Roadblocks Remain

A survey sheds light on why midcareer women leave design firms.

By Timothy A. Schuler

Portrait of Maya Sharfi
Maya Sharfi, the founder of Build Yourself. Photo by Jessie Wyman Photography.

Rachel Wilkins was 28 years old when she got her first job in landscape architecture. Since graduate school, she had dreamed of working for a woman, but at the large Houston firm where she’d been hired—which Wilkins declined to name—all her bosses were men. Though she had “two wonderful male mentors,” she says she also regularly felt demeaned as a woman, passed over for promotions that went to male colleagues or, when the firm was called out for its lack of women in leadership, to women with less experience but more social capital. Her bosses, Wilkins says, seemed to “consider themselves the dads of the office,” a dynamic she says is omnipresent in landscape architecture—and problematic. “I don’t need a dad,” Wilkins says. “I need a boss who’s invested in my growth.”  Continue reading Roadblocks Remain

35 Perfect Gifts for Landscape Architecture Graduates

Updated and expanded for 2023 grads, with more tech, more cult books, and a few surprising must-haves for the newly minted designer.

By the LAM Editorial Advisory Committee*

Well, it’s finally happened. You (or your family member/friend/roommate/mentee/colleague) have graduated from a landscape architecture program, and you’re ready to start your career as a design professional. Landing a job is first up, but there are tips and gear that can help you feel more prepared to start on your path. Continue reading 35 Perfect Gifts for Landscape Architecture Graduates

The Age Of The Mega-Eco Project

Can large landscape infrastructure projects deliver ecological transformation better than their industrial predecessors?

By Robert Levinthal and Richard Weller

A map of mega-eco projects around the world
Courtesy Robert Levinthal.

For nearly a century, a new breed of megaproject has gone unrecognized, and it is now proliferating. These projects, which we have named “mega-eco projects,” are different from old-school megaprojects in important ways: They seek to address biodiversity loss, land degradation, and climate change while simultaneously improving the living conditions of the planet’s now eight billion inhabitants. We have documented nearly 250 of these mega-eco projects currently under construction and believe there is a big opportunity for the profession of landscape architecture to participate in them and better fulfill its mandate to steward the land. Continue reading The Age Of The Mega-Eco Project

The Rule Book

250 Things a Landscape Architect Should Know

Edited by B. Cannon Ivers; Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser, 2021; 512 pages, $34.99.

Reviewed by Gale Fulton, ASLA

A former Toronto brickworks, now a city dump, makes Jane Mah Hutton’s point to consider material afterlives.
A former Toronto brickworks, now a city dump, makes Jane Mah Hutton’s point to consider material afterlives. Courtesy City of Toronto Archives.

What does a 21st-century landscape architect need to know?
The question is daunting. At least it should be, in the field and especially for those of us in academia who are tasked with laying the foundation on which future landscape architects will continue to build throughout their careers. But determining which skills and what knowledge are essential in such an expansive discipline is elusive at best. The book
250 Things a Landscape Architect Should Know attempts an answer. Continue reading The Rule Book

A Lake at Its Limit

Historic funding for Utah’s Great Salt Lake will support water use reductions within agriculture and the urban landscape.

By Brian Fryer

Satellite imagery of the shrinking Great Salt Lake. The exposed lake bed contains toxins that can be spread by the wind.
Satellite imagery of the shrinking Great Salt Lake. The exposed lake bed contains toxins that can be spread by the wind. Images © Google Earth.

The drought conditions affecting western states, along with increased water demands from a growing population and industrialized agriculture, have drained Utah’s Great Salt Lake to its lowest levels on record. A study conducted last year by a team of experts from Utah’s research universities, known as the Great Salt Lake Strike Team, concluded that if current conditions persist, and without interventions, the lake will disappear in five years. Continue reading A Lake at Its Limit

The May 2023 Issue: Sedge Heads

ON THE COVER: The slender, cattail-like inflorescence of Hayden’s sedge (Carex haydenii). Image courtesy Mt. Cuba Center.

LAM stacked covers

Featured Story: “The Sedge Insurgency,” by Bradford McKee. Versatile, hardy, and increasingly available, the 2,000 species of the genus Carex are enjoying a moment in the sun. Fans of the humble sedge praise its drought tolerance and adaptability to climate flux, declaring that there truly is one (at least) for most every landscape. Continue reading The May 2023 Issue: Sedge Heads

Listen To Reasons

A new podcast aims to demystify the Green New Deal and its implications for the profession.

By Anjulie Rao

José Alfredo Ramírez.

Since Senator Edward J. Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Green New Deal (GND) house resolution to Congress in 2019, architecture and landscape architecture educators have been teaching emerging designers to grapple with the possibilities of a carbon-neutral future outside the formal landscape practice (see “The Year of the Superstudio,” LAM, April 2022). Faculty are educating students on the interconnected systems related to economic policy, social movements, and the built environment, effectively blurring boundaries between areas of expertise. Continue reading Listen To Reasons

The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects