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Denver Mountain Parks / Barrett Doherty – TCLF

In advance of the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting in Denver, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) has unveiled What’s Out There Denver, the first in a new series of free web-based, city-focused guides. TCLF’s guide covers more than 150 years of landscape design history and city shaping in Denver. Guide users can explore nearly 70 sites and sort by 17 landscape types, as well as delve into histories of the local designers who created these places.

TCLF President and Founder Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, said: “The Denver parks and open space network is an unrivaled local design interpretation that leverages the unique geography of the surrounding Rocky Mountain range and expansive American Prairie grasslands. The goal of this guide is to make this legacy visible and easily accessible through laptops, iPhones, tablets, and other devices.”

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Denver Mountain Parks / Barrett Doherty – TCLF

The series is an expansion of TCLF’s free, profusely-illustrated What’s Out There online database of the nation’s shared landscape legacy, which currently features more than 1,700 sites, 900 designer profiles, and 10,000 images. This is the first phase in the series and will be upgraded over time to allow users to build individual itineraries, create links between cities based on designers, the types and styles of landscapes, and other features. The web site will continue to grow as additional sites are added to the What’s Out There database. The guide also features What’s Nearby, a GPS-enabled function that locates all sites in the database within a 25-mile radius of any given location.

The guide is made possible by project partners ASLA, the Colorado ASLA Chapter, the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, and support from Design Workshop.

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ASLA Student Analysis & Planning Award of Excellence. Meridian of Fertility. Reid Fellenbaum, University of Michigan / image: Reid Fellenbaum.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announces the winners of the 2014 Student Awards. This year, 21 submissions received awards, out of more than 500 entries from 77 schools.

The October issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine (LAM) features the winning projects and is available online for free viewing. October’s LAM will be featured on the end-caps of the magazine sections in nearly 600 Barnes & Noble stores beginning October 14.

The awards will be presented at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Denver on Monday, November 24, at 12 noon, at the Colorado Convention Center.  The 2014 awards program is sponsored by Victor Stanley.

The student awards jury included: Gina Ford, ASLA, Sasaki, Jury Chair; Rebecca Barnes, FAIA, University of Washington; Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, Parker Rodriguez; Sandra Y. Clinton, FASLA, Clinton & Associates; Bernard Dahl, FASLA, Purdue University; Christian Gabriel, ASLA, U.S. General Services Administration; Eric Kramer, ASLA, Reed Hilderbrand; Willett Moss, ASLA, CMG Landscape Architecture; and Brian Sawyer, ASLA, Sawyer/Berson.

General Design Category

Honor Awards
16th Street Station
by Erik Jensen, Associate ASLA, graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley

34,000 Tons of Miracles
by an undergraduate student team from Pusan National University, South Korea

Residential Design Category

Honor Awards
The Edgerly: The Next Generation of a Community Anchor
by a graduate student team from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Spaces of Exception: Housing as a Common Framework
by a graduate student team from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Analysis & Planning Category

Award of Excellence
Meridian of Fertility (see image above)
by Reid Fellenbaum, Student Affiliate ASLA, graduate student at the University of Michigan

Honor Awards
The Wild Anacostia: Cultivating a Thick Edge Typology through Everyday Experience
by Kate Hayes, Associate ASLA, graduate student at the University of Virginia

Migratory Lands Demonstration Project
by Emily Chen, Student ASLA, graduate student at Washington University, St. Louis

The Plexus Spine of North Philly
by Jacqueline Martinez, Student ASLA, graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania

Markings
by a graduate student team from the University of Texas at Austin

Bigger Darby: A Landscape Approach for a Coherent & Resilient Watershed
by an undergraduate and graduate student team from The Ohio State University

Beyond Turf: Reinterpreting the Ecological Management of Vacant Landscapes
by Alexander Ochoa, Student ASLA, an undergraduate student at Louisiana State University

Communications Category

Honor Awards
Adaptive Streets: Strategies for Transforming the Urban Right-of-Way
by a graduate student team from the University of Washington

SNACKs
by a graduate student team from the University of Virginia

Research Category

Honor Awards
A Spatial Analysis of the Uncharted Territory of Growing Old
by a graduate student team from the University of Virginia

Student Collaboration

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ASLA Student Collaboration Award of Excellence. Harvest Home. Students at George Washington University / images: Adele Ashkar, Nick Gringold, Ryan McKibben, Julie Melear, Sharon Metcalf

Award of Excellence
Harvest Home
by a graduate student team from George Washington University

Honor Awards
The Prairie Club + Redefined
by an undergraduate student team from Ball State University

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial: History, Design and the American People
by an undergraduate student team from Ball State University

Gardens, Greenspace and Health in Eliseo Collazos, Lima, Peru
by a graduate student team from the University of Washington

Community Service

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ASLA 2014 Student Community Service Award of Excellence. Ratang Bana Aids Orphanage Playscape. California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo / image: California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo

Award of Excellence
Ratang Bana Aids Orphanage Playscape
by an undergraduate student team from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Honor Awards
Creating Home, A Healing Garden for Veterans and Their Families
by an undergraduate student team from the University of Washington

The Hastings-on-Hudson Community Street Tree Inventory
by Brett Schneiderman, Student ASLA, graduate student at Cornell University

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ASLA 2013 Student Community Service Honor Award. Design Teach / Jesse Nicholson, Student ASLA; Travis North, Student ASLA; Roana Tirado, Student ASLA Graduate Cornell University

ASLA recently released its annual graduating student survey. This survey was completed by graduating students from 47 accredited undergraduate and graduate landscape architecture programs. The purpose of this survey is to gather information on post-graduation plans.

While the average age for undergraduates and graduates remained consistent with previous years, 24 and 30 respectively, and the male to female ratio also remained consistent, there was a considerable change in the race of respondents. While 70 percent indicated they are Caucasian, this number is down from 84 percent in 2013 and 82 percent in 2012. The percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander students increased to 15 percent, up from 8 percent in 2012. Also, the number of Hispanic students increased to 14 percent, up from six percent in 2013 and just four percent in 2014.

Students enter graduate landscape architecture programs with diverse educational backgrounds. Those mentioned by two or more respondents include: architecture; art history; communications; environmental design and biology; environmental planning; environmental science; fine arts; geography; graphic design; horticulture; journalism; landscape architecture; philosophy; and urban studies.

For the first time, the survey asked respondents about how they were funding their education and any education-related debt. 69 percent of undergraduates indicated their parents or grandparents paid or contributed to their education, while graduate students indicated scholarships and federal loan programs as the top funding sources. The average amount of debt is $23,400 for undergraduates and $35,100 for graduate students. Overall, 49 percent of respondents have $20,000 or more in debt, and a just under a quarter owe $50,000 or more.

Some 90 percent of respondents indicated they plan to seek employment in the profession, up slightly from the previous year, while three percent plan to pursue additional education. Of those looking for a job, 67 percent plan to seek employment in a private sector landscape architecture firm. When looking for a job, the top three rated factors by respondents were geographic location, type of organization, and position description.

More than half of all respondents had been on one or more interviews during their final semester. Respondents expect a salary of around $47,600. Salary expectations increased by $5,000 from 2013. However, the average starting salary reported by those who have already started or accepted a job was $37,300 for undergraduate and $42,900 for graduate students.

The number of respondents who have already started a job and will receive medical insurance is up seven percent to 95 percent. The percentage of respondents is who will receive 401K retirement benefits increased dramatically from 63 to 83 percent. And the percentage who have employers who pay their professional dues has held steady for two years at 27 percent, up from only 3 percent in 2012.

And how did the survey respondents get hooked on landscape architecture? They were most likely to have first learned about the field from talking to a landscape architect or from reading about the field online or in a book, newspaper, or magazine. So in turn: one in four respondents visited an elementary, middle, or high school to talk about the profession.

Graduating student surveys dating back to 2002 are posted at ASLA’s Career Discovery web site.

This guest post is by Susan Apollonio, ASLA Director of Education Programs.

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Browsing through the latest issue of Azure magazine, one can see socially conscious design is making its way even into the far reaches of Winnipeg, Canada. Folly Forest, a great, small project at the Stratchona School, which is in a low-income neighborhood, was put together with just $80,000 by local design firm Straub Thurmayr Landscape Architects and Urban Designers.

50-year old asphalt was broken apart so 100 trees could be planted within bright red and yellow-lined star-shaped spaces. Azure tells us: “To add rich texture and provide ground cover for the new plantings, they arranged bricks, logs, and stones inside the bases.”

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There are also “rusty cauldrons” and “silvery wooden beams,” found objects that add an industrial glamor.

The project has deservedly taken home a ton of Canadian design awards. Azure‘s jury gave it a merit award, and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) awarded it a citation. CSLA said the project “demonstrates the immense potential of landscape architecture as a spatial and social transformer. It showcases how a simple measure can take ecological and aesthetic effects and turn them into the formative element of design.”

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The Prairie Design Awards also honored the project, writing that at just $20 per square foot, nature is allowed to “take root through an asymmetrically disposed composition of newly planted trees, benches, follies and earthen mounds. The program fosters playful engagement, through the eyes of a child, and provides any visitor, young or old, to engage with a truly delightful and special place.”

But beyond all the accolades from the design world, the teachers and kids at the school seem to get a lot of out their rugged new green space, too. Erin Hammond, a teacher at Stratchona School, told CBC News, the new space has been a boon for the kids. “It’s just been an amazing enticement to get kids outside.”

Teachers are using the green space to start new conversations about ecology. “Kids are going, ‘How come that tree has more leaves than this one?’ Well, that one has more sun than this one,” said Hammond.

See a video about the project.

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The American Society of Landscape Architects has launched a new Career Discovery web site to help young people explore the profession of landscape architecture. To help teachers steer young people towards the field, a new resource center has also been created, filled with classroom activities.

The Career Discovery website, aimed at students in middle school and high school, explains what a landscape architect does and how to become one. With a background that features the evolution of Columbus Circle in New York City from sketch to reality, the website shows how landscape architects creatively solve complex urban and environmental issues through design. Columbus Circle was redesigned by OLIN, a landscape architecture firm, and received a 2006 ASLA Honor Award in the General Design category.

The website also includes two videos—“Personal Paths” and “Why Become a Landscape Architect?”—featuring landscape architects and designers on why landscape architecture is the perfect career for art- and science-oriented students.

Tools for Teachers is a new education hub for K-12 teachers.  It is loaded with fun, free classroom activities that will inspire lesson plans and start classroom dialogues about landscape architecture. It includes links to all of ASLA’s educational resources, including:

“Students need to know at an earlier age why landscape architecture is a fun, rewarding, and important career that helps communities become great places to live,” said Mark A. Focht, FASLA, president of ASLA and first deputy commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation. “Our educational and career discovery resources will help them and their teachers get excited about what we do and why it matters.”

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The ASLA public awareness campaign launched the Year of Public Service (YPS) in 2013 for two reasons. First, the campaign encouraged ASLA members to ramp up existing pro-bono efforts. Second, ASLA wanted to highlight the great service projects already done by landscape architects across the country.

A year later, the YPS blog boasts nearly 50 projects, with more still trickling in. Just a few examples: in the past year, landscape architects have created a new scenic trail plan; designed a healing, sensory garden; built a butterfly and bird habitat; and launched a community space, all for deserving communities.

A New Vision for the Great Shasta Rail Trail

Many projects, like the Great Shasta Rail Trail (GSRT), took advantage of longstanding relationships between ASLA chapters and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. See the video above.

The vision for the project was to develop an 80-mile scenic, multi-use trail along the existing rail bed between the towns of McCloud and Burney, near Mt. Shasta, California. The workshop addressed the project’s many design challenges while generating concepts that can be used to communicate with the public.

 A New Sensory Garden for Outside the Box

The Indiana Chapter of ASLA designed and installed a sensory garden for a non-profit, Outside the Box (OTB). Located on the north side of Indianapolis, OTB is a provider of day, employment, and art services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. OTB views their 200 patrons as capable individuals who can enrich their own lives through contributions to their community.

The chapter’s public service committee visited OTB to observe a typical day while meeting staff and participants, and decided to host a design charrette for a new sensory garden. Last April, Indiana ASLA held a one-day work session during National Landscape Architecture Month.

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Sensory Garden construction / Indiana ASLA

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Sensory Garden / Indiana ASLA

ASLA Indiana voted to provide maintenance funds to OTB to keep the garden looking beautiful year after year.

A New Butterfly and Bird Habitat for Southside Elementary School

Also featured on the blog are many member submissions. Michael Gilkey, ASLA, was integral to establishing an edible garden along with a bird and butterfly garden in Sarasota, Florida. He even lead kindergarten classes in the creation of their own shoebox butterfly gardens.

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Southside Elementary Eco-Garden Co-Chair Emily Morgan helps a third grade class release their own hatched monarch into the newly certified butterfly and bird habitat garden / Michael A. Gilkey, Inc.

When the garden team of the Southside elementary school approached Gilkey about the dire need to redo the front school façade, he volunteered his time and designs to create a butterfly and bird habitat garden that would welcome students and parents into the historic building. The garden was planted in early 2013, and is now considered a certified wildlife habitat.

A New Community Space in Athens

Thanks to the students who attended LABash 2013, an annual landscape architecture student symposium, Athens-area Habitat for Humanity created a new community space at The Foundation, an apartment complex, in an area once riddled with crime. Athens Habitat bought The Foundation property, renovated the units, and created a haven for deserving families to call home.

The students who participated in this year’s LABash were encouraged to team up and submit a plan for a community space in a quick-fire competition organized by the University of Georgia Center for Community Design and Preservation. At least 60 students from 18 universities competed.

The submissions were judged by a panel of experts comprised of sponsors, UGA faculty, Habitat staff, and Tom Tavella, FASLA past-ASLA president. The competition allowed students to gain real design experience, while strengthening ties between UGA and Athens businesses and nonprofits. Once the winning teams were chosen, construction commenced.

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Winning design / UGA LABash 2013 Facebook Page

ASLA’s chapters, members, and students are making the country a better place, but this is nothing new. Many landscape architects do pro-bono projects every year. This campaign just highlighted those efforts. See all YPS projects.

This guest post is by Phil Stamper-Halpin, ASLA PR and Communications Coordinator

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DesignIntelligence

DesignIntelligence recently announced its 2014 landscape architecture graduate and undergraduate program rankings. For the first time since 2007, Pennsylvania State University came in at the top of undergraduate landscape architecture programs, unseating long-time leader Louisiana State University. For the tenth year, Harvard University came in as the best graduate program in the annual survey conducted by DesignIntelligence on behalf of the Design Futures Council.

Detailed rankings are available in the 14th edition of America’s Best Architecture & Design Schools, which assesses program rankings and education trends in architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and industrial design.

Respondents from nearly 800 “professional practice” organizations (up nearly double over last year) answered questions about how well prepared graduates are from different undergraduate and graduate programs. Some 74 percent said they “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the state of landscape architecture education in the U.S., down from 80 percent last year. Some 64 percent found that graduating students had an “adequate understanding” of biology, biodiversity, and environmental degradation, also slightly down. Some 60 percent thought their firms benefited from the new ideas about sustainability that recent graduates brought with them.

This year, the top five emerging concerns by practitioners are:

    Sustainability / Climate Change (58 percent)
    Maintaining Design Quality (50 percent)
    Integrated Design (42 percent)
    Urbanization (35 percent)
    Retaining Quality Staff in Design Practices (31 percent)

Interestingly, sustainability / climate change became the top issue by far this year, a change over the past few years.

DesignIntelligence asks us to only list the top five schools for each program. To see the top fifteen rankings for each category, purchase the report.

Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:

1) Pennsylvania State University
2) Louisiana State University
3) Purdue University
4) California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
5) University of Georgia

Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:

1) Harvard University
2) Kansas State University
3) Louisiana State University
4) University of Pennsylvania
5) Cornell University

An additional deans and chairs survey asked leaders of 63 landscape architecture academic programs about the top programs and the issues they find significant. According to 82 percent of the professors surveyed, the design profession’s biggest concern is climate change / sustainability, while another 66 percent said urbanization and 42 percent said globalization. The percentage identifying those issues has only increased over the past few years.

Among the biggest changes to curricula in the last 5 years: some 68 percent thought it was the greater “emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and integrated practice,” while 58 percent thought it was the increased focus on sustainable design.

For the third year, DesignIntelligence surveyed 679 landscape architecture students to gauge their satisfaction with the programs covered. Students were most satisfied at University of Pennsylvania followed by those at Cornell University and then the University of Virginia.

To see the full responses from professors and students, purchase the report.

Check out the 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009 program rankings.

Lastly, a big round of applause to Dick Zweifel, FASLA, professor and associate dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, who was listed as a DesignIntelligence top 30 most admired educators for 2014. “His consistency and vision have kept Cal Poly SLO among the best education programs in multidisciplinary design professions.”

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The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has released its call for entries for the 2014 professional and student awards, the premier awards programs for the profession. Award recipients will receive featured coverage in the October, 2014, issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine and in many other design and construction industry and general-interest media.

Award recipients, their clients, and student advisors also will be honored at the awards presentation ceremony during the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Denver, November 15–18, 2014. The award-winning projects will be featured in a video presentation at the ceremony and on the awards website following the event.

The prestige of the ASLA awards programs relies on the high-caliber juries that are convened each year to review submissions. Members of this year’s professional awards jury are:

  • James Burnett, FASLA, Office of James Burnett, Solana Beach, Calif., Jury Chair
  • Catherine Barner, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, San Francisco
  • Alain DeVergie, FASLA, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
  • Kona Gray, ASLA, EDSA, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • David Hocker, ASLA, Hocker Design Group, Dallas
  • Keith LeBlanc, FASLA, Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture, Boston
  • Anne Raver, Journalist, Reisterstown, Md.
  • Jerry van Eyck, ASLA, !melk, New York City
  • Thaisa Way, ASLA, University of Washington, Seattle.

Members of the student awards jury are:

  • Gina Ford, ASLA, Sasaki, Watertown, Mass., Jury Chair
  • Rebecca Barnes, FAIA, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Sandra Y. Clinton, FASLA, Clinton & Associates, Hyattsville, Md.
  • Bernard Dahl, FASLA, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
  • Christian Gabriel, ASLA, U.S. General Services Administration, Washington, D.C.
  • Eric Kramer, ASLA, Reed Hilderbrand, Watertown, Mass.
  • Willett Moss, ASLA, CMG Landscape Architecture, San Francisco
  • Brian Sawyer, ASLA, Sawyer/Berson, New York City
  • Dennis Carmichael, FASLA, Parker Rodriguez, Alexandria, Va.

Both the ASLA Professional and Student awards feature five categories: General Design; Residential Design; Analysis and Planning; Communications; and Research. The Professional Awards also include The Landmark Award, while the Student Awards include the Student Community Service Award and Student Collaboration categories.

Entry forms and payment must be received by:

March 7, 2014 for ASLA Professional Awards
April 25, 2014 for ASLA Student Awards.

Submission binders must be received by:

March 21, 2014 for ASLA Professional Awards
May 9, 2014 for ASLA Student Awards.

In need of inspiration? View the ASLA 2013 professional and student award-winning projects.

Image credit: ASLA 2014 Professional General Design Honor Award. The Crown Sky Garden: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Mikyoung Kim Design / George Heinrich Photography

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ASLA has announced the call for presentations for the 2014 Annual Meeting and EXPO, to be held in Denver, November 21-24 2014, at the Denver Convention Center. The deadline for education session proposals is January 30, 2014, and detailed information is available online. More than 6,000 attendees are expected.

The meeting will feature industry experts speaking on a wide range of subjects, from sustainable design to active living to best practices and new technologies. More than 130 education sessions and field sessions will be presented during the meeting, providing attendees with the opportunity to earn up to 21 professional development hours under the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System™ (LA CES™).

Many of the sessions will also qualify for continuing education credit with the Green Building Certification Institute (toward LEED AP credential maintenance), the American Institute of Architects, the American Institute of Certified Planners, and other allied professional organizations and state registration boards.

In need of inspiration? See an overview of this past year’s sessions.

Submit your proposal by January 30, 2014.

Image credit: Denver Convention Center

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In what has become an annual tradition, The Dirt offers a number of must-have books on design and the environment that came by our desks this year. All would make great presents for your favorite landscape architect or designer. Here are our top ten books of 2013:

Garden Park Community Farm by Warren Byrd, FASLA, Thomas Woltz, FASLA, Elizabeth Meyer, FASLA, and Stephen Orr (Princeton University Press, 2013)

This coffee-table book highlights some of their recent and best designs, but also showcases their philosophy as landscape architects, one that “encourages a responsiveness to the environment through artful design and ecological narratives that connect people to place.” Read the full review in The Dirt.

The Frackers by Gregory Zuckerman (Portfolio, 2013)

From The New Republic review: “Zuckerman’s fast-paced, densely interesting The Frackers is the first book to tell the stories of the obstinate, ravenous, methodical, sometimes rascally oil executives of the recent boom. By focusing on people instead of trends, it gets to the heart of why the United States is once again the largest supplier of oil and gas in the world.”

Go: A Kidd’s Design to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd (Workman Publishing, 2013)

From Kirkus Reviews: “Beginning with the striking cover design—a red stop sign reading ‘GO’—this book challenges our assumptions about what we see and read. Kidd skillfully uses typography and illustration to demonstrate how graphic design informs the ways we make decisions that affect our lives. . . . An engaging introduction to a critical feature of our modern, design-rich environment.”

Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton (St. Martin’s Press, 2013)

From The Atlantic magazine review: “Visually arresting and disarmingly deep… The photographs in this volume, some of which have never been published before, capture the city’s inhabitants with a commendable eye for demographic diversity and everyday street fashion. But it’s Stanton’s interviews with his subjects, usually excerpted from their rawest moments, that are the most captivating as they highlight both the hardship and the little victories of an often-unforgiving city.”

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin Barber (Yale University Press, 2013)

In The New York Times Book Review, Sam Roberts, writes: “Barber’s book is the most audacious — even messianic — of a torrent of recently advanced urban manifestoes. He tosses out facts with abandon, all in an effort to persuade the reader that modern cities are the incubators for problem-solving while national governments are doomed to failure.”

In the City by Nigel Peake (Princeton Architectural Press, 2013)

Nigel Peake sees cities, wherever they are, as an aggregation of units: the smallest materials and patterns give shape to the larger ones (apartments, stores, and parking lots), and then greater collections (neighborhoods and boroughs). Streets and bridges also fascinate him, as they separate and define the units that make up the city, but are also central to its patterns. He is awed by the sheer diversity of textures in a city — and how they fragment and change over time, creating a new city in the process. Read the full review in The Dirt.

James Turrell: A Retrospective by Michael Govan, Christine Kim, Florian Holzherr, and others (Prestel, 2013)

“If you are unfamiliar with artist James Turrell, this is your chance to be immersed in his work, which harnesses space and light to play with your perceptions. If you are familiar, you will be dazzled by the breadth of his career, from sketches and small light projects to one of the most ambitious art projects in the world, the remolding of Roden Crater in Arizona that realigns the visitor with his or her senses…and the world.” — Terry Poltrack

The Nature of Urban Design: A New York Perspective on Resilience by Alexandros Washburn, Hon. ASLA (Island Press, 2013)

Entertaining and attractively designed, Alexandros Washburn’s new book provides a fantastic introduction to the discipline of urban design for non-designers. Washburn, the chief urban designer for New York City, uses New York City as a case study to explain what exactly urban designers do and why it matters. He broadly defines urban design as “the art of changing cities, guiding growth to follow new patterns that better meet our challenges while improving our quality of life.” Read the full review in The Dirt.

The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream by Thomas Dyja (Penguin Press)

From Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times architecture critic: “Thomas Dyja’s The Third Coast is a wonderful, beautifully-written, eye-opener and genuine page-turner about Chicago, as sweeping and astonishing as the city itself. It does nothing less than help rewrite postwar American history and culture and cure our bi-coastal myopia. It links half-a-century’s worth of economic and social changes with cultural revolution, racial strife with sexual upheaval, architecture with politics, literature with gospel music, Hugh Hefner with Tina Fey, Mies van der Rohe with Mayor Daley, Ray Kroc with Katherine Kuh—it’s the whole grand, messy American story, lived through bigger-than-life characters in a bigger-than-life city.”

Water
by Edward Burtynsky (Steidl, 2013)

From the Amazon.com review: “Often using a bird’s-eye perspective, the photographer shows us its remote sources, remarkable ancient step-wells and mass bathing rituals, the transformation of desert into cities with waterfronts on each doorstep, the compromised landscapes of the American Southwest. Furthermore, Burtynsky explores the infrastructure of water management: the gigantic hydroelectric dams and terraced rice fields in the heart of China, the vast irrigation systems of America’s bread basket and the use of aquaculture. The colour photographs in this book are poetic and at the same time highly relevant: they reveal another vital component of our life on earth that drives the bloom of civilization, and foreshadow the extent to which our future depends on our everyday behavior in dealing with this increasingly scarce resource.”

Also, here are a few notable books for sustainable landscape design educators, students, and practitioners: Principles of Ecological Landscape Design by Travis Beck, ASLA (see The Dirt review); Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces by Clare Cooper Marcus, Honorary ASLA, and Naomi Sachs, ASLA (see The Dirt review); Designing Urban Agriculture: A Complete Guide to the Planning, Design, Construction, Maintenance, and Management of Edible Landscapes by April Philips, FASLA (see The Dirt review); Creating Green Roadways: Integrating Cultural, Natural, and Visual Resources into Transportation, James L. Sipes, ASLA, and Matthew L. Sipes (see The Dirt review); Rendering in SketchUp: From Modeling to Presentation for Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design by Daniel Tal, ASLA (see The Dirt review); and R. Buckminister Fuller: World Man by Daniel Lopez-Perez (see The Dirt review).

For more, check out Books by ASLA Members, a hub offering up hundreds of books written over the years (all available via Amazon.com), and the top 10 books from 2012.

Image credit: Princeton Architectural Press

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