DesignIntelligence recently announced its 2018 landscape architecture graduate and undergraduate program rankings. For the fourth year in a row, Louisiana State University (LSU) was deemed the “most admired” undergraduate landscape architecture program. And for the 14th consecutive year, Harvard University retained its dominance as the “most admired” graduate program, in the annual survey conducted by DesignIntelligence on behalf of the Design Futures Council.
Detailed rankings are available in the 18th listing of most admired schools, which assesses program rankings and education trends in architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design.
Respondents from 6,000 hiring professionals, 5,000 students, and 350 professors ranked the schools, a much broader survey than in previous editions.
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings (top 10):
1) Louisiana State University
2) Cornell University
3) Pennsylvania State University
4) University of Georgia
5) Ohio State University
6) California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo
7) Purdue University
8) Iowa State University
9) Texas A&M University
10) Michigan State University
Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings (top 10):
1) Harvard University
2) University of Pennsylvania
3) Cornell University
4) Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
5) Louisiana State University
6) University of California, Berkeley
7) University of Virginia
8) University of Georgia
9) Rhode Island School of Design
10) Ohio State University
In a major change from previous rankings, DesignIntelligence now lists rankings for twelve focus areas, including: communications and presentation skills; construction materials and methods; design technologies; design theory and practice; engineering fundamentals; healthy built environments; interdisciplinary studies; transdisciplinary collaboration across architecture, engineering, and construction; project planning and management; practice management; research; and sustainable built environments / adaptive design / resilient design.
In the sustainable built environments / adaptive design / resilient design, communications and presentation skills, design technologies, design theory and practice, and interdisciplinary studies focus areas, Louisiana State University is top of the list for undergraduate programs and Harvard University takes the lead in graduate programs.
The mission of the Creative Education Trust in London is to empower kids through creativity and design thinking. Partnering with Princeton Architectural Press, they created A Few Minutes of Design, which offers 52 activities to encourage inventiveness. This well-crafted little packet of fun may work just as well for inspiring creativity among children and young adults as it does for rekindling the spark of a semi-burnt-out designer confronting endless deadlines.
The trust believes “creativity is the ability to find connections between the things we know and to turn these connections into new ideas and action. The academic arts and the sciences, practical subjects and life skills all need creativity. Creativity is highly valued by employers. With knowledge, skills, and creativity, every young individual is equipped to succeed in the knowledge economy of the 21st century.”
To appeal to as broad a group of people as possible, Emily Campbell — who is director of programs at the trust and a former graphic designer and design director at a government agency — clearly devised activities with many design disciplines in mind. There are engaging exercises not only for budding graphic and industrial designers, but also landscape architects, urban planners, and architects.
Campbell thinks the 52 activities, which are found on small note cards with instructions on the front and information or images on the back, are deeper than they first appear.
“The cards evoke what it’s like to be a designer through a series of accessible, concise exercises. Some ask you to draw and write; some ask you to classify, others to distinguish or explain. Some tasks are singular; others have several variations. All of them ask you to perform a rudimentary act of design by following plain-language instructions. Although the lessons in these exercises may at first seem minor in comparison to the grand vision — the ‘killer concept’ or ‘problem solved’– small moves and decisions such as these have a powerful influence on the success of any design.”
Some intriguing activities for landscape-minded creators:
Simplify, Then Multiply: “Identify a shape within the photo. Draw or trace the shape, leaving out shadows, highlights, and complicated details so that you have a simplified version. You may to need to invent parts of the shape that are not in view. Imagine that your simplified shape is no. 1 in a series or family of 3. What rules would govern the shape of nos. 2 and 3? Draw them.”
Joint Endeavor: “Explain in a drawing how you would join the objects or materials. You can cut them and/or multiply them if you need to. Label the drawing with instructions.”
