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Archive for the ‘LAM MAGAZINE’ Category

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A program by the Trust for Public Land lets kids design their own schoolyards.

From the March 2015 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

“There is poop going into the East River,” the teacher says, sprinkling black specks onto a cutaway model consisting of buildings, streets, and sewer pipes. It is week three of design class at P.S. 15, the Roberto Clemente School, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and a group of third graders is participating in the New York City Playgrounds Program, which, led by the Trust for Public Land (TPL), transforms asphalt inner-city schoolyards into community parks.

The teacher, Maddalena Polletta, who is TPL’s participatory design educator, is describing how storms can overwhelm New York City’s combined stormwater–sewer system and cause it to overflow. Seated around Polletta in a semicircle, the children are wide-eyed. “Your playground is impervious, which means that nothing can get through,” Polletta explains, using the model to demonstrate how the school’s asphalt yard contributes to the stormwater runoff, which is one of New York City’s biggest environmental problems.

After the Sewer in a Suitcase lesson (so called because the model is designed to fit into a suitcase for transportation to different schools), the children discuss a list of potential amenities and design features for the new park they are helping to design. The list includes a basketball court, a butterfly garden, a trampoline, and even a Jacuzzi—an amenity that to date has not been installed in a TPL park. The students talk about replacing part of the asphalt schoolyard with a different hardtop surface. “What if we fall and hit our face?” asks a boy dressed in a gray hooded sweatshirt. “What if we fall and scrape our knees?” asks a girl who stands up to address the class. “Okay, so this is a grass class,” Polletta says, summarizing the students’ sentiments.

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BY PHILIP WALSH

A new cash crop is shifting the contours of Wisconsin's countryside.

A new cash crop is shifting the contours of Wisconsin’s countryside.

From the March 2015 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

Two saucers full of sand sit on my desk. One contains a heathery mix of grains that I scooped up from L Street Beach in South Boston. It’s a blend of dark, light, and medium stone, mostly quartz weathered from the granite mountains of New Hampshire. Viewed at a distance it’s just gray. The coastal sands of southern New England were originally washed down by glacial floodwaters when the Laurentide Ice Sheet began to retreat about 20,000 years ago. Sand is dynamic, particularly when acted upon by the ocean. And indeed, the effect of water on stone is the very genesis of sand. The action of millennia of waves and currents reshapes the grains themselves. This sand is “semiangular”: The grains are irregular and somewhat sharp edged, although the occasional near sphere of transparent quartz does crop up now and again, as I peer at it through a 10x loupe. It is very young sand.

The second dish of sand is quite another matter. It’s an even golden color, reminiscent of straw or lightly done toast. The grains are on the whole much finer than the beach sand, and even without magnification they have a remarkable consistency, almost a silky quality. Under the loupe the grains are almost all rounded, most nearly spherical. The saucer also holds several large lumps of aggregated sand, still damp when I collected them at a mine operated by Fairmount Santrol at Menomonie, Wisconsin. This is sandstone from the Wonewoc Formation, and the mine was originally prospected by a nearby glassmaking company. Some of the sand from this site still ends up as windows. When I gathered these lumps of sand at the quarry, still moist, the stone had the consistency of halvah and readily crumbled into a heap of the distinctive, fine golden grains. Now that the sample has dried it behaves more like the sandstone it is. The Wonewoc sandstone dates to the early Cambrian Period, about 500 million years ago. It was smoothed into its typical roundness and sorted into beds by the actions of shallow seas that lapped the shores of supercontinents that predate even Pangaea, the breakup of which continues to shape our globe. This sand is so old that the tides that refined it were governed by a shorter day and a year 400 days long. It is unthinkably ancient.

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The things our art director, Chris McGee, hated to leave out of the current issue of LAM.

Salton Sea migrating pods concept map by Lateral Office. Courtesy Lateral Office.

Extra from “Eyes Northward” by Jane Margolies, in the March 2015 issue, featuring Lateral Office in Toronto.

 “I love an image with a strong figure–ground relationship. This particular image of the Salton Sea evokes M.C. Escher’s Sky and Water woodcut prints, but also appeals to my desire for underlying structure.

—Chris McGee, LAM Art Director

 

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 200 bookstores, including many university stores and independents, as well as at Barnes & Noble. You can also buy single digital issues for only $5.25 at Zinio or order single copies of the print issue from ASLA. Annual subscriptions for LAM are a thrifty $59 for print and $44.25 for digital. Our subscription page has more information on subscription options.

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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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After barely a decade, Chatham University’s landscape architecture program gets the ax.

After barely a decade, Chatham University’s landscape architecture program gets the ax.

From the March 2015 issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine.

The decision, announced in a posting on the web page for Chatham University’s Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program, was rather sudden: “As of June 2014, Landscape Architecture degree programs at Chatham have been closed.” David Wilson, Associate ASLA, a 2014 graduate of the MLA program and a past ASLA student president, says there had been rumors the closure would happen, so it wasn’t a total surprise, though the speed with which a decision was made “did come as a bit of a shock.”

The MLA program at Chatham, located in the heart of Pittsburgh, is relatively new, having first been accredited by the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board (LAAB) in 2007. Many people considered it fitting, even inevitable, to have a landscape architecture program at a school that headlines its environmental ethos and that, when it was the Pennsylvania College for Women, had counted Rachel Carson, the environmentalist and author of Silent Spring, among its graduates.

Chatham had long offered a master’s degree in landscape studies, and in 2000, members of ASLA’s Pennsylvania–Delaware Chapter began talking to administrators of Chatham College (the school achieved university status in 2007) to see whether they would be interested in hosting a landscape architecture program, recalls Lisa Kunst Vavro, ASLA, the current trustee for the chapter. The program won approval in 2003; Michael Leigh, who was faculty at the landscape studies program at the time, worked with the college to develop the program. Shortly afterward, in January 2004, Kunst Vavro became the acting director and won accreditation in 2007 after three years of what she describes as “blood, sweat, and tears.”

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Find the LAM staff out and about in March and April:

March 19–21

LABash 2015, San Luis Obispo, CA

March 24–28

2015 CELA Conference, Manhattan, KS

March 27–28

The Harvard–Lincoln Institute Journalists Forum on Land and the Built Environment, Cambridge, MA

April 10

Ohio Chapter ASLA Annual Meeting, Columbus, OH

April 11–14

Greater & Greener 2015: Innovative Parks, Vibrant Cities,  San Francisco, CA

April 15–19

2015 Society of Architectural Historians Annual Conference, Chicago, IL

You can also find Landscape Architecture Magazine this spring at the following shows:

March 5–7

Hearth Patio and Barbecue Expo, Nashville, TN

March 19–22

Architectural Digest Home Design Show, New York, NY

April 13–15

Outdoor Design and Build Show, Dubai, UAE

April 14–17

Coverings, Orlando, FL

And as always, at more than 400 Barnes & Noble stores.

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