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Archive for the ‘PRACTICE’ Category

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FOREGROUND

Piece by Piece (Planning)
Wisconsin’s Ice Age National Scenic Trail is a glorious homage to the state’s geology and conservation history. So why is it so hard to get it finished?  

The Outside Track (Interview)
For minority students on the path to the profession, exceptional persistence and mentors are
as important as design skills.

FEATURES

Paths Forward
The Canadian landscape is shaped by histories and losses of Indigenous peoples, which the government is only beginning to confront. Landscape architects at NVision and Brook McIlroy steward two master-planning efforts meant to embody the principles of reconciliation in action.

Time Goes By
Biel, Switzerland, was once a center of Swiss time makers; today it’s a multicultural city with a new urban magnet by Fontana Landschaftsarchitektur. Schüssinsel Park entwines a constructed,
flood-controlling island with elements designed to be wild.

The full table of contents for August can be found here.

As always, you can buy this issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine at more than 250 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.

Keep an eye out here on the blog, on the LAM Facebook page, and on our Twitter feed (@landarchmag), as we’ll be posting August articles as the month rolls out.

Credits: “Paths Forward,” Government of Yukon; “Time Goes By,” Switzerland Tourism; “Piece by Piece,” Cameron Gillie; “The Outside Track,” Dawson Photography.

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BY ZACH MORTICE

A Tilly-designed project in Denver. Photo by Kody Kohlman.

For a flat fee, some photos, and a few weeks, Tilly will design your home’s landscape.

 

Tilly, the online residential landscape design service started in 2019, picked a good time to launch.

Founded by four women who had been friends since high school, including a Cornell landscape architecture graduate who has practiced for more than 15 years, Tilly came from an idea that sprung up during a vacation on Long Island. The women (Alexis Sutton, Sarah Finazzo, Heather Hoeppner, and Blythe Yost, ASLA) gathered their families and talked about their gardens, peppering Yost (the landscape architect and now Tilly’s CEO) with “a zillion questions about plants and landscape design, then lamenting that they couldn’t get comfortable hiring a traditional landscape architect,” Yost says. Fairly quickly, a question came into view: “How do we offer landscape design to more people who wouldn’t necessarily hire a traditional landscape architect?” she says. (more…)

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As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish.

BY LESLIE WREN, ASLA

FROM THE JULY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Annette Wilkus, FASLA, remembers a meeting of the Teardrop Park construction management team in the early 2000s. The clients, Battery Park City Authority and Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, had inquired how their maintenance staff would safely tend the plantings of Rocky Slope, a tall and steep boulder embankment south of the Ice-Water Wall, a weeping rock formation representing the natural geology of the New York area. Wilkus, a landscape architect then with Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (MNLA), was serving as the landscape architecture inspector, a subconsultant to the construction manager, and immediately recognized that maintenance of this feature would not be safe without a design intervention. She and Laura Solano, FASLA, a partner at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the project’s landscape architect, collaborated with a structural engineer to deliver an inventive solution: a series of hurricane ties in subsurface concrete anchors, invisible to recreational park users but accessible to park staff, for safely rappelling up and down the slope using a harness.

That experience was eye-opening for Wilkus: “Designs now are so incredibly complicated, much more than they ever used to be. And owners fall in love with the design because there are always very pretty pictures, but they never think about how something is going to be maintained.” Teardrop Park’s clients demonstrated both foresight and concern for the maintenance staff and showed Wilkus why landscape architects needed to be more informed in that approach to practice. In 2005, she launched her own firm, SiteWorks, to specialize in life-cycle consulting for the planning, design, construction, and management of high-performance landscapes. And from the beginning, Wilkus established the firm’s fundamental approach with the motto “safety first.” (more…)

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BY AIDAN ACKERMAN, ASLA

The pros and cons of adopting BIM have oversized impacts on smaller firms.

FROM THE JULY 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Small landscape architecture firms face a unique set of challenges when deciding whether to adopt Building Information Modeling, also known as BIM.

