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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) seeks a full-time 10 week summer intern working in the Education Programs department. The intern will analyze and identify trends in accredited landscape architecture education, research current community college and unaccredited programs affiliated with landscape architecture, and participate in the Diversity Summit for the purposes of developing resources to support the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB) and ASLA’s career discovery and diversity program.
The intern will be expected to work 10 weeks full-time from June through August.
Analyze current community college programs affiliated with accredited landscape architecture programs and propose case study resources.
Research unaccredited landscape architecture programs to understand the potential for future growth and develop a report.
Attend ASLA’s annual Diversity Summit, write a report on the proceedings, and assist in creating Summit resources.
Review and analyze LAAB accreditation actions (recommendations affecting accreditation) from the previous five years and develop a report.
Create an original written piece for publication in one of ASLA’s outlets showcasing resources and/or reports established during the internship.
Current enrollment entering final year of Bachelor’s program or in a Master’s program in landscape architecture.
Passion to grow the knowledge base for landscape architecture and support ASLA’s vision, mission, and commitment to diversity.
Excellent writing skills with the ability to write clearly for a general audience.
Great data analytic, research, and design skills and an interest to present results effectively through graphic communication.
Excellent organizational skills, good judgement, and attention to detail. The intern will set, track, and complete goals in a timely manner.
Be an effective collaborator with excellent professional interpersonal skills to successfully interact with busy staff members and outside experts.
Working knowledge of Adobe Creative suite and Microsoft Office suite. Knowledge of web-based design is a plus.
How to Apply:
Please send cover letter, resume, two writing samples (no more than two pages each), and names and contact information of two references to email@example.com by end of day, Monday, April 2. Up to three examples of graphic communications skills including an infographic is a desirable additional sample. Please submit all materials as one 8 ½ x 11 PDF file (8.0mb maximum).
Phone interviews will be conducted with finalists the week of April 9 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.
Participatory design is “hands-on democracy in action,” argue the editors of the impressive new book Design as Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity. Participatory design (also known as cooperative or co-design) is a process in which a designer actively involves all stakeholders in a design process. Unfortunately, many of the best-known techniques to enable this approach, which have been used for the past few decades, have become stale. This has led to complacency among designers, and less-than-ideal outcomes for communities that need their help. To revitalize the approach and achieve better results, the authors call for making participatory design “truly democratic.” Furthermore, it must become “contextual, open, experiential, substantive, and holistic.”
One can tell the many editors, who are all landscape architects and professors, wrestled with themselves and perhaps each other to come up with a new synthesis of this design approach. The hard work of David de la Pena; Diane Jones Allen, ASLA; Randolph T. Hester, Jr, FASLA; Jeffrey Hou, ASLA; Laura J. Lawson, ASLA; and Marcia J. McNally paid off: the book is a well-organized compendium of proven techniques designers can apply in their projects. Their collective voice is determined and impassioned, which really helps make their case.
The editors note up front that none of these techniques will work if designers don’t have the right mindset when they begin to engage a set of stakeholders. And the right mindset can only come from close examination of oneself — one’s own history, preferences, position in society, and hidden biases. One section is worth quoting at length:
“Once we are clear on who we are are, we can see our position in society relative to the cultural and economic context of the community in which we plan to work. This in turn equips us with empathy rather than sympathy. This distinction is important because designers can find themselves in communities with acute needs that have been repeatedly ignored. Although providing technical assistance to a community in need is a critical role of participatory design, responding with sorrow or pity hampers one’s effectiveness. Sympathy, even when its grounded in understanding, can subtly convey to residents that only the designer’s expertise counts. Another pitfall lies in creating a patronizing process that diminishes the community’s self-worth.” For the editors, only fully self-aware designers can succeed at this work. Furthermore, designers who come in as arrogant experts risk doing real damage.
The book flows through the design process — starting with tools to help a designer achieve self-awareness, and then moving through how to interact with and learn from communities, reach an accommodation between “expert” and local knowledge, “catalyze new visions and certainty about the best course of action,” co-generate designs and co-construct, evaluate and improve, and, finally, how to “exercise power to make community improvements” actually happen. Each section has a few well-chosen techniques selected by invited contributors, which are detailed, illustrated with a case story, and then further qualified with a reflection on how to best apply.
One technique that helps a designer assemble the right team at the beginning is called “What’s in it for us?” Julie Stevens, ASLA, a landscape architecture professor at Iowa State University, explained how she applied this tool to develop and manage a team for a landscape project at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women (ICIW). Stevens said the assessment helped her think more comprehensively about who should be on the project.
“I nearly dismissed an application from a potential intern, because his essay did not express any compassion for the prison population. In terms of what he offered to the project, I recorded that he had experience with construction tools and equipment. In terms of what the project could do for him, I recorded that this young, white man might benefit from a summer working with women from much less privileged and much more racially diverse backgrounds, which could open up new worlds as he engaged people both informally and through design. His inclusion on the team was validated when I saw him give an incarcerated woman a high-five after completing a difficult retaining wall.”
In the section “Going to the People’s Coming,” which covers how to start engaging with and learning from a community, Chelina Odbert and Joe Mulligan, with Kounkuey Design Initiative, discuss an ingenious technique they call Community Camera: Piga Picha, a “photo activity that helps residents introduce their community to an outside project team, and in the process, to see familiar places through a new lens.” Using the approach in Kibera, large slum of Nairobi, Kenya, they gave 30 diverse community participants a disposable camera. When the residents then got the photos back, “it was clear they were seeing very familiar sites from a new perspective — as spaces worthy of design consideration.”
