Education Sessions

90-minute education sessions will be offered from Friday through Monday. Each session is 1.5 professional development hours (PDH). Unless otherwise noted, the instruction level of the education sessions will be Intermediate to Advanced, appropriate for an experienced, professional audience. All sessions take place at Lakeside Center at McCormick Place.  Programs and speakers are subject to change.

Monday 10:00–11:30

Inside the LA Studio with Ken Smith Landscape Architect
1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/HSW, FL

Ken Smith Landscape Architect, based in New York City and Southern California, works on a wide variety of projects. His background in landscape architecture and public art has led him to explore the symbolic content and expressive power of landscape as an art form. The firm practices in the realm of public space, pushing beyond traditional landscape typologies to conceptualize landscapes that are hybridized from diverse cultural traditions and influences of the contemporary urban landscape.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn how this firm solves design problems within the context of existing, reworked, or complex urban fabrics
  • Explore ways in which this firm makes the strongest conceptual landscapes with the limits and possibilities of a site’s infrastructure
  • Understand the symbolic content and expressive power of landscape as an art form.

Featured speakers: Ken Smith, ASLA, Corbett Belcher, Affiliate ASLA, and Hardy Stecker, Ken Smith Landscape Architect; Peter Lindsay Schaudt, FASLA, Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects 


Natural Swimming Pools and Ponds
1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/HSW, FL

The basic philosophy behind maintaining the water quality in a typical swimming pool is to kill everything (short of killing the swimmer). This session will present the evolution of the Natural Swimming Pool (NSP), describe how these pools function, show design alternatives, explain maintenance procedures, discuss water chemistry, clarify algae control, and recommend plant material selection. Explore the potential of the NSP in public and residential pool markets in the U.S.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn what is new and revolutionary about the Natural Swimming Pool/Pond, and understand its parts and how they function
  • Explore how NSPs work, their critical parameters, and how to price them
  • Learn how to integrate other green technologies (i.e. rainwater collection, green roofs, and geothermal systems) with NSPs.

Featured speakers: James G. Robyn, Affiliate ASLA, and Rainer Grafinger, International ASLA, BioNova USA; Mick Hilleary, Total Habitat


Urban Soils and Tree Roots
1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/HSW, FL

This session will cover relevant issues in tree-root and urban-soil science for landscape architects. The presentation will provide a case study of Chicago’s Millennium Park, a synopsis of the state of the knowledge pertaining to urban soils, as well as considerations for the management of root systems for healthy urban trees.

Learning objectives:

  • Explore Millennium Park as a case study for tree-root and urban soil issues
  • Study what landscape architects need to know about urban soils
  • Learn about root management for healthy urban trees

Featured speakers: Pat Kelsey, Christopher B. Burke Engineering West; Bryant C. Scharenbroch, and Gary Watson, the Morton Arboretum


Public Art and Design: Innovations in Infrastructure
1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/HSW, AIA, AICP, FL

Although incorporating public art into in public-works infrastructure projects has established exemplary design precedents, landscape architect and artist collaborations often are not well understood. This session will present an overview of public artworks as well as federal stimulus-funded projects. It also will discuss program models of how processes and built work can fulfill long-term sustainability goals. 

Learning objectives:

  • Examine contemporary examples of public art being created for public works infrastructure projects
  • Learn the A-Z process of project funding, artist/designer selection, design, community-input models, and project implementation best practices 
  • Understand the artist’s approach to park design and landscape architect collaborations when artist Norie Sato talks about creating Romare Bearden Park in Charlotte, NC.

Featured speakers: Liesel Fenner, ASLA, Americans for the Arts; Elizabeth Grajales, ASLA, City of Phoenix, Office of Arts and Culture; Norie Sato, Artist


Large-Scale, Sustainable Landscape Projects in China
1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/HSW, AIA, AICP, FL

The current booming urbanization process in China presents landscape architects with attractive opportunities as well as challenges in all aspects of a project. This session will reveal the process and operational mechanisms used to bring some of the most significant landscape projects in China from concept to reality. Learn the pros and cons of government projects, the combination of sustainable design with traditional Chinese garden esthetics, and the difference between North American and Chinese landscape architecture practice.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the complex procedure for bringing large-scale landscape projects from concept to reality under the current Chinese system and regulations 
  • Gain insight into roles and opportunities for landscape professionals during the creation of new cities under China’s fast-paced urbanization process
  • Learn development strategies, including re-utilization for mining subsidence brownfields and coastal saline-alkali lands

Featured speakers: Jie Hu, ASLA, Beijing Urban Planning & Design Institute; Yixia Wu, International ASLA, and Xiaodi Zheng, ASLA, LEED AP, Tzinghua University Planning and Design Institute


Maximizing CAD to Work Smarter with a
Smaller Workforce

1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/non-HSW, FL

The current economy requires professional practice changes to survive the downturn and prosper with the coming upturn—all while elevating the art of the profession. Learn how four key aspects of the profession can be transformed with the power of a maximized, smart CAD system. Participants will learn how to do more with less staff on initial project costs, site development, landscape concept designs, 3-D visualization, and automated and error-free construction documents. 

