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PPN_Environmental Justice_Icon

Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) are great resources for members of ASLA. The 20 networks represent the diversity of topics important to the practice of landscape architecture, and each provides the opportunity to share information with other members connected to that particular network. The concerns of the newest network, Environmental Justice, have recently been much on the minds of practitioners and educators alike in new and evolving ways, reflecting design professionals’ desire to help right current social injustices that are knowingly, and unknowingly, inflicted upon others. And it is a topic that some practitioners feel should be more integrated in today’s practice.

Kathleen King, Associate ASLA, a landscape designer at Design Workshop in Denver, is a co-chair of the Environmental Justice PPN. “Landscape architects have a really important role in the sociology of places,” King says. The other co-chair is Julie Stevens, assistant professor of landscape architecture at Iowa State University. “There are a few design firms dedicated to… environmental justice, and then there’s everybody else. And I think that this is not a topic that has to be exclusive to a certain number of firms… I think everybody needs to start embracing these projects,” Stevens says.

King spoke on a panel about social justice at the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting in Denver, along with Diane Jones Allen, ASLA; Kurt D. Culbertson, FASLA; Randolph T. Hester Jr., FASLA; and Anne Whiston Spirn, FASLA. They talked about the role of environmental justice in their careers. The response was overwhelming; students and professionals alike inundated them with requests for more information. “We’re going to figure out what this really means for landscape architecture,” King says.

Members of ASLA can join one Professional Practice Network for free, with a yearly charge of $15 added for each additional network. For more information on the new Environmental Justice and other PPNs, visit ASLA’s PPN website.

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United States Capitol dome under restoration. Photo Architect of the Capitol

United States Capitol dome under restoration. Photo Architect of the Capitol

A monthly bit of headline news from ASLA’s national office.

It’s April, which at ASLA headquarters in Washington means that Advocacy Day is nigh—Thursday, April 23. Every year around this time, hundreds of ASLA members come to town ahead of the midyear meetings of the Society’s Board of Trustees and Chapter Presidents Council to spend a day on Capitol Hill visiting the offices of their senators and representatives to make the case for national issues that are important to landscape architects.

This year, the focus of advocacy efforts is on three issues: the reauthorization and full funding of the Transportation Alternatives Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the authorization and funding (at $100 million) of the National Park Service Centennial Challenge. Advocacy Day is about showing strength in numbers. But the individual work of telling Congress what landscape architects do and why it matters never stops—especially because design in the public realm helps create new jobs, stimulate consumer spending, increase property values, and, in turn, generate billions in new federal, state, and local tax revenues. Even design professionals not planning to take part in Advocacy Day activities should stay aware of how these issues are moving, or not, in Washington, and keep in touch with the members and staff of their congressional delegations.

Each day, Roxanne Blackwell, Mark Cason, and Leighton Yates of ASLA’s government affairs staff work with legislators on issues of importance to the profession, and you should follow them on Twitter at @ASLA_Advocacy. But members of Congress really sit up and listen to the concerns of individual constituents and business owners. To help acquaint you with ways to communicate with Congress, the government affairs staff will hold a webinar tomorrow, April 9, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern. You can register to join the webinar here. Questions? ASLA’s government affairs staff is happy to help. Contact the director of federal government affairs, Roxanne Blackwell, at rblackwell@asla.org.

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To see individual values by state, please click here, or the picture, for a full interactive map.

From the March 2015 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

When you have more states with licensure for landscape architecture (all 50 now since 2010), you can expect growing numbers of landscape architects. In January, Julia Lent, ASLA’s managing director of government affairs, counted, as she does every couple of years, the names of resident licensees on each state’s licensure rolls and found there are currently 16,436 landscape architects in the United States. That’s an increase of 1,359 licensees (or 9 percent) over 2008. If you factor out Colorado, New Hampshire, and Vermont, which were later to licensure, the increase was 6 percent since 2008. Of 35 states with an increase, 19 had an increase of 10 percent or greater. By contrast, the number of architects has risen 3.3 percent since 2008; the number of engineers has risen by 2.7 percent.

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SLO LABASHLAM will be in the house at this year’s LABASH, the annual student-led landscape architecture conference, which looks to be the sleeper hit of the spring. Hosted by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, in San Luis Obispo, California, the gathering’s program includes Kona Gray, ASLA; Mia Lehrer, FASLA; Susan Van Atta, FASLA; and Laurie Olin, FASLA—just a few of the big names who will be attending and meeting with students.

The three-day conference combines portfolio reviews, panels, tours, charrettes, and workshops organized by and for landscape architecture students. It’s LAM’s first year attending LABASH, and we are pretty excited about the slate of events and people coming together this year. And let’s face it, California’s legendary Central Coast is no small draw.

Associate Editor Jennifer Reut will be speaking on Saturday afternoon about how the magazine is put together, and ASLA staff Leighton Yates, James Taylor, Barbara Fles, and Debbie Steinberg will all be there as well. Among the many ASLA activities at LABASH are a “parklet” in the expo area, a brunch for ASLA student chapter presidents, and the opening ceremony with ASLA President K. Richard Zwiefel, FASLA. We’ll also be around for panels, reviews, and workshops throughout the weekend.

Drop by and say hello and look out for the LAM and ASLA staff at LABASH from March 19 to 21, 2015.  Registration is still open, but if you can’t make it, follow LAM @landarchmag and ASLA @landarchitects on Twitter or follow the #LABASH2015 hashtag.

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interiro

The work of Janelle Johnson, ASLA, a senior landscape architect at OLIN, is among projects by several designers featured in Johnson and photographer Sahar Coston-Hardy’s takeover of OLIN’s Instagram feed for Black History Month.

The house photographer and videographer at OLIN, Sahar Coston-Hardy, already has a cult following after her recent appearance at the ASLA Annual Meeting in Denver, so we aren’t all that surprised that she’s working social media channels in smart and interesting ways. Coston-Hardy (@saharchphoto) and Janelle Johnson, ASLA (@janelle_rla), a senior landscape architect at OLIN, have been handed control of the firm’s Instagram feed (@olininsta) for the month of February to highlight the contributions of African Americans to the field of landscape architecture.

opener

Olininsta post on the work of 2014 National Olmsted Scholar Sara Zewde, MLA candidate at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Coston-Hardy and Johnson look expansively at how “contributions” might be defined by featuring the work of historical and newly emerging designers, as well as activists, scholars, and landscape architecture programs at historically black colleges and universities, among others. Johnson, whose work is seen here, has also written about ASLA’s recent Diversity Summit (“Diversity—Not Just for Plant Communities“), asking “Why hasn’t more been done to attract African American and Latino students to the world of landscape architecture?” You can see posts from Coston-Hardy and Johnson’s February Olininsta takeover, without signing up for Instagram, here: https://instagram.com/olininsta.

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"View along US 40 in Mount Vernon Canyon, Colorado" by Andreas Feininger, 1942.

“View along US 40 in Mount Vernon Canyon, Colorado” by Andreas Feininger, 1942.

The staff of Landscape Architecture Magazine is off to beautiful Denver, Colorado, for the 2014 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO. You can find us in our dedicated space in the EXPO Hall. Look for the LAM logo in the ASLA Commons. Drop by and say hello, or you can find us at any one of the many events and sessions we’re participating in. Here are just a few:

Art Director Chris McGee and Associate Editor Jennifer Reut will be on a panel titled Fit for Print: Landscape Architecture Photos That Work (FRI-C08) at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, 11/21.

Editor Brad McKee is moderating a panel, Design 2034: Our Resilient Tomorrow (FRI-D10), at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, 11/21.

The staff will be in attendance at the Landscape Architecture Magazine Advertising Awards (LAMMYs) on Friday, 11/21 and the ASLA Student and Professional Awards Ceremony on Monday, 11/24.

LAM editors will be on hand for Meet the Editors on Saturday and Sunday.

We’re all really looking forward to the Edible Landscapes Celebration on Saturday, 11/20.

Throughout the meeting the LAM staff will be on the floor in the EXPO hall as well as helping out in sessions and events. Follow us on Twitter @landarchmag throughout the meeting, or stop by the LAM booth, or just introduce yourself—we love to meet readers and hear what they think about the magazine and the blog.

Credit: FSA/OWI collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540.

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Close-up view of a moveable climate station.

Close-up view of a movable climate station.

From the November 2014 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Reid Fellenbaum

Reid Fellenbaum, Student Affiliate ASLA

It’s 2080, a world deep in the throes of a changing climate where a landscape’s fertility is analyzed by mammoth structures that roam the Great Plains. It may seem like a scene from a sci-fi novel, but it is actually the basis for Reid Fellenbaum’s “Meridian of Fertility,” winner of the 2014 ASLA Student Award of Excellence in Analysis and Planning, which examines historical practices, climate models, projected precipitation, temperature, and current soil quality of the Great Plains region and suggests that the “Meridian of Fertility,” a geographical dividing line between prairie lands to the west and areas suitable for agricultural practices to the east, is steadily moving eastward. The project proposes a series of shelterbelts to slow this migration, as well as a return to dry-farming practices (a no-irrigation method that relies on the conservation of soil moisture) informed by structures called climate stations that use “hyperlocal climate predictions” to determine the best site for farmers to plant their crops. We talked with Fellenbaum about his project, and how he sees it as a focus on resiliency in a changing world.

(more…)

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