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Professional Practice Networks

7/27/2010

Member Profile 2010: Digital Technology PPN

This article is the seventh in a series profiling members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs), based on responses to the 2010 Annual PPN Survey. The most frequent comment of PPN members who responded to the survey was that they were working with various new and changing applications and trying to keep up with the latest trends. The most common tools used by the members were GIS, SketchUp, AutoCAD, and BIM.

Following is more detailed information about particular members of this PPN:

Elizabeth Meyer, FASLA, is an associate professor at the University of Virginia in the School of Architecture’s Landscape Architecture graduate program. She left private practice 20 years ago and was taught to use ink on mylar and prismacolors. Still, she tries to stay on top of digital technologies for two reasons: She teaches design studios, and she is interested in the relationship between representation and conceptualization of the landscape as a dynamic temporal medium as well as a field with structure and content.

Karen Hanna, FASLA, is professor of landscape architecture at Cal Poly Pomona in Pomona, California. She has focused on GIS and geospatial technologies in scholarship and teaching for many years.

Chuck Lehman, ASLA, is president of Lehman & Lehman Inc. in Mishawaka, Indiana. He is continuing to find ways to apply technology to the profession. His most recent interests include using the smartphone and other digital applications for site analysis, design, and GPS applications. He is also exploring the use of social media applications that carry GPS for social networking of trailheads and other site features. The firm is currently applying Internet-based software to manage all projects. It has greatly enhanced its knowledge and the services it offers by involving clients in the processes. Lehman has presented information at international conventions on the applications of technology for the enhancement of the environment and the efficiency of users.

Tom DiSalvo, ASLA, is the sole landscape architect at Zimmerman Architectural Studios, a 100-person architectural and engineering firm located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Zimmerman's IT department has historically addressed basic technology needs with architecture-driven software (AutoCAD Architecture, Revit, Navisworks, Newforma, 3D Studio Max, and SketchUp). However, he is considering switching software packages to Civil 3D and/or a combination of ACAD & Land F/X. Working on the architectural side of this equation has given DiSalvo insight regarding typical larger-firm dynamics and processes. This experience may be helpful to smaller practitioners as they expand their relationships with architectural clients, improve their final products, and find more efficient ways of production.

Wes Michaels, ASLA, is a principal at Spackman Mossop+Michaels in New Orleans. He recently published a book with Wiley Press titled Digital Drawing for Landscape Architects.

Jesse Harris, ASLA, is a landscape designer at BSC Group in Glastonbury, Connecticut. He finds that digital technology is ever changing and vital to his firm’s work. Just staying current with the newest software and techniques is a big challenge along with all the other commitments. While he would prefer that his firm upgrade most of the software that it uses on a day-to-day basis (e.g., AutoCAD, Photoshop, and Word), he understands that the downside of introducing new software is the loss of productivity while individuals become familiar with it. And with the current economy, it is difficult to send everyone to a seminar, so most training takes place within the company.

Dave Petrosky, ASLA, is a project manager at L. Robert Kimball and Associates in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. He is in the unusual position of being a registered landscape architect who has developed and markets his own software, EZ-Plant Software. He has used the software to complete hundreds of projects and has sold it to firms in approximately 40 states and abroad. He also completes 3-D renderings for his firm in preparing “before” and “after” realistic renderings.

Andrew Conkey, ASLA, is a landscape architect at the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation in Boise. He is considering branching out more into 3-D visualization and conceptualizing in landscape design and other ventures. However, he is unsure about the demand for these tools and needs to explore them more.

Loren Shaw, ASLA, is a landscape architect at Wallace Roberts & Todd LLC in Philadelphia. His firm is currently using BIM software (Revit) in its architecture group and is also exploring how to use BIM software in the landscape architecture group. He is trying to learn as much as possible about how other LA firms use the software and about available training specifically for landscape architects.

Bob Oelberg, ASLA, is the owner of Robert N Oelberg ASLA PA in Boone, North Carolina. His focus is portraying proposed sites and landscapes through the media of fly-through movies. His article, “3-D Movies for Park and Garden Design,” was published in ASLA’s Fall 2009 Digital Technology PPN newsletter [https://www.asla.org/ppn/Article.aspx?id=24774].

D. Travis North, ASLA, is a landscape architect at Bohler Engineering Inc. in Chalfont, Pennsylvania. His firm has been experimenting with some digital rendering and modeling techniques on a budget. He believes that the Digital Technology PPN could be a great resource in this regard.

Randy Mardis, ASLA, is the president of Landscape Technologies in Saint Charles, Missouri. He is always looking for the “edge” that new technologies can give for his business. For example, Land F/X and SketchUp have been tremendous assets for his practice.

William Fee, ASLA, is a partner at Carducci & Associates in San Francisco. The tools he uses in his work are AutoCAD 3D, Adobe InDesign, file servers, web page software, SketchUp, Revit, Microsoft Office, smartphones, and iPhone applications.

Lynda Wayne, ASLA, is principal of GeoMaxim in Asheville, North Carolina, and a certified GIS Professional. Wayne developed her GIS and image processing skills by performing land loss pattern/process analyses, as well as hurricane and oil spill assessments along the Gulf Coast. She now provides geospatial data management, metadata, outreach, and educational support to government, non-governmental organizations, and private-sector stakeholders that are active in the development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.

Evan Mather, ASLA, is a landscape architect at AHBE Landscape Architects in Culver City, California. He has been producing short films about his firm's work in reconnecting the urban environment with natural systems.

Daniel Wild, ASLA, is a principal at WILD in Fair Oaks, California. His favorite tools are SketchUp and AutoCAD.

Edward Flaherty, International ASLA, is a landscape architect in the United Arab Emirates. He uses all forms of digital media to tell landscape stories.

Lee Feaster, ASLA, is a landscape architect and project manager at Jacobs Facilities Inc. in St. Louis. He is working to integrate several new offices and standards into an integrated practice.

Visit the Digital Technology PPN for more information about this PPN. To learn more about ASLA's other PPNs, go to the PPN home page, or contact Rachel Shaw, ASLA's manager of Professional Practice, at rshaw@asla.org.

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