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Leaders in Landscape Architecture Assess the Profession

On May 11, 2010, 24 leaders in landscape architecture gathered in Chicago for a moderated roundtable discussion sponsored by Landscape Forms and LAF. The purpose was to share ideas on how current economic realities are impacting landscape architecture practice, how firms are responding to the challenge, and how participants see the prospects for the profession. Guests came from 15 states and all regions of the country, from small proprietor-led practices and large interdisciplinary firms.

Barbara Faga of AECOM, San Francisco observed, “We are in a paradigm shift and we’ve just got to get used to it.” She noted that the opportunities now are in infrastructure: water resources, healthy cities, and transportation. “The easy projects are done,” she declared. “Now they’re all going to be difficult. They’re not going to be greenfields. They’re all going to be in town, they’re all going to be complicated, and they’re all going to have political action attached to them. We should be involved in these because that’s where the work is and that’s something we know about doing. It’s still our work. We’ve just got to reorganize it.”

View the full Roundtable summary here or on the Landscape Forms Community page.

LAF Case Study Book Wins 2010 Great Places Award

The Environmental Design Research Association announced its 2010 Great Places Award winners, and recognized Greening Cities, Growing Communities: Learning from Seattle’s Urban Community Gardens with the award for a recently published book advancing the critical understanding of place and the design of exceptional environments. The book is the fifth in LAF’s Land and Community Design Case Study Series.


To celebrate this important achievement, LAF, along with the George Washington University Landscape Design Program and the Potomac Chapter and Maryland Chapter of ASLA, hosted authors Jeffrey Hou and Julie Johnson from the University of Washington and Laura Lawson from the University of Illinois for a lecture, reception, and book-signing event in Washington, DC on June 2, 2010.  The authors presented insights from their research to an engaged audience of over 50 landscape architects, community organizers, students, and community gardening enthusiasts. 

The book highlights community gardens in Seattle where there has been a strong network of knowledge and resources. The case studies reveal the capacity of urban gardens to address larger community issues, like food security, urban ecosystem health, sustainable design, active living and equity concerns. The authors also examine how landscape architecture, planning, and allied design professionals can better interact in the making of these unique urban open spaces.

More information and online ordering are available through the University of Washington Press.

2009 Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes Winner Returns

Richard Heriford, the winner of LAF’s first Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes, has just returned from his all expense paid, week-long trip to EDSA’s Crosswaters Ecolodge & Spa, located in the Nankun Mountain Reserve in Guangdong Province, China. This award-winning resort is one of the first ecotourism destinations in China.

chinatrip657-pif2Richard had an incredible experience and said that the resort could not have been more beautiful with its layering of natural and designed environments.

“The Crosswinds resort is truly spectacular. The intimate luxury hotel sits on the river’s edge high in the mountains about 2 hours from Gaungzhou Airport. The building design and landscape architecture work hand-in-hand to create a visually rich and relaxing atmosphere, while the staff keeps a watchful eye on every detail.”

“During our six-day visit, we were assigned a two-bedroom River Villa, complete with sound from the rushing stream. During the day we enjoyed several chinatrip723-pifside trips to nearby villages and towns to explore local culture and site seeing. In the afternoons we received resort signature spa treatments and tea. And each evening, we consulted with the kitchen staff in preparation for our Hakka style dinner.”

“In addition to great design the resort is blessed with a great staff. Everyone we meet did their personal best to make us feel welcome in their country. I can’t wait to return. Many thanks to LAF and EDSA for a delightful trip!”

Stayed tuned for information on LAF’s 2010 Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes to learn how you could win a trip for two to AECOM’s Anvaya Cove in the Philippines.

2010 National Olmsted Scholar and Finalists

emilyvogler09benefitEmily Vogler, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, has been selected as the 2010 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $25,000 award.  Emily will receive her Master of Landscape Architecture degree in May and plans to use the award to conduct research and provoke public conversation on sustainable regionalism, using the five pillars of water, energy, economy, ecology and community. She was a National Olmsted Scholar Finalist in 2009.

Also honored are this year’s five national finalists:

  • David Godshall, University of California, Berkeley
  • Lauren Hackney, University of Virginia
  • Christopher Hardy, Cornell University
  • Caitlin Harrigan, University of British Columbia
  • Amanda Jeter, University of Colorado, Denver

An independent jury of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the award winner and finalists from a group of 38 graduate and undergraduate students who were nominated by their faculty for being student leaders in sustainable design and planning. These top students earned the designation of 2010 University Olmsted Scholars.

The 2010 jury members were Susan Szenasy, Editor-in-Chief, Metropolis Magazine; Mark Dawson, ASLA, Principal, Sasaki Associates, Inc.; Forster Ndubisi, ASLA, Professor and Department Head, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, Texas A&M University; Teresa Durkin, ASLA, Vice President and Senior Landscape Architect, HOK; Jonathan Mueller, FASLA, ASLA President-Elect, Senior Landscape Architect at Landmark/Architects West, Inc.; Skip Graffam, ASLA, Partner/Director of Research, OLIN; and David Malda, 2009 National Olmsted Scholar.

The Olmsted Scholars Program was launched in 2008 to honor the work of today’s student leaders in sustainable design and planning.  Past National Olmsted Scholars are Andrea Gaffney from the University of California, Berkeley (2008) and David Malda from the University of Virginia (2009).