Organizing Rules: One of my favorites — and easy for those with messy drawers, bags, or purses: “Empty onto a surface the contents of your bag, pencil case, desk drawer, or any other container that holds a variety of small, handheld objects. Think of a method or rule for organizing the objects. Organize them into a composition following your own rule. Take a photo of your composition.”
Lastly, there is a well-known landscape architect who asks her employees and interns to do a similar exercise — also 100 times (!) — when confronted with a design challenge:
Object 100 Ways: Draw as many uses as you can think of for the object. What qualities, or properties, does this object have? How else could these properties be used? You can multiply the basic unit, add materials, cut the object, reshape it, or otherwise modify it.”
On second thought, that may take more than a few minutes.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) proudly announces the 27 winners of the ASLA 2018 Student Awards. Selected from 332 entries representing 17 schools, the awards honor the top work of landscape architecture students in the United States and around the world.
The winners will receive their awards at the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and EXPO in Philadelphia on Monday, October 22, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Winning projects are designated as either an honor award or an award of excellence, which is the highest possible distinction.
General Design Category
Award of Excellence
In Between Walls, Pyramid Lake, Nevada
by Niloufar Makaremi Esfarjani, Student ASLA, University of Toronto
Myth, Memory, and Landscape in the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation, Pyramid Lake, Nevada
by Derek Lazo, Student ASLA, and Serena Lousich, Student ASLA, University of California, Berkeley
Sharawadgi Garden: A New Understanding of Chinoiserie for a Chinese Garden at the MoMA, Museum of Modern Art, New York
by Douglas A. Breuer, Student ASLA, University of Pennsylvania
Songs from the Ocean, Dancers from the Land: Rendering an Ecological Choreography of Coastal Habitats in Phuket, Thailand, Phuket, Thailand
by Kate Jirasiritham, Student ASLA, The City College of New York
Stop Making Sense: Spatializing the Hanford Site’s Nuclear Legacy, Hanford, Washington
by Kasia Keeley, Student ASLA, and Andrew Prindle, Student ASLA, University of Washington
Wetness behind the sc/een: Re-wetting the Oran, Tilwara, Rajasthan, India
by Cyrus Sohrab Khan, Student ASLA, University of Pennsylvania
Residential Design Category
Award of Excellence
Baseco: A New Housing Paradigm, Manila, Philippines
by Julio F. Torres Santana, Student ASLA, Yinan Liu, Student ASLA, Aime Vailes-Macarie, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
The Snow [RESERVE]: Dynamic Microclimate Strategies for South Boston Living, Boston
by Sunmee Lee, Student ASLA, and Phia Sennett, Student ASLA, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Analysis and Planning Category
Award of Excellence
‘El retorno a la tierra’ / ‘Going back to the land’, Las Marías, Puerto Rico
by Nicole Rivera-Ramos, Student ASLA, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF)
Bloom! A Dynamic Landscape Biological System, Fort Worth, Texas
by Xiwei Shen, Student ASLA, Jiawen Chen, Student ASLA, Chengzhe Zhang, Student ASLA, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Developing with Water: A Landscape-driven Regulatory Framework, New Orleans
by Meikang Li, Student ASLA, University of Toronto
Pyro-Diversion: Planning for Fire in the San Gabriel Valley, Glendora, California
by Sarah Toth, Student ASLA, The City College of New York
Terre d’eau – Land of water, St. Lawrence River, Quebec, Canada
by Marianne Lafontaine-Chicha, Student ASLA, University of Toronto
Topographic Urban Expansion – A Landscape Armature on Hillsides of Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
by Qiwei Song, Student ASLA, University of Toronto
Waters in Peril: Collective Measures for a Dying Lake Winnipeg, Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
by Jaysen Ariola, Student ASLA, University of Toronto
Award of Excellence
‘Korea Remade’: A Guide to the Reuse of the DMZ and Hinterlands towards Unification, Border of Republic of Korea and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
by Xiwei Shen, Student ASLA, Jiawen Chen, Student ASLA, Siyu Jiang, Student ASLA, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
District Hill Cemetery Master Plan, Chickamauga, Georgia