Learning objectives:

  • Understand how a smaller size staff can maximize CAD to greatly speed up the construction document process using automated systems 
  • Learn how to do more with less at every stage of development of a landscape architecture project with smart CAD connections and intelligent CAD objects 
  • Learn how you can instantly visualize your landscape design in 3-D for presentations and walk-throughs, without having to hire specialized or highly trained staff

Featured speakers: Chad Danos, ASLA, Brown + Danos Landdesign, Inc.; David L. Farmer, ASLA, Ecografx, Inc.


Managing the Small Firm in Times of Change
1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/non-HSW, FL

Small firms face significant challenges when economic currents create shifts in project types and demands. In this session, a panel of small-firm practitioners will share their diverse opinions and strategies on how to weather these winds of change. Participants will learn strategies that will make their firms more resilient and flexible in good times and bad, as well as operationally improved over the long run.

Learning objectives:

  • Learn how to structure your firm to be flexible, diverse, and broad in the types of services you render and market
  • Understand which project types are more prevalent in uncertain economic times and how to market to those who will be seeking these services.
  • Learn how to create an internal team structure that assists in the management and marketing of services when economic storm clouds are on the horizon.

Featured speakers: Jeffrey K. Carbo, FASLA, Jeffrey K. Carbo Landscape Architects; Ben Dozier, Affiliate ASLA, Root Design Company; Mario Nievera, ASLA, Mario Nievera Design, Inc.; Gary Hilderbrand, FASLA, Reed Hilderbrand; Dean Hill, ASLA, Terratecture


Learning from the Netherlands: New Models for Site and Community Planning
1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/HSW, AIA, AICP, FL

William McDonough + Partners is executing work in the Netherlands, a country that has embraced Cradle-to-Cradle thinking. Learn about the survey systems thinking process in planning and lessons for U.S. design teams and communities, and take part in a discussion about how sharing between European and American communities may help both advance more quickly toward high-aspiration goals, such as zero waste and carbon neutrality. 

Learning objectives:

  • Understand systems thinking as a framework for community planning 
  • Learn about how communities in the Netherlands are applying principle-based planning for long-range community design strategies
  • Learn how to translate place-based principles into goals, strategies, and tactics that can be implemented for any community.

Featured speakers:
Diane Dale, ASLA, William McDonough + Partners; Warren T. Byrd Jr., FASLA, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects


Driving Cars Out of the Park: Ways to Reduce Autos in
City Parks

1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/HSW, AICP, FL

America's city parks contain thousands of miles of roadway that have some architects, designers, citizen advocates, and park managers increasingly questioning the safety and environmental impact of traffic. Consequently, a fledgling "car-free park" movement is spreading across the nation, and many users are finding true benefits. This session will discuss the pros and cons of these controversial hot issues as well as how to test the idea in your city and parks. 

Learning objectives:

  • Learn how parks are finding ways, through pricing and expanding transportation choices, to reduce the supply of parking and increase overall access to parks 
  • Examine how some cities are successfully closing roads to car traffic—either partially or completely—and liberating them for more non-car park users 
  • Find out how some cities are rediscovering their streets, both to connect parks and use as parks

Featured speakers: Ben Welle, The Trust for Public Land; Mark W. Johnson, FASLA, Civitas, Inc.; Christian Zimmerman, ASLA, Prospect Park Alliance

An Urban Park on a Post-Industrial Waterfront: Planning Brooklyn Bridge Park
1.5 PDH, Registered with LACES/HSW, AICP, FL

Like many North American cities, New York City’s urban waterfront rapidly is being replaced with new public open space. This session will present key players in the development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, who will discuss the leadership role that landscape architecture can play in this kind of urban transformation. They also will explain how understanding the political and economic process behind a design project can either expand or limit the range of possible outcomes.

Learning objectives:

  • Examine the ways that the planning tools at the disposal of the landscape architect can be used to create the urban, environmental, and social conditions whereby a new park can thrive.
  • Learn about innovative site-planning principles and infrastructural analysis developed to address the characteristic challenges of derelict waterfronts: deteriorated urban junctions, the need for structural economy, and inert post-industrial ecologies. 
  • Explore how the political and economic process behind a project can be used to enhance project success
Featured speakers: Charles McKinney, NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Regina Myer, Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation; Matthew Urbanski and Michael Van Valkenburgh, FASLA, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

Early Deadline

July 9, 2009

Advance Deadline

August 14, 2009


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