In this article, we define small firms as those with fewer than 10 employees, including sole practitioners. Each firm we interviewed falls into this category. For a small firm, the decision about whether to adopt BIM is fraught with questions about cost, loss of productive work time, employee training, and even impacts to the firm’s design culture. Few examples of successful BIM implementation in small firms have been documented, contributing to a fear that some of those firms are being left behind as the technology advances. Yet BIM adoption in small design firms is not as uncommon as it may seem. A 2018 survey by ASLA’s Digital Technology Professional Practice Network surveyed 480 ASLA members on their digital technology usage. Of the 27.3 percent of respondents who identified information modeling or BIM as important to their work, more than half were from firms of 10 or fewer employees. Of the 19.8 percent of survey respondents who identified information modeling or BIM as something they were interested in pursuing, more than half were again from firms of 10 or fewer employees. (more…)

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BY KIM O’CONNELL

LandDesign tries a new approach to bringing kids into landscape architecture.

FROM THE JUNE 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Although they don’t depict the likes of a Mike Trout or Max Scherzer, a new series of “baseball cards” may get children jazzed about careers in landscape architecture. Developed by the multidisciplinary firm LandDesign, the cards each show one of the firm’s designers on the front and a short Q and A about their work on the back, along with a signature project.

The cards are just one element in the firm’s new Studio Toolkit, which includes a collection of physical tools and project guidance to give kids hands-on design experience long before they enter a university classroom. The idea was rooted in the racial justice dialogues that followed the murder of George Floyd last year. “We wanted to do more than just put out a statement; we wanted to take action,” says the designer Rita Schiller, a member of the tool kit team. “There’s a lack of diversity within the profession. We talked about how we could impact that and start to change what the industry looked like for the future.” (more…)

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As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish.

BY NICHOLAS PEVZNER, YEKANG KO, AND KIRK DIMOND, ASLA

FROM THE JUNE 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

Renewable energy is a central element in the Biden administration’s climate plans, a response to President Joe Biden’s campaign goal of a 100 percent clean grid by 2035 and the promise of 10 million well-paying green infrastructure jobs. Renewable energy and the power sector must play a central part in this plan if the United States is to meet Biden’s ambitious new national climate target. The goal, released on Earth Day as part of a virtual international climate gathering ahead of the COP26 Climate Change Conference, is to achieve a 50 percent reduction in climate emissions by 2030 measured against 2005 levels. And clean energy transmission, generation, and storage have a major presence in the American Jobs Plan, the Biden administration’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal now making its way through Congress. All of this renewable energy would represent a major transformation of the landscape. What would it mean for landscape design, and what would the designer’s role be in such a major overhaul of the energy sector? (more…)

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BY JENNIFER REUT

 

FROM THE JUNE 2021 ISSUE OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE MAGAZINE.

 

This spring, the Atlantic published an essay by David Treuer, the Ojibwe author of the highly lauded cultural history The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present. In “Return the National Parks to the Tribes,” Treuer puts his argument out front, and for the next 8,000 words, he doesn’t mince.

Treuer takes readers through an excoriating and sure-footed record of the national parks as sites of violence and dispossession, stopping only briefly to let readers take in Katy Grannan’s exquisite portraits of contemporary Native American people and their landscapes. The essay frontloads the murderous history of how tribes had been removed from their ancestral homelands in places that became Yellowstone and Glacier national parks and then starved out when they could no longer return to hunt or fish.

The narrative serves as a bracing jolt to set up the case that the national parks should be returned to Native Americans, who are owed these lands, and best suited to manage them in a responsible way. In the hands of tribes, the parks would be protected from the political badminton that sites like Bears Ears National Monument, and their people, have endured. With the maintenance backlog and reduction in park staff even as attendance has increased multifold, the National Park Service appears increasingly ill-equipped to steward the parks through climate change and into the next century. (more…)

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