by Arianne Wolfe, Student ASLA, and Devyn Quick, Student ASLA, University of Georgia
The Living Things Nursery Catalogue and Guide to Climate
by Bonnie-Kate Walker, Student ASLA, University of Virginia
Public Space Design Guidelines for Saltillo, Mexico, Saltillo, Mexico
by a team of students from the University of Texas at Austin
A Student’s Guide to Environmental Justice Version 1.3, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
by Kari Spiegelhalter, Student ASLA, Tess Ruswick, Student ASLA, Patricia Noto, Student ASLA, Cornell University, Rhode Island School of Design
Award of Excellence
Restoring Diversity: Factors Influencing Revegetation Efforts in the Mojave Desert, Joshua Tree National Park and Mojave Desert Land Trust
by Marinna Wagner, Student ASLA, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Student Collaboration Category
Award of Excellence
The One Tree Project, St. Louis, Missouri
by a team of students at Washington University in St. Louis
Thermal Thresholds, Minto, Alaska
by Yin Yu Fong, Katie Kelly, Student ASLA, Anna Morrison, University of Virginia
Community Service Category
Award of Excellence
Children’s Garden: Strengthening Mother-Child Relationships within Prison Walls, Mitchellville, Iowa
by a team of students at Iowa State University
Croatian Monastery Continues to Heal: A Community Restorative Garden for Youth, the Blind, and the Elderly with Disabilities, Rijeka, Croatia
by a team of students at the University of Washington
Dolores Street Pollinator Boulevard, San Francisco
by Julia Prince, Student ASLA, Benjamin Heim, University of California, Berkeley
Jazz Fence, Chicago
by Jiaming Sun, Student ASLA, and Yu Si, Student ASLA, Illinois Institute of Technology
The student awards jury included:
Roberto Rovira, ASLA, Chair, Florida International University, Miami
Andrea Cochran, FASLA, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, San Francisco
Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, Design Workshop, Aspen, Colorado
Tom Dallessio, Professional Planner and Policy Expert, Philadelphia
Jennifer Daniels, ASLA, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Ray Gastil, City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh
Jeffrey Hou, ASLA, University of Washington, Seattle
Elizabeth Kennedy, ASLA, Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect, Brooklyn, New York
The Color of Landscape Architecture presented by Richard Jones, ASLA, President of Mahan Rykiel Associates.
Since 2013, the American Society of Landscape Architects has convened an annual Diversity Summit with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of how landscape architecture can better represent the communities and people it serves.
On June 22-24, ASLA hosted the 2018 Diversity Summit at the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture in Washington, D.C. For this year’s summit, five professionals from the 2017 Diversity SuperSummit were invited back, and nine new participants were selected from a call for interest to add valuable input to discussions and resource development.
The goals of the 2018 Diversity Summit were to review benchmarks prioritized from the 2017 Diversity SuperSummit and create opportunities for participants to research and workshop resources for ASLA’s career discovery and diversity program.
Review of 2017-2018 work plan and 2017 Diversity SuperSummit priority survey, presented by Shawn Balon, ASLA, career discovery and diversity manager at ASLA.
Throughout the weekend, participants offered ideas for the development of two resources that can assist professionals in implementing diversity and inclusion practices into business strategies and help ASLA National and ASLA Chapters create programs to reach youth and communities.
Read more about the ASLA 2018 Diversity Summit report — in this summary or the full report. Feedback from summit participants will serve as an actionable guide for the ASLA career discovery and diversity manager for the upcoming year.
Also, explore resources from the past six years of Diversity Summits, including handouts, videos, presentations, news articles, and reports.
This post is by Dan Li, Student ASLA, education programs summer intern at the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Roberto Burle Marx stands as one of the towering figures of 20th century landscape architecture, yet he left relatively little in the way of writing that describes, defends, or otherwise elucidates his work. A new collection of lectures, edited by Gareth Doherty, ASLA, helps fill that void.
“As a parting gift, Haruyoshi Ono, Burle Marx’s successor as director of the studio, presented me a photocopy of every lecture they then had that Burle Marx had delivered in English,” he writes. “I had little to no Portuguese, and they felt this was the one way I could carry something of Roberto with me and get to know him better.”
The lectures Doherty received in 1996 form the basis of this volume. Like Doherty, many of today’s practitioners never had the opportunity to hear Burle Marx present his work, let alone meet him. In this context, Lectures: Landscape As Art and Urbanism is a valuable resource that helps reinforce Burle Marx’s legacy.
As the book’s title suggests, the lectures shed light on Burle Marx the urbanist. He recognized the city was “the ‘habitat’ of modern man, offering him simultaneously a great variety of choice in his job and in his way of life.” The price for this variety, however, was “many difficulties which hamper his creative capacity due to deficient housing facilities, inadequate transportation, noise and sounds which tear him to pieces; not to mention other deeper difficulties in his work relationship, the opportunities of education, and in the enjoyment of the pleasures the city offers him.”
Burle Marx’s solution was to bring nature into the city. “The brutality of present urban conditions make the garden a compelling necessity,” he wrote. “One must bring nature into the reach of man and, above all, take man back to nature.” The garden was the tool for achieving this goal, a place where one could “find rest, relaxation, recreation, and above all the feeling that his is living in, and integrated into, this space.”
He even saw gardens as having a didactic role: “The sight of that association of plants gives us the impression of a covenant for living together.” A garden was “a spatial condition of community life…a place which provides the desire any man has to communicate with his fellow men, and with nature as an aesthetic phenomenon and as a manifestation of life.”
Burle Marx also viewed landscape architecture as a tool for preservation. “It seems to be to be almost an obligation of the landscape architect to combat destruction and to preserve certain ill-fated species in danger of extinction, in order that they may survive for the education and enjoyment of future generations.”
Burle Marx was deeply concerned about the impact of development practices and their impact on the landscape, and saw landscape architects as defenders of the natural environment, prefiguring today’s focus on environmental issues within the profession.
What these lectures illustrate most clearly, however, is the depth of Burle Marx’s love of plants. “Plants have always been an integral part of my life,” he wrote in a lecture simply titled “The Plant.” And in “The Garden as a Way of Life,” he declared that the plant is the “the most basic element of composition.”
Of course, this is not exactly a revelation for those familiar with Burle Marx’s life and career. He was obsessed with plants from an early age, an obsession that guided his career and manifested itself in both his designs and in his personal collection of thousands of plants culled from the Brazilian countryside.
Still, Lectures provides valuable insight into this obsession. Botanical names litter the pages. He writes lovingly of bromeliads, philodendrons, and heliconia. When describing his own designs, he devotes the most attention not to form or spatial qualities, but to plant selection and arrangement, underscoring their importance to his design process.
Intriguingly, much of Burle Marx’s writing in this area prefigures the trends that have shaped planting design over the last 20 years. He proclaims the importance of native plants, saying that “ideally, we should only plant species native to the area.” Elsewhere, he explains “the garden that has the best chances of survival and needs the minimum amount of care for such survival will be indigenous.”
Furthermore, he understood designed plant combinations as informed not only by aesthetic considerations, but by ecological ones as well. “Observing the demands of ecology and aesthetic compatibility, the landscape architect is able to create artificial associations of the greatest expressiveness,” he writes.
“To make artificial landscapes means neither to deny nor to imitate nature slavishly. It means, instead, to know how to transport and associate, with personal, selective judgement, the results of a long, loving, and intense observation.”
In the current context — in which many landscape architecture educational programs dedicate minimal time to plant material and planting design is sometimes seen as a specialized skill set — Burle Marx’s love of plants and the role that they played in his design process stands out.
