ASLA Celebrates LGBTQIA Pride Month

18 shades18 Shades of Gay, Montréal, Canada. Claude Cormier + Associés / Jean-Michel Seminaro

ASLA is proud to elevate and celebrate its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, and asexual or allied (LGBTQIA) members and their remarkable contributions to the profession during its first-ever celebration of LGBTQIA Pride Month.

About Claude Cormier, ASLA, designer of 18 Shades of Gay in Montréal, Canada (seen above)

Claude Cormier, ASLA

Claude Cormier, ASLA

Cormier studied history & theory of design at Harvard University, landscape architecture at the University of Toronto, and agronomy at the University of Guelph. In 1995, he established the landscape architecture firm Claude Cormier et Associés, which has received about 100 awards over the years.

The team’s work is distinguished not only for its inventiveness but also its tenacious optimism in the power of design. The firm celebrates designed nature and is deeply committed to the specific qualities of each site – its natural conditions, cultural history, sociology, and politics. Claude Cormier et Associés hopes to translate each unique situation into a bold and pleasurable design that will connect with people physically, sensually, and playfully.

Learn more about Cormier in Hell of Fun as featured in the April 2020 issue of LAM.

Webinars and Events

Through a series of webinars, landscape architects discussed the value of Pride, the importance of inclusive language, as well as how it is imperative to the profession. Featured webinars included:

  • Rebroadcast: Queer Urbanism and Design 
  • Live Chat: Q&A Discussion of Queer Urbanism and Design 
  • Space, Places & Pride: LGBTQIA Perspectives in Landscape Architecture 
  • Virtual Happy Hour

Live Chat: Q&A Discussion on Queer Urbanism and Design 

On Thursday, June 11, attendees interacted with presenters of the 2019 Conference on Landscape Architecture session Queer Urbanism. Presenters included Emilio Martínez Poppe, Samantha Sikanas, and Addison Vawters. 

Emilio Martínez Poppe

Emilio Martínez Poppe

Poppe is a transdisciplinary artist working across sculpture, installation, video, performance, participatory projects, and research based collaborative projects. Their practice evokes lived legacies of belonging as resistance to the gentrification of bodies, identities, public spaces, and intimacies. Emilio’s design work considers forms of knowledge exchange and how the interfaces that host these movements affect the ways in which groups learn together. These projects include collaborations with community organizers, local non-profits, artists, and other specialists moving forward issues of access and claims to space through an anti-displacement framework.

Emilio is an MFA and MCP candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of BFAMFAPhD. They earned a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and was a recipient of the SOMA+CU 2016 Scholarship for research in Mexico City. They have exhibited their work at the Queens Museum, CUE Art Foundation, and Flux Factory; and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, and Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond, in Amsterdam, NL. They have been an artist in residence at Abrons Arts Center, and Pratt Institute; a Fellow at The Laundromat Project; and a member of NEW INC at the New Museum.

Samantha Sikanas

Samantha Sikanas

Sikanas is a landscape and urban designer at W Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Brooklyn, NY. She has led urban design and planning projects in New York and the Midwest, as well as site designs for waterfronts and plazas within NYC. She recently was the lead designer and project manager of the Jefferson Chalmers Neighborhood Framework Plan as a consultant for the City of Detroit.

Currently, she is leading the landscape design for a public plaza in downtown Brooklyn as part of a transitional housing redevelopment project. Originally from rural Michigan, Samantha graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment with a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies, and a Master’s of Landscape Architecture where she earned the Anthony and Johanna van Sweden Landscape Architecture Award.

Addison Vawters

Addison Vawters

Vawters is an urban planner for New York City, where he works closely with communities to ensure that housing investments are paired with infrastructure and services to promote more equitable, livable places. They are a member of the pinko editorial collective, a new magazine of gay communism. His work explores universal design, looking at the intersections of race, class, gender, culture, sexual orientation, technology and design.

Space, Places & Pride: LGBTQIA Perspectives in Landscape Architecture 

On Wednesday, June 17, Breeze Outlaw, ASLA, led a panel discussion on the exploration of Space, Places, & Pride: LGBTQIA Perspectives in Landscape Architecture with Kiki Cooper and Vicki Estrada, ASLA. Learning objectives included:

  • Learn about LGBTQIA, what it means, and Pride History
  • Learn the proper use of pronouns
  • Highlight strategies to support inclusive language and gender neutrality
  • Explore strategies for implementing inclusive practices in the professional environment

Kiki Cooper

Kiki Cooper

Cooper earned a B.A. in Landscape Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University. After a long, adventurous, journey through undergrad, they found themselves back in their home state, Massachusetts, working for Verdant Landscape Architecture, a small firm just outside of Boston. Continuing the commitment to foundation work for the PSU student chapters for NOMAS and ASLA, Kiki has dedicated themselves to being an active member of the ASLA Emerging Professionals Committee.

During their undergrad, they developed a myriad of passions that shaped their core design principles rooted in equitable urban design and community building; especially within LGBTQ+ communities. Other passions that Kiki possesses are a newfound love for traveling after studying abroad on three separate occasions, totaling over 9 countries and 23 cities abroad. Kiki is also a strong advocate for mentoring anyone, no matter their location, for those in need of guidance. They may be younger, but they are the go-to person for colleagues, former classmates, and friends within their profession.  

Vicki Estrada, FASLA

Vicki Estrada, FASLA

Estrada is a graduate of the 1975 class of Landscape Architecture at Cal Poly SLO. She founded Estrada Land Planning in 1985. and has over 45 years of private practice experience, working for both public and private interests.  Some of her past projects include the Balboa Park Master Plan, the Balboa Park Promenade, the San Diego Convention Center expansion, Broadway Streetscape, Barrio Logan Land Use Vision Plan and the SDSU Trolley Station.  She serves on many local and national boards and committees and was the San Diego chapter president in 1981 and a National ASLA Trustee and VP of Communication. 

Read more about Estrada in Get Real, an insightful dialogue with Diversity Summit participant Diana Fernandez, ASLA, featured in the LAM (available in English and Spanish).

Breeze Outlaw, ASLA

Breeze Outlaw, ASLA

Outlaw is a landscape designer at Sasaki in Watertown, MA. Interested in connecting perceptual and physical realms of access to public spaces, zie explores frameworks of equity through equity, black futurism, cultural expressions, and natural systems. Breeze holds a BArch and MLA from NC State University, is a LAF Olmsted scholar and co-founder of Blackscapes, a collective that explores the intersectionality of black experiences and the built environment.  Breeze's pronouns are Zie/Zir/They/Them.

If you'd like to learn more about inclusive language and gender neutrality, read ‘The Human Experience Is Infinite’ in The New York Times, July 8, 2019. "Fewer than two decades ago, L.G.B.T. youth had a few mainstream labels to understand their identities. Today, the terminology is far more extensive."

LGBTQIA Pride Month Happy Hour

18 shades18 Shades of Gay, Montréal, Canada. Claude Cormier + Associés / Raphael Thibodeau



ASLA General Inquiries:

ASLA Center Event
Space Inquiries: 
Kelli Bland

PR Inquiries:

Diversity, Equity,
and Inclusion
Lisa Jennings
Senior Manager, Career Discovery
and Diversity

Donations to the ASLA Fund: