Archive for the ‘Opportunities’ Category

Like so many other American cities, Louisville, Kentucky, must deal with thousands of vacant properties. The city government alone owns more than 450. To turn these vacant lots into assets, the city government and Vision Louisville have launched Lots of Possibility, an innovative design competition to transform blighted, abandoned spaces.

The city government tells us: “Vacant properties not only threaten the health, safety and vibrancy of a neighborhood – but they also are lost opportunities to create active places that strengthen neighborhoods.”

Individuals or teams can submit ideas for either permanent or temporary uses of city-owned lots. The city will select six finalists for each category and then two winners for each, which will receive seed funding.

The city government explains how the competition works for both categories:

Permanent projects (e.g., residential, commercial, institutional/civic, or other use that requires taking ownership of the lot)
Two winners in this category will receive ownership of the vacant lot proposed + $15,000 in seed funding to make the project happen. In this category, particular emphasis will be placed on making sure that the idea is not only creative, cost effective and able to be replicated, but also has the potential to be fully funded (assuming that additional funds beyond the prize package are needed.

Temporary/interim projects (e.g., do not involve a physical structure that will be difficult to remove; one to two year lease of the vacant lot acceptable)
This category is designed for proposals that identify innovative ways to repurpose vacant lots. Uses are not expected to be permanent at the outset, but rather to preserve the land for future potential development. Two winners in this category will receive a one year land lease (renewable for an additional year) + $4,000 in project funding. Please note that winners will be expected to maintain the lot, as well as restore the site, at the end of the lease.

The city has made 250 vacant lots available. “They are of varying sizes, shapes and locations.”

Learn more about the scale of Louisville’s vacant lot issue. Landscape architects: search and select a vacant lot before submitting a proposal. Ideas are due by February 24.

Another worthy design competition in Louisville seeks a design for a new children’s museum complex. Winners will take home $6,000. Register online by February 10.

Image credit: Vacant properties in Louisville / Preservation Louisville

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If you do, the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) wants to know, as it seeks submissions for its 16th annual Great Places awards. The organization is looking for work that “demonstrates how an understanding of the experience of place may be used to generate insightful design.” Winners have successfully combined “expertise in design, research, and practice” in a way that “contributes to the creation of dynamic, humane places that engage our attention and imagination.”

EDRA say great places are the result of an “interdisciplinary approach that is enduring, human-centered, sustainable, and concerned with the experiential relationship between people and their environment (built and natural) over time.”

The competition is really open to all: “Submissions are welcome from the full breadth of environmental design and related research activities, including architecture, landscape architecture, planning, urban design, interior design, lighting design, graphic design, place-based public art, environmental psychology, sociology, anthropology, geography, and the physical sciences.”

There are four awards categories: place design, place planning, place research, and the Great Places Book Prize.

In past years, a number of well-known contemporary landscape architecture designs, plans, projects have won Great Places awards. Last year, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol’s National Mall design competition entry, Unified Ground, won an award. In 2012, Escuela Ecologica Saludable Initiative: Parque Primaria Pitagoras, an innovative research project from University of Washington landscape architecture professor Benjamin Spencer, won. In earlier years, The Steel Yard Park by Kloper Martin Design Group, which also won an ASLA Professional Design Award, was deemed a great place as well.

Submissions are due by February 3.

Another competition that may be of interest to landscape architects: the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) seeks entries for its 2014 ideas competition in Copenhagen. They invite “interdisciplinary teams from around the world to submit their ideas for what infrastructure art of sustainable cities looks like.” LAGI gives awards to the best ideas for “public art that provides utility-scale clean energy to the grid.” The top 50 submissions will be included in an exhibition and book.

Image credit: ASLA 2011 Professional General Design Honor Award. Steel Yard Park by Klopfer Martin Design Group / Annali Kiers

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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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The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) seeks applications for its popular “Our Town” grant program, which awards anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000 to deserving “creative placemaking” projects. Over the past four years, Our Town has given $16 million to 190 projects in all U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

The NEA defines what creative placemaking means to them: “In creative placemaking, partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, tribe, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired.”

Of interest to landscape architects and other design professionals: through Our Town, the NEA is financing the creation of master plans, cultural district plans, public art, public spaces, and supporting design charrettes, design competitions, and community design workshops.

According to the NEA, previous grant-winners are “diverse in geographic distribution, number and types of partnerships, artistic discipline, and type of project.” In 2013 alone, more than half of the grants supported communities with fewer than 100,000 people.

Explore previous winners by state and apply by January 13, 2014. A webinar will be held on November 4 at 2 EST for those interested in learning more.

Image credit: Transform/Restore Brownsville, NEA Our Town Grant Winner / NYC-Arts 

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A new international ideas competition from the Hans Christian Andersen House of Fairy Tales in Odense, Denmark, hopes to create a new place that can “match the poetry” of famed children’s book author Hans Christian Andersen. The goal is to create a new a building and a garden that will welcome people into Andersen’s world. Odense City Museums and the Odense city government invite all types of design professionals, artists, and communicators to create a comprehensive concept that will take the current disjointed facilities and make a global attraction. The winning design will take home 100,000 euros.

One of Odense’s main attractions is the little yellow corner house where Hans Christian Andersen was born. But for the sponsors of the competition, that little house doesn’t match the stature of the man who wrote The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Princess and the Pea, and other children’s classics.

Torben Grøngaard Jeppesen, museum director, Odense City Museums, said: “The House of Fairy Tales should reflect the international renown of Andersen, and its architecture should be of the very best quality. The garden should be a unique urban space that serves as a place of inspiration, immersion, surprise and play and invites local residents and visitors to the House of Fairy Tales to come in to experience this. The aspiration is to create a strong whole that fits into the surroundings in an elegant and respectful way.”

The concept needs to place this new destination into the broader urban context. The competition site is located in Odense’s city center, which is apparently undergoing a total overhaul. A four-lane highway is being torn down, and old neighborhoods bisected in the 1960s will be re-sown together. “New green neighborhoods with housing, workplaces and commercial and cultural facilities will be created.”

Jørgen Clausen, chief executive, City of Odense, said: “The vision of a more coherent city center is a unique basis for development of a House of Fairy Tales and an adjacent garden. Both will be distinctive elements in the historic part of Odense.”

See a video of the location:

Once the idea has been settled upon through this competition, the sponsors will organize a subsequent design competition to create more detailed designs. That design competition will be “restricted,” most likely to the finalists from the ideas competition.

Submissions are due by November 29, 2013. Learn more.

Image credit: Hans Christian Andersen / Anne Grahame Johnstone

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Suburbia Transformed 3.0, a new residential landscape design competition sponsored by the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design, aims to identify new residential works that “go beyond ‘green’ to address the aesthetic quality of human experience.” The goal is to show how “such sustainable landscapes can be beautiful, inspiring, perhaps profound; and serve as examples for transforming the suburban residential fabric, one garden at a time.”

The organizers seek both “built and visionary (unbuilt) residential landscapes” from both professionals and students. While there are no monetary prizes offered, winners will become part of a publication and traveling exhibition.

According to the James Rose Center, “James Rose is remembered as one of three Harvard students who rebelled against their Beaux Arts training in the 1930s, helping to usher landscape architecture—kicking and screaming—into the modern era. Yet somewhere after Harvard and well into the real world, Rose lost faith in the modern planning and design professions he had helped to inspire. By the mid 1950s, he had retreated from public practice and spent most of the latter part of his career designing private gardens that were in direct contrast to the environmental excess and cultural banality of the emerging contemporary post-WWII suburb.”

Rose called his private gardens, which were made with found objects, recycled materials, and native plants, “space-sculptures-with-shelters.” His novel approach had a purpose: to merge a “conservation ethic into a modern design aesthetic.” Rose’s point was that a place needed to be beautiful in order to be sustained (and sustainable).

To succeed in this competition, which is based on Rose’s philosophy, designers will need to:

  • “Make the most of what’s already on the site (earth, rocks, plants, structures, water) before importing or removing anything.
  • Use local, inexpensive, low-energy-consumptive, non-polluting materials and construction techniques before others.
  • Consider the landscape’s potential to create useful resources rather than consume them.
  • Consider the relationship of the site to larger environmental systems.
  • Consider means for guiding future growth and evolution of the garden.”

The competition is open to landscape architects, landscape designers, architects, individuals, teams or firms. Students will be considered in a separate category.

The high-profile jury of landscape architects include: Andrea Cochran FASLA, Principal, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture; Tobiah Horton, LEED AP, Assistant Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; David Kamp, FASLA, LF, NA, Dirtworks; Keith LeBlanc, FASLA, Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture, Inc.; and Darrel Morrison, FASLA, Ecological Landscape Design and Management.

Entry forms are due by February 18, 2014, with submissions due by March 20. To submit, the fee for professionals is $115 and $50 for students.

Check out previous winners, too.

Image credit: Suburbia Transformed 2.0 winner / James Rose Center

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A national landscape design competition is set to launch in mid-September in Omaha, Nebraska. The goal is to turn a 70 foot x 100 foot portion of the urban core into a model green space. The winning team will earn $200,000 to fully implement their vision.

The competition, Green in the City, “is an opportunity to develop and implement a creative design for open space in Omaha that can inspire other urban communities to follow suit,” said Connie Spellman, director of Omaha by Design, the competition organizers.

Omaha by Design is an urban design and environmental non-profit that focuses on “improving Omaha’s look, feel, and function.” The urban design and environmental components of the Omaha’s master plan serve as a starting point for Omaha by Design’s projects, which include green street visioning and planning and other sustainable initiatives.

This project will connect with the future BLUEBARN Theatre, scheduled to break ground in early 2014. After the design has been implemented, ownership of the open space and maintenance responsibilities will be turned over to the theatre.

According to Spellman, “the Green in the City competition will be judged by a panel of local and regional art, design and landscape experts. The top finalists will receive an honorarium and travel expenses to Omaha. Interview presentations will be held in early 2014.”

A request for qualifications (RFQ) will be available in mid-September. Multi-disciplinary design teams from across the country are encouraged to submit.

Learn more. Hopefully more details will be coming over the following weeks.

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

Image credit: Omaha sign / Flickr

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The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston just opened an exhibition called Composite Landscapes: Photomontage and Landscape Architecture, which features a dozen landscape architects and some major contemporary artists. The exhibit, which was curated by Charles Waldheim, Affiliate ASLA, chair of the landscape architecture department at Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD), focuses on one of landscape architecture’s most vital forms: the montage view, the piecing together of multiple separate views to form a deeper perspective. Waldheim believes that photomontage can help us understand the “conceptual, experiential, and temporal dimensions of landscapes.”

Waldheim, who is also Ruettgers Consulting Curator of Landscape at the museum, said: “The practice of montage, the overlay or superimposition of one image over another to produce a composite image, is as old as image making itself. Various forms of photomontage emerged as critical and conceptual tools across a range of the visual arts throughout the twentieth century.”

But while photomontage was once cutting-edge, it’s now an old-school art form, made “nearly obsolete due to the evolving digital world” — except perhaps among landscape architects, who have kept the practice alive. Waldheim writes: “the practice of photomontage … is arguably the field’s dominant visual paradigm today.” It may still be used because it’s “well suited to representing the temporal, phenomenal, and transformational aspects of landscape.”

One gallery will offer up views of photomontage works by contemporary artists David Hockney, Jan Dibbets, John Stezaker, and Superstudio, while another will look at the history of landscape montage from the 18th to the 20th centuries, with works by Humphry Repton, Booth Grey, and Charles Eliot.

The main gallery will feature works by landscape architects Adriaan Geuze, International ASLA, West 8; James Corner, ASLA, Field Operations; Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA, Reed Hilderbrand; Ken Smith, ASLA, Ken Smith Workshop; and Michael Van Valkenburgh, FASLA.

The exhibition is open until September 2, 2013. Learn more.

Image credits: (1) Mash XLVI by John Stezaker / Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, (2) Glass House Reflections II by Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA / Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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In December last year, President Obama signed an executive order creating the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Taskforce. One result of this new taskforce is Rebuild by Design, a “multi-stage regional design competition to promote resilience” in Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. According to the taskforce, the goal of the competition is to “promote innovation by developing regionally-scalable but locally-contextual solutions that increase resilience in the region, and to implement selected proposals with both public and private funding dedicated to this effort.” The competition will use HUD Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding to “incentivize implementation of winning projects and proposals.” This is an exciting opportunity for landscape architects and other designers that has the potential to guide future development.

The taskforce writes that “design solutions are expected to range in scope and scale – from large-scale green infrastructure to small-scale residential resiliency retrofits. The competition process will also strengthen our understanding of regional interdependencies, fostering coordination and resilience both at the local level and across the U.S.” However, organizers are specifically looking for solutions that “can ignite innovation, outside-the-box perspectives, and address new trends” while having a significant regional impact. The taskforce wants the competition to connect local government efforts to those at the national level, while also bringing in multiple players from the business, academic, and non-profit sectors.

Given the region they are focusing on is very complex, “with differing governance structures, culture, etc,” the competition is organized into groups: coastal communities, high-density urban environments, ecological and water body networks, and a catch-all category of unidentified or unexpected focus.” Teams submitting entries will need to focus on one area:

Coastal communities
This category focuses on small- to mid-sized coastal communities. These communities are characterized by limited capacity and high coastal vulnerability. Here, there is often a tension between environmental and economic systems (i.e. the tourism industry is dependent on the environment and also vulnerable to it).

High-density urban environments
These economically-significant areas have impacts on both the region and the nation as a whole. These communities have highly complex built and human systems and significant economic value for the entire region. When storms like Sandy hit these communities they cause major disruptions to both the local and regional economy.

Ecological and waterbody networks
These networks are regional by nature; watersheds and ecosystems disregard administrative boundaries and must be considered from the regional scale. This category focuses on the interdependencies between the built and natural environments.

The unidentified and unexpected
This category allows for selected teams to pursue unexpected questions and innovative proposals outside of the framework provided above. This is an open category to encourage outside-the-box approaches and proposals.

Design teams must have professional proficiency in three of these subjects: infrastructure engineering, landscape design, urban design, architecture, land use planning, community development, communications design, public finance, or real estate. Teams should also have expertise in: social sciences, economic development, ecology, hydrology, water safety, transportation, resilience, sustainability, project management, finance, arts, graphic design, industrial design, or other disciplines as appropriate.

The first round of the competition will result in 5-10 finalists, which will then be given $100,000 in stage two of the competition to further flesh out their design proposals. Teams moving to stage three will receive another $100,000. The first round jury includes Shaun Donovan, HUD Secretary; Dr. Howard Frumkin, Dean, School of Health, University of Washington; Ricky Burdett, LSE Professor; Mark Terkel, President of The Nature Conservancy; Bruce Katz, Vice President at the Brookings Institution; representatives from ASLA, AIA, and ULI; and others.

Read the design brief and send in your qualifications and proposal by July 19. Find answers to your questions.

In other news from the federal government: Laurie Olin, FASLA, just became the fourth landscape architect in American history to receive the National Medal of Art. Previous winners include landscape architects Lawrence Halprin, Dan Kiley, and Ian McHarg. The National Endowment for the Arts writes that Olin is recognized “for his contributions as a preeminent landscape architect. Renowned for his acute sense of harmony and balance between nature and design, Mr. Olin has dedicated his energy to shaping many iconic spaces around the world and to educating new leaders in his art.” He’s in great company this year, too. Star Wars visionary George Lucas, painter Elsworth Kelly, and opera singer Renee Fleming will also be honored.

Image credit: Hurricane Sandy damage / New York Daily News

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