LA+ Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture
"LA+ facilitates a robust and challenging dialogue between the landscape architecture profession and myriad other disciplines, including those from the worlds of culture, art, science, history, and the built and natural environments. With its panoply of perspectives and stunning visual style, this groundbreaking journal places the idea of landscape firmly in the world at large, fostering a necessary conversation that occurs in few other settings. Its uniquely interdisciplinary approach bridges theory and practice, establishing a record of editorial excellence that has raised the quality of discourse in the profession and beyond, while inspiring its diverse readership with beautiful graphics and outstanding production values."
- 2019 Awards Jury
- Dr. Tatum L. Hands (Editor in Chief), Richard Weller (Creative Director), Colin Curley (Production Coordinator), Allison Koll, Nikki Chang & Aaron Stone (Editorial Assistants), ORO Editions (Publisher). LA+ PATRONS: The University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, James Corner Field Operations, MNLA, OLIN, Hollander Design, W Architecture + Landscape Architecture, Starr Whitehouse, Stoss, Bionic Landscape, McGregor Coxall, Terrain Studio, TOPOTEK 1, WRT Planning + Design, Snøhetta, AHBE Landscape Architecture, T.C.L. Landscape Architecture, PEG Office of Landscape + Architecture, Marilyn Jordan Taylor, Future Green Studio, Weiss/Manfredi.
(Landscape Architecture Plus) is the world's only interdisciplinary journal of landscape architecture. Launched in 2014 by the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Pennsylvania, the journal's mission is to reveal connections and build collaborations between landscape architecture and other disciplines by exploring each issue's theme from multiple perspectives.Therefore, in addition to the design professions, each issue includes works by a range of disciplinary authors, including historians, artists, geographers, anthropologists, psychologists, planners, scientists, and philosophers. This interdisciplinary approach not only enriches landscape architecture, it also introduces landscape architecture to new audiences in other fields. LA+ Journal is committed to content that promotes a global diversity of perspectives and cultures, and which encourages an expansive understanding of the field of landscape architecture and the role of landscape architects. With nine issues published and four in production, LA+ has gained a strong global following. LA+ is beautifully produced and is distributed internationally via subscription, and through bookshops and museums such as MoMA and the Musée des Beaux-Arts. This year, LA+ launches its digital publication.
LA+ (Landscape Architecture Plus) Interdisciplinary Journal of Landscape Architecture's mission is to "reveal connections and build collaborations between landscape architecture and other disciplines by exploring each issue's theme from multiple perspectives." The purpose of this is to encourage landscape architects and urban designers to become aware of the diverse ways in which other disciplines and professions frame and approach landscape-related issues, and to simultaneously champion and broadcast landscape architecture to a broad academic and professional constituency. In each issue LA+ commissions a number of essays by contemporary thinkers in other fields who have relevant things to say about the spaces and scales in which landscape architects practice, the technologies and tools that landscape architects use, and the people and communities that landscape architects design for. For example, in LA+ WILD, evolutionary biologists Timothy Mousseau and Anders Møller addressed the landscape-scale consequences of nuclear disaster, while science writer Emma Marris considered the viability of community-based preservation of non-native fauna. In LA+ PLEASURE, design philosopher Mark Kingwell contemplated a reading of the city as a paean to the Situationists, while neuroscientist Morten Kringelbach mapped the architecture of pleasure in the brain through an extraordinary collaboration with artist Annie Cattrell. In LA+ TYRANNY, geographer Matthew Gandy discussed how the introduction of artificial illumination changed cities, while semiotician Patrizia Violi examined how communities respond to traumatic events through designed memorials. In LA+ SIMULATION, science historian Paul Edwards explained climate modeling, and artist Mark Nystrom captured the hidden patterns of our ever-changing environment through artworks that dimensionalize weather data. In LA+ IDENTITY, renowned author in environmental humanities, Ursula Heise, explored how the notion of "sense of place" must now give way to "sense of planet," and philosopher Ed Casey examined the complex identity of built place. In LA+ RISK, futurist Andrew Zolli outlined the development of new satellite technology that makes planetary change visible and actionable, and urban geographer Jon Coaffee discussed resilient urban design in the context of climate change and security risks. And in our latest issue, LA+ TIME, landscape ecologist Erle Ellis offered a polemic on design's role in the highly modified ecosystems of the Anthropocene, while celebrated anthropologist Tim Ingold reflected on performance artist Tehching Hseih's career of multiple year-long performances linking art, time, and space. In short, LA+ expands the conversation beyond designers just talking to other designers.
