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.
Education session speakers selected from this process will receive a full complimentary registration to the ASLA 2018 Annual Meeting and may also be eligible for reimbursement for one night’s hotel stay at an official ASLA hotel (an estimated $750 value). Landscape architecture professionals wishing to present at the Philadelphia meeting need to be active members of ASLA. Allied professionals are encouraged to both submit presentations and speak but are not required to be members of the Society.
DesignIntelligence recently announced its 2017 landscape architecture graduate and undergraduate program rankings. For the third year in a row, Louisiana State University (LSU) was deemed the best undergraduate landscape architecture program. And for the 13th consecutive year, Harvard University retained its dominance as the best graduate program, in the annual survey conducted by DesignIntelligence on behalf of the Design Futures Council.
Respondents from nearly 1,900 hiring professionals ranked schools, some 500 respondents more than last year.
DesignIntelligence asks us to only list the top five schools for each program. To see the top 15, purchase the report.
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:
1) Louisiana State University
2) Pennsylvania State University
3) Ohio State University
4) Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
5) Cornell University
Master of Landscape Architecture Degree Rankings:
1) Harvard University
2) University of Pennsylvania
3) Louisiana State University
4) Cornell University
5) Kansas State University
Satisfaction with landscape architecture graduates among employers increased slightly from last year. Some 75 percent said they “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the state of landscape architecture education in the U.S., up from 73 percent in 2016 and 71 percent in 2015, but down from 80 percent in 2013.
Employers still think landscape architecture students lack basic knowledge for many aspects of their job. A majority thought students lack an understanding of “the importance of projects, budgets, and schedules,” procurement processes, firm business models, and real estate or commercial law.
Some 32 percent of employers thought it took 6-12 months for new hires to become “fully productive and billable.” 23 percent think it takes longer and 42 percent less.
Practitioners were also asked about global concerns with the greatest impact on landscape architecture. They identified:
An additional deans and chairs survey asked leaders of 47 landscape architecture academic programs about the issues they find significant. According to 88 percent of the professors surveyed, their biggest concern is climate change and sustainability, while another 84 percent said urbanization and 50 percent said globalization. Academics are even more concerned about climate change than practitioners.
Among the biggest changes to curricula in the last five years: some 60 percent thought it was “more emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and integrated practice,” while 57 percent saw an increased focus on community involvement. Just 39 percent saw an increased focus on sustainable and healthy design, down from 51 percent last year.
And for the sixth year, DesignIntelligence surveyed landscape architecture students to gauge their satisfaction with the programs covered. This year, more than 589 students were surveyed, up 36 percent from the last. On average, just 56 percent thought their program was “excellent.” Students were most pleased with their programs’ allocation of dedicated studio spaces, and least happy with their technology offerings. Just 43 percent of graduates plan on working in private practice when they graduate (down from 59 percent last year); 16 percent remain undecided. Students can expect to have some $37,000 in debt on average when they graduate.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has announced the 28 winners of the 2017 Student Awards. Selected from 295 entries representing 52 schools, the awards honor the top work of landscape architecture students in the U.S. and around the world.
The winners will receive their awards at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in Los Angeles on Monday, October 23, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The following is a complete list of 2017 student award winners:
General Design Category
Award of Excellence
Invisible Works: A Public Introduction to the Dynamic Life of Wastewater Treatment (see image above)
by Bridget Ayers Looby, Associate ASLA, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota
Weaving the Waterfront
by a graduate team at Cornell University
by Zhiqiang Zeng, Student ASLA, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania
Concrete Nurse Logs: Spawning Biodiversity from Ballard’s Century-Old Locks
by Hillary Pritchett, Associate ASLA, a graduate student at the University of Washington
Creating Dynamic Hybrid: Towards Landscape Innovation in a Smart City
by Fang Wei, Student Affiliate ASLA, a graduate student at Tsinghua University
Create a Walkable History: Editing the Historical Percorsi of Pienza
by Zhengneng Chen, Student ASLA, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania
The Turning Point: A Focused Design Study for the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York
by Christopher O. Anderson, Student ASLA, a graduate student at State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF)
Residential Design Category
Micro-infrastructure as Community Preservation: Kampung Baru
by a team of graduate students at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Analysis and Planning Category
Award of Excellence
Water and the Agricultural Landscape of Illinois
by an undergraduate student team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Desert River Water Conservation
by Zhuofan Wan, Student Affiliate ASLA, a graduate student at the University of Toronto
Disaster Autopsy Model
by an undergraduate student team at the Louisiana State University
Climate Change Armor
by Zixu Qiao, Student ASLA, a graduate student at Texas A&M University
Reviving the 30 Meters
by Tianjiao Yan, Student ASLA, a graduate student at the University of Toronto
Landscape in Evolution: Creating a Resilient Nomadic Landscape from Bottom Up in Hulunbuir
by a team of graduate students from Beijing Forestry University
Forests on the Edge: Plant-Based Economies Driving Ecological Renewal in Haiti
by Christine Facella, Student ASLA, a graduate student at City College
Award of Excellence
HydroLIT: Southeast Tennessee Water Quality Playbook
by a team of graduate students from the University of Tennessee
Agro-pelago (Foodscapes for the Future)
by Jaclyn Kaloczi, Student ASLA, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia
Urban Landscape Metrics: Re-imagining the Class Field Trip in New York City’s Great Parks
by Quinn Pullen, Associate ASLA, a graduate student at the Pennsylvania State University
Tactile MapTile: Working Towards Inclusive Cartography
by Jessica Hamilton, Student ASLA, a graduate student at the University of Washington
Fairy Tales to Forest
by Amy Taylor, Student ASLA, a graduate student at Ohio State University
Student Collaboration Category
Award of Excellence
RISE, a Coastal Observation Platform
by a team of graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin
The White House Kitchen Garden
by a team of graduate students at the University of Virginia
Follow the Water: Rain Garden as Diagram
by a team of graduate students at Mississippi State University
Community Service Category
Award of Excellence
by Nahal Sohbati, Student Affiliate ASLA, a graduate student at the Academy of Art University
Earth and Sky Garden: A Therapeutic Garden for the Puget Sound Veteran’s Affairs Hospital
by a team of graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Washington
An Outdoor Learning Environment for and with a Primary School Community in Bangladesh
by Matluba Khan, Student Affiliate ASLA, a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh
The student awards jury included:
Barbara Swift, FASLA, Chair, Swift Company llc, Seattle
Michael Albert, ASLA, Design Workshop, Aspen, Colorado
Meg Calkins, FASLA, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana
Mark Focht, FASLA, New York City Parks & Recreation, New York
Robert Page, FASLA, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, Boston
James Richards, FASLA, Townscape Inc., Fort Worth, Texas
Roberto Rovira, ASLA, Florida International University, Studio Roberto Rovira, Miami
Meghan Stromberg, American Planning Association, Chicago
Mercedes Ward, ASLA, New York City Parks, Flushing, New York
Green Roofs Are Getting a Big Trial in Hoboken– Next City, 8/18/17
“The movement toward green building and sustainability-minded development is at an odd crossroads. On one hand, some progressive cities have made regulation strides toward more energy-efficient and less environmentally harmful building practices, while a viable industry has grown up around green construction and roofing materials.”
The Pre-Oscar Snub– The Huffington Post, 8/23/17
“Well, it’s not Oscar season but we already have one of the biggest snubs of the year. It’s pioneering Modernist landscape architect Dan Kiley in the recent motion picture Columbus.”
‘Project Birdland’ Transforms Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School– The Baltimore Sun, 8/27/17
“School doesn’t start for another week, but 6-year-old Kyle Schuller spent Sunday afternoon running around in front of Francis Scott Key Elementary/Middle School. The soon-to-be first-grader watered some freshly planted shrubs in a “habitat lab” that will soon welcome him and other students to school each day.”
Seven of America’s Top New Museums and Monuments– The Architect’s Newspaper, 7/4/17
“Last year saw one of the biggest and most publicized museum openings in recent memory: the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).”
The Manhole in the Meadow – Curbed NY, 7/12/17
“Standing in the Long Meadow, pondering a manhole cover, I realize that I never look at this significant urban place with the critical eye that I routinely apply to the city around me, and that my neighborhood expanse of greenery is, as it happens, a primary example of engineered nature.”
Hamptons Homes Blur the Line Between Inside and Out– The New York Times, 7/14/17
“Twenty-foot-wide glass walls retract electronically at the tap of a cellphone app at the over-the-top $39.5 million furnished mansion John Kean built last year on four acres in Southampton.”
“We’re still fighting for equal pay. And there are a million cracks in the glass ceiling, but we haven’t broken through yet,” argued American Planning Association (APA) President Cynthia Bowen, at a session at APA’s annual conference in New York City, which featured a group of women design leaders with a total of 100 years of experience between them.
Vaughn Rinner, FASLA, ASLA president; Carol Loewenson, partner at Mitchell | Guirgola Architects and former president of AIA NY; and Wendy Moeller, a planner who started her own consultancy and is a board member of APA, talked in very personal terms about their important early influences, their efforts to overcome obstacles and achieve a work/life balance, and how to find “meaningful” professional fulfillment.
Some highlights from their wide-ranging, one-hour conversation:
Loewenson: “After World War II, my grandmother Edith started her own construction business. She wasn’t out there asking for favors, just doing it. I learned from her how to get things built, and that hard work pays off.”
Rinner: Back when I started as a landscape architect (in the 1970s), “I was one of two women at an engineering firm of 1,000. They didn’t like having me there. They didn’t like how I dressed. I was not prepared to be a pioneer. I experienced extreme sexism.”
Loewenson: “It’s not my experience that the architecture world is chauvinistic or male-driven. You need to find a place where you are appreciated. If you find yourself in a male-dominated firm, you can either try to change it or decide that it’s not the right fit. If you have opportunities to prove yourself, then you can take off. But construction — that’s a tough industry.”
Rinner: “It’s very important that we be ourselves and break the stereotypes. We must challenge what is typically male or female behavior. I’ve heard from many people that the worst bosses they’ve ever had were women. This is because women in middle management are put in a position where they must compete with each other. They are set up by men. Collaboration is everything. If we can be ourselves, we can support, not compete with each other.”
Rinner: “In a large group of men and women, men tend to dominate. Women can help other women be heard. Women may raise a great point, but have it co-opted by a man, then people forget where that idea came from. Women don’t get credit and don’t get heard. Through sponsorship and support, women can get heard.”
Loewenson: “It’s important to educate elementary and high school girls to give them confidence. So many amazing women draw the line at public speaking — they can’t get over that fear.”
Moeller: “When speaking in front of crowds, you have to read your audience and adjust your approach. Sometimes I can be very forward and sometimes just be myself. Creating a comprehensive plan for an Amish community, where the audience was all male, took lots of effort. They were very skeptical. But we persuaded them we knew what we are doing.”
Moeller: “When I set out on my own and created my own consultancy, it was frightening. I had to have hard discussions with my husband, who had to learn some ‘women’ work at home. It’s important to be confident about what you want.”
Loewenson: “If you are angry or scared, figure out what you really want. If the clarity of what you want is there, you will be clear-headed.”
Moeller: “Professional mentors in offices and associates are great. We didn’t have those when I was growing up. I seek out women in mid and upper levels as resources. It’s very informal, but there is a support structure.”
Loewenson: “As for work/life balance, everyday is a challenge. Some businesses are high-pressure and you won’t change them. Find a pace you are comfortable with.”
Rinner: “If you are working at a place where you can’t be who you want to be and can’t have a flexible schedule, you don’t want to work there.”
Moeller: “I work for myself. It’s very flexible. My personal support is my family, who are always around. It’s not a good situation without that support structure though.”
Loewenson: “Overcome your fears. Don’t be held back by them. Do it anyway. There is not another option. There will always be more challenges to overcome. Challenges are motivators.”
Inland flooding caused by Hurricane Mathew wreaked havoc in many of eastern North Carolina’s communities. To bring attention to the issue and find new solutions, North Carolina State University (NCSU)’s landscape architecture program created a design competition focused on three towns most affected. Alongside town representatives and students and faculty from the University of North Carolina (UNC) department of city and regional planning and NCSU school of architecture, we worked with professionals from around the region, including leadership from North Carolina emergency management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Our interdisciplinary teams sought to address the impacts.
During the design competition, DesignWeek: Living with Floods, our team visited Greenville, where Hurricane Matthew brought the Tar River 11 feet higher than safe flood levels, the highest the river has been since Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
We spent the day with the Pitt County planning department learning about their methods for assisting impacted residents. We heard about families who purchased lots inside the 100-year floodplain, only to find themselves in turmoil when they learned the cost to elevate their new home is nearly half the price of the house itself. For families in our study area, the cost to elevate their home consumes 10-12 months of their household income, which averaged $23,500 in 2015. We heard stories about renters and owners without insurance who are left swimming in debt. We listened as county officials put the responsibility on their own shoulders.