While this is overall a handsomely presented collection, there are certain design choices that make reading it more difficult than necessary. The lectures are printed with narrow margins, which make Burle Marx’s words seem as though they are liable to scatter off the page. The effect is heightened by the book designers’ decision to present selected sentences in a larger type than others for emphasis. The result is not wholly satisfying.
The book also includes breathtaking photos of Burle Marx’s built works captured by Leonardo Finotti, but they are not keyed to references in the text itself, which can make for a frustrating experience. Those looking for clear, visual illustrations of Burle Marx’s comments may want to keep Google close at hand while reading.
In all, though, Roberto Burle Marx Lectures: Landscape as Art and Urbanism is an immensely valuable resource for those of us, like Doherty, with little to no Portuguese. It gives those of us in the English-speaking world an unmediated line to Roberto Burle Marx; that alone is worth the price of admission.
The ASLA Discover Landscape Architecture Activity Books are for anyone interested in landscape architecture, architecture, planning, and engineering, and for those who like to draw, doodle, and be inspired. The books’ primary focus is landscape architecture, giving readers the opportunity to see the many drawings, places, and landscapes created by landscape architects.
Take a journey across an imaginary town to learn about the building blocks of landscape architecture. In this activity book, you will learn about landscape architecture, see sketches from landscape architecture professionals, and have the opportunity to sketch and color drawings. This book is geared towards readers 9-12 years old.
Take a journey across the United States to see some of the great places designed by landscape architects. In this activity book, you will learn about landscape architecture, see sketches from landscape architecture professionals, have the opportunity to sketch and color drawings, and problem solve to plan your own projects. This book is geared towards readers 13 years and older.
Share the Books!
Do you have a friend that is interested in landscape architecture? Do your children like the idea of blending art with the environment? Are you a landscape architecture professional visiting a local school and searching for a fun interactive exercise?
Whether you are a kid, teen, parent, teacher, undergraduate student, or landscape architecture professional, there are many ways to share the activity books. To start, share with family, friends, classmates, neighbors, other professionals, and community members.
And don’t forget to share your work. Post your drawings with #ASLAactivitybooks to show the world your creative talents! Stay tuned for future initiatives at ASLA including available copies for distribution and Spanish translated editions.
Design from a Digital Device
Landscape architects create drawings on paper and on digital devices. If you are interested to complete the activity books from your digital device, check out some of the free apps and programs below that include drawing tools.
LAAB currently accredits first professional programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level in the United States and its territories. Of these programs, all are traditional programs housed within universities and colleges throughout the United States. While some courses within a few programs are offered via distance education, there are no LAAB accredited programs that currently offer a large portion or all of their curriculum online. However, as more students enroll in online courses and programs during their time in higher education, the demand for an LAAB accredited online program will likely grow.
About 5.8 million students were enrolled in at least one distance learning course in a U.S. institution in fall 2014 – up 3.9 percent from the previous fall, according to Online Report Card: Tracking Online Education in the United States, an annual report by the Babson Survey Research Group. Additionally, a majority of calls and emails received at ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture regarding landscape architecture education involves the availability of online programs. Therefore, LAAB has undertaken the process to review its standards relative to the delivery of online courses in landscape architecture. This review began in February 2017 and its timeline is included below.
Timeline for development of accreditation standards for online delivery of content in professional landscape architecture degree programs:
February 2017 LAAB Winter Board Meeting
LAAB began discussion of the potential for incorporating standards language that would allow the assessment of online delivery of courses in landscape architecture bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The board agreed to sponsor a visit to the only known institution offering large portions of landscape architecture degree programs online – Academy of Art University’s (AAU) BFA and MFA in landscape architecture.
April 2017 Academy of Art University Visit
Ned Crankshaw, FASLA (LAAB/University of Kentucky); Kelleann Foster, ASLA (Pennsylvania State University); and Kristopher Pritchard (LAAB) visited AAU in San Francisco to review pedagogical process and outcomes in their programs.