LA+ Journal also serves as a cultural platform within and beyond landscape architecture, not only generating conversation around each issue, but also through high profile events such as international design competitions (see, LA+ IMAGINATION and LA+ ICONOCLAST), which the journal conducts and which are open to professionals and students from any discipline. Finally, through its consistently rigorous, jargon-free articles and its thought-provoking graphics, the journal challenges intellectual complacency and orthodoxy in both the academy and the profession of landscape architecture.
By intentionally positioning itself in between orthodox academic journals at one end of the spectrum and trade journals at the other, LA+ occupies a niche suited to the reflective practitioner, as well as to students and academics in landscape architecure, architecture, planning, and urban design. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, LA+ conveys landscape architectural issues to a more diverse audience than design journals typically reach. By including articles from contemporary thinkers in other fields, each issue introduces new voices to landscape architects, and also introduces landscape architecture to these other featured disciplines.
As a highly visual journal with cutting edge graphics and essays of varying lengths by leading thinkers and designers, LA+ also appeals to a broader audience, and as a result has gained a position in general bookstores and some newsstands, as well as more design-oriented forums/institutional bookstores and libraries.
Overtly and subliminally, LA+ conveys several important messages. Firstly, the journal encourages an expansive understanding of landscape architecture as a broadly relevant and topical medium of contemporary culture. Second, by exploring specific and topical themes from multiple perspectives and always returning to the fundamental question of how we shape our landscapes, the journal links theory to praxis. Third, as an international and interdisciplinary title, LA+ actively seeks through its content and authors to promote a global diversity of perspectives and cultures. Finally, through its professional editing and close collaboration with up to 20 authors for each issue, LA+ goes to great lengths to emphasize that writing matters, even in disciplines known mainly for design.
IMPACT AND EFFECTIVENESS
The exact impact of the journal is hard to gauge, though we do receive regular messages conveying appreciation of the publication, particularly from landscape architects and designers. Certainly, LA+ has earned a place in prominent museum and institutional bookstores (among them, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, the National Building Museum in Washington DC, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts), as well as in bookstores worldwide, and in many design school libraries in North America, Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Articles from LA+ are periodically cited in academic syllabi and referenced in other publications demonstrating an impact in academic circles. One measure of the journal's quality, impact, and effectiveness is that it continues to attract eminent and sought-after authors in many fields. For example, Tim Ingold, Ursula Heise, Timothy Morton, Andrew Zolli, Matthew Gandy, Emma Marris, Stefan Rahmstorf, David Waltner-Toews, and Mark Kingwell have all written for LA+. The journal is cultivating a lively presence on social media and has received press in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Fast Company, Places, as well as design-based print and online forums in a number of countries. The two open international design ideas competitions LA+ Journal has conducted have received hundreds of entries from all around the world and featured eminent interdisciplinary juries. Another measure of the journal's effectiveness is that it receives the ongoing imprimatur and financial support of over 20 leading design firms in North America, Europe, China, and Australia. It is also noteworthy that LA+ is an educational tool; that is, the process of designing and producing each issue—including the creation of original graphic content—is conducted as a graduate seminar. This gives students a unique and useful educational experience.
Finally, through both its written and graphic content, LA+ brings a new level of sophistication to landscape architectural publishing. Producing a high-quality print journal in a digital age is a labor of love, particularly where the journal has a "no advertising" policy. LA+ is a non-profit (but high cost) investment in the future of the discipline and profession of landscape architecture, and we are indebted to the University of Pennsylvania and our patrons for making the journal possible.
LA+ Journal has a print run of 2000, and is distributed globally to individual and institutional subscribers, and to commercial and museum bookstores and international online vendors (for example, Barnes and Noble, Amazon Worldwide, Booktopia Australia, Book Depository, Alibris) by publisher, ORO Editions. In response to demand from students, competition entrants, and social media followers, we are preparing to launch LA+ digitally this fall so that each new issue and the full complement of back issues is available online.
Issues 1 to 8 of LA+ Journal are included with this submission.
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