver. Mark Dawson, FASLA of Sasaki Associates took the reins as President, succeeding Jacinta McCann, FAILA, FASLA of AECOM, whose international and multi-disciplinary perspective helped LAF to broaden its focus and reach. Kona Gray, ASLA of EDSA became President-Elect.

2014presidentsPresident-Elect Kona Gray, Immediate Past President Jacinta McCann, and President Mark Dawson

Director Jennifer Guthrie became an officer and Laura Solano assumed a new role, with three other officers continuing in their positions on the executive leadership team.

  • Vice President of Finance:
    Jennifer Guthrie, FASLA, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol
  • Vice President of Communication:
    Laura Solano, ASLA, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
  • Vice President of Education:
    Kristina Hill, PhD, Aff. ASLA, University of Virginia
  • Vice President of Research:
    Forster Ndubisi, PhD, FASLA, Texas A&M University
  • Vice President of Leadership:
    Lucinda Sanders, FASLA, OLIN

Bill Main, Hon. ASLA of Landscape Forms retired off the Board after six years of service, including a term as President in 2012-2013 and a year as Vice President of Communications. Nate Cormier of SvR Design Company left the Board after four years, two of which he was Vice President of Communications.

Director and Past President Chip Crawford, FASLA of Forum Studio left the Board after ten years of extended service, but will transition to head the LAF Board Emeritus group. Ginger Murphy, ASLA of the United States Department of Agriculture finished her four-year term as a Director. David Malda of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol rotated off after serving a two-year term as past Olmsted Scholar representative, and Thomas Tavella, FASLA rotated off after serving for a year in an Ex Officio capacity as an ASLA Representative.

Seven new Directors joined the LAF Board, bringing experience and insights from landscape architecture practice, the development sector, industry, and academia. Kate Tooke, LAF’s 2011 National Olmsted Scholar, was selected for the open Director position for past Olmsted Scholars. ASLA Immediate Past President Mark Focht, FASLA will serve as the ASLA Representative. Welcome to the new Board members:

  • Gayle Berens, Urban Land Institute
  • Susannah Drake, ASLA, AIA, dlandstudio
  • Mark Focht, FASLA, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
  • Richard Heriford, Landscape Forms
  • Peg Staeheli, FASLA, SvR Design Company
  • Kate Tooke, ASLA, Sasaki Associates
  • Richard Weller, University of Pennsylvania

The vision, passion, and thought leadership of this group was evident in the three days of lively meetings and events held in Denver. We look forward to their active participation to help LAF increase impact and prepare for the foundation’s 50th anniversary in 2016. Thank you for your service!

2014boardLAF Board members — current, outgoing, Emeritus, and maybe a few others — at the LAF Annual Benefit

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.