July 2017 LAAB Summer Board Meeting
LAAB invited Dr. Leah Matthews, executive director of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), to discuss online professional program accreditation. Dr. Matthews confirmed LAAB’s general direction concerning additional review areas needed for on-line program delivery. The board discussed next steps in a deliberative process of online standard development and evaluation. Each step involves input from LAAB’s community of interest and board review and revision.
October 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting
LAAB shared AAU visit summary and ASLA Committee on Education discussion summary with LA program leaders and invited them to provide any feedback and comments to LAAB.
February 2018 LAAB Winter Board Meeting
LAAB reviewed and discussed an initial draft of standard(s) and assessments directed toward online educational delivery.
March 2018 CELA Annual Conference
LAAB organized a panel discussion about online professional degree program accreditation. Comment period on draft standards is open through the end of May 2018.
July 2018 LAAB Summer Board Meeting
LAAB will analyze comments received and frame a revision of draft standards with final language development following the meeting.
LAAB now invites members of the community of interest and the public to review and comment on the proposed revisions found on the LAAB website. We welcome comments and input on the revised LAAB Accreditation Standards until Friday, June 1. Please send comments to Kristopher Pritchard, accreditation & education programs manager.
LAAB anticipates final adoption of the revised Accreditation Standards by winter 2019. Follow-up questions and inquiries may be directed to Manager Pritchard.
This year the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) looked to the future for World Landscape Architecture Month (WLAM) by featuring ASLA student chapters, who are the next generation of landscape architects.
In 2018, ASLA continued its This is Landscape Architecture social media campaign. More than 1,638 users posted nearly 6,000 instances of their favorite landscape architect-designed spaces with #WLAM2018. These posts helped educate 2.8 million people around the globe about the profession.
To see a glimpse of the future of landscape architecture, ASLA asked a different student chapter to take over our Instagram each day in April. Arizona State University showed us how they are exploring the basics of design: sketching.
ASLA student chapters also work with their local communities on projects. Auburn University shared its Alabama Lab, where students “use design to help create and continue conversations about local issues across a larger geographical and disciplinary spectrum.”
What Does a Presidential Building Look Like?– Curbed, 3/22/18
“On February 27, former President Barack Obama made a surprise appearance at a meeting at Chicago’s McCormick Place, the sixth public presentation on the plans for his presidential center in the city’s Jackson Park, currently under city and federal review for its impact on the historic landscape and environment.”
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) seeks a full-time summer communications intern. The intern will research and update ASLA’s sustainable design resource guides and write weekly posts on landscape architecture and related topics for The Dirt blog.
The internship is full-time Monday through Friday for 10 weeks, from June through August.
The intern will research and update resource guides on climate change, sustainable transportation, and other topics.
The intern will also create original weekly content for The Dirt, covering projects, events, and new publications.
The intern will also have the opportunity to attend educational and networking events at the National Building Museum, Harvard University’s Dumbarton Oaks, and other museums and think tanks in Washington, D.C.
Other communications projects may come up as well.
Current enrollment in a Master’s program in landscape architecture.
Excellent writing skills. The intern must be able to write clearly for a general audience.
Excellent photographic composition and editing skills.
Proven research skills and ability to quickly evaluate the quality and relevance of many different types of Web resources.
Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact graciously with busy staff members and outside experts.
Working knowledge of Photoshop, Google Maps, and Microsoft Office suite.
How to Apply:
Please send cover letter, CV, two writing samples (no more than 2 pages each) to email@example.com by end of day, Friday, March 30.
Phone interviews will be conducted with finalists the week of April 2 and selection will be made the following week.
The 10-week internship offers a $4,000 stipend. ASLA can also work with the interns to attain academic credit for the internship.
The internship is in-house located at ASLA’s national headquarters, which is conveniently located in downtown Washington, D.C., one block north of the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro Station on the Red, Yellow, and Green Lines. Learn more about ASLA’s Center for Landscape Architecture.