The next chapter is on “Experting,” which focuses on how to “transfer the title of expert to members of the community” in order to further empower them and build their capacity to achieve goals. In one technique described by Kofi Boone, ASLA, a landscape architecture professor at North Carolina State University, cell phones are passed out to community members so they can be used to create video diaries. This way “community members can document their place-based stories independently, on their own time, in their own voices.” For a new park in the neighborhood of Chavis Park, a historically African American community, videos, which ranged from 30 seconds to 7 minutes, were geo-tagged to an interactive map.
Smart, proven techniques cover how to encourage communities to prioritize efforts through fair and transparent voting processes using dots and tokens and create a shared vision through citizen-generated collages. Then, Design as Democracy delves into innovative ways to get to meat of these projects — and really co-generate designs and co-construct.
On a simple level, co-generating first involves breaking down the design process into easy-to-understand elements and options that community members can then manipulate and use to create design options. But as they create the design together, the community enters a process that “requires negotiation and sometimes creative compromise.” Through this process, the outside designer can then “actively nurture” multiple designers in the community, giving them agency and authority. Community design teams can also use green rubber stamps to quickly illustrate priorities, feast on a “design buffet” and “collect food (design ingredients)” that can result in a novel design, or place representative models on a mat as part of “animated visioning.”
Co-constructing, or building together, then lets everyone experience the “joy and energy of building,” which in turn “imbues a sense of accomplishment, pride, and ownership like nothing else can.” To avoid burnout from long visioning and co-design processes, the contributors in this section instead call for quick prototyping and making things spontaneously. The goal is to make sure the process doesn’t become a drag. “Making alleviates frustration, anger, and apathy from process without products.”
More powerfully, co-constructing with a community can be restorative in itself. In a project at the Rab Psychiatric Public Hospital, the Design/Build Service Learning Studio at the University of Washington redesigned 50 percent of the landscape as healing gardens and then co-constructed them with patients and staff. Daniel Winterbottom, FASLA, explains that despite the challenges, “the patients commented they found the act of building therapeutic. Many said they gained a sense of purpose, renewed self-confidence and self-esteem, and an appreciation for the garden work as a respite from the mandated intensive and exhausting therapies.”
The editors conclude that “design is a political act.” And “participatory design is one of the most effective means in a democracy to create cities and landscapes that distribute resources and shape places to be sustainable, representative of diverse publics, well informed by local wisdom, and just.” But they seem to disagree on the extent to which participatory design should be used to actively fight injustice.
While landscape architects and planners should of course work with communities to map environmental injustices, should they engage in conflict to achieve their ends? For Randolph Hester, FASLA, professor emeritus of landscape architecture at University of California at Berkeley, “no truly transformative design occurs without confronting status quo powers.”
But going back to the beginning for a moment: What this book leaves out is basic guidance on to how to find and partner with existing community leaders who are seeking positive change, who have been fighting injustice. How can a planner or designer know they’ve found the right client in a community? What are the tools for evaluating whether to engage or not? And what does a designer owe a client if the client’s goals end up being different from the community’s?
Plus, grey areas around financing seem to be avoided. For example, many participatory design projects in developing countries are financed by government aid agencies, companies, and non-profits with their own agendas. How can an ethical, self-aware designer establish and finance projects in a transparent way that builds trust with a community?
The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announces its calls for entries for the 2018 Professional and Student Awards, the world’s most prestigious juried landscape architecture competition. Each year, the ASLA Professional Awards honor the best in landscape architecture from around the globe, while the ASLA Student Awards give us a glimpse into the future of the profession.
Award-winning submissions will be featured in 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 Philadelphia, October 19-22, 2018. Award-winning submissions will also 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:
Mark A. Focht, FASLA, chair, New York City Parks & Recreation, New York City, NY
Gerdo Aquino, FASLA, SWA, Los Angeles, CA
Anita Berrizbeitia, ASLA, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA
Christian Gabriel, ASLA, U.S. General Services Administration, Washington, DC
Terry Guen-Murray, FASLA, Terry Guen Design Associates, Chicago, IL
Dale Jaeger, FASLA, Jaeger Landscape Architecture, Gainesville, GA
Sam Lubell, Architecture Writer, New York City, NY
Patrick Phillips, Urban Land Institute, Washington, DC
Barbara Wilks, FAIA, FASLA, W Architecture + Landscape Architecture, LLC, New York City, NY
Joining the jury for the selection of the Research Category will be M. Elen Deming, ASLA, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, on behalf of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) and Ashley Steffens, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, on behalf of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).
Members of the student awards jury are:
Roberto Rovira, ASLA, chair, Florida International University, Studio Roberto Rovira, Miami, FL
Kurt Culbertson, FASLA, Design Workshop, Aspen, CO
Andrea Cochran, FASLA, Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture, San Francisco, CA
Tom Dallessio, Next City, Philadelphia, PA
Jennifer Daniels, ASLA, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Ray Gastil, City of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Jeffrey Hou, ASLA, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Elizabeth Kennedy, ASLA, Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architects, New York City, NY
Lucinda Sanders, FASLA, OLIN, Philadelphia, PA
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.
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.”