We left Greenville understanding that dealing with floods has both social and environmental dimensions, and so the means for change are rooted in the physical and human landscape. We learned that what seemed from the outside like a wholly-environmental problem had layers of complexity related to social equity, historic demographics, land-use patterns, and community perceptions.
A few short days after visiting, teams had concrete ideas at hand. The winners for Greenville looked at how the current policy framework surrounding flood prevention and response could be improved to serve the public at a community scale. The team proposed a collaborative, bottom-up approach to help preserve community cohesion through the process of migration away from risk-prone areas. The new program framework called Community Scale Assisted Migration (CSAM) would build community unity (see image above).
The winning team for the Kinston effort put forward a town master plan that bundled different scales of interventions into a cohesive approach. Their solutions would boost flood prevention, help Kinston’s citizens better understand the causes of flooding, and increase economic development through improvements in livability and recreation.
In Windsor, the Cashie River runs through the center of town and recurrently floods the main streets and shops, causing structural damage and blocking the main road. Town leaders have considered an option to relocate the entire downtown away from the river, but the winning team’s design solution scaled out to the larger region of eastern North Carolina, offering an approach for upstream retention using “leaking dams” downstream that would create a windrow effect. Also, constructed islands would combat storm surge and multi-functional levees would protect the highest-risk areas.
Each of the design teams created interdisciplinary and innovative solutions that inspired local, state, and federal representatives to see their challenges through new lenses and look at different scales.
Although DesignWeek is over for the students, the ideas now serve as the beginning of a larger response to inland flooding in eastern North Carolina. Faculty from NCSU college of design will continue to work with Windsor, Kinston, Greenville, and state and federal representatives to marshal the power of design in large-scale problem solving.
Increasingly, landscape architects are taking flight far above our traditional scale of practice, and approaching sites as pieces of larger, interconnected systems where the needs and desires of our clients must be weighted against potential impacts to surrounding networks of humans and nature. More than ever, landscape architects are employing principles and tools from landscape ecology, urban planning, social sciences, systems engineering, and data visualization. This transformation in the role of the landscape architect, however real, has not yet captured the public eye and, thus, the value of our profession is more misunderstood than ever.
This guest post is by Adam Walters, Student ASLA, master’s of landscape architecture candidate, North Carolina State University.
The intern will be expected to work 10 weeks full-time from June through August.
The intern will work with and analyze confidential data collected from LAAB accredited landscape architecture programs.
The intern will review and research LAAB accredited program websites as well as those of allied organizations’ websites with the overall goal of reviewing and updating LAAB’s website with new resources.
The intern will create a graphically enhanced data report/dashboard which can be easily updated with new information in the future.
The intern will create an original written piece for publication in one of ASLA’s outlets summarizing findings about LA programs and their data.
Current enrollment entering final year of Bachelor’s program or in a Master’s program in landscape architecture.
Excellent writing skills. The intern must be able to write clearly for a general audience.
Excellent data analytic, research, and design skills.
Excellent organizational skills, good judgement, and attention to detail.
Excellent professional interpersonal skills and ability to interact with busy staff members and outside experts.
Working knowledge of Photoshop and Microsoft Office suite.
How to Apply:
Please send cover letter, CV, two writing samples (no more than 2 pages each), and names and contact information of two references to firstname.lastname@example.org by end of day, Friday, March 31. Up to three examples of graphic communications skills including an infographic is a desirable additional sample. Submit one 8 ½ x 11 PDF file.
Phone interviews will be conducted with finalists the week of April 3 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.
ASLA offers a flexible work schedule but the intern must be 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 the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture and our green roof.
Fuji Kindergarten | An Exploration of Space and Learning for Children– Landscape Architect’s Network, 3/2/17
“Design is about hosting human life and activity. There are, however, projects that go beyond that, to actually shape human life and activity. Fuji Kindergarten is one of those projects. Given its educational purpose, it would be right to say that it shapes character and personality, as well.”
New Plans Revealed for Detroit’s East Riverfront– Architect’s Newspaper, 3/2/17
“The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (DRFC), the City of Detorit Planning & Development Department, and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) announced the latest plans to expand Detroit’s riverfront land for public use.”
Miami’s Giant Pop Up Recreates Downtown Street– Modern Cities, 3/13/17
“Temporary installation is the first attempt to showcase possible improvements that could transform Biscayne Boulevard in Downtown Miami into street rivaling the Embarcadero in San Francisco.”