Updates from ASLA



James Anthony van Sweden, FASLA, internationally acclaimed landscape architect and author, died Friday, September 20, 2013, at his home in Washington, D.C., after a prolonged illness. He was 78.

Van Sweden, along with Wolfgang Oehme, co-founded the Washington, D.C. based firm, Oehme, van Sweden & Associates Inc. in 1975. Their visionary garden style transformed the public and private landscape of America, introducing a new and more sustainable landscape aesthetic known as the “New American Garden.”

Van Sweden’s work encompassed a broad range of landscape design projects, many of which have been honored by distinguished awards and published reviews. His credits include the National World War II Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the Gardens of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.; the Gardens of the Great Basin at Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois; Nelson A. Rockefeller Park on the banks of the Hudson River in New York City; the International Center embassy campus for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.; and the Francis Scott Key Memorial Park in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood. His distinguished designs for residential clients range in scale from urban town gardens to suburban and rural estates and inner city communities.

His honors include the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s prestigious George Robert White Medal of Honor, awarded to him and Oehme in recognition of efforts to advance interest in horticulture; the Thomas Roland Gold Medal, the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Alumni Award; the American Horticultural Society’s Landscape Design Award; and The American Society of Landscape Architects’ 2010 Design Medal. In 2011, he shared the Longhouse Landscape Award with Oehme and firm partners Sheila Brady, FASLA; Lisa Delplace, ASLA; and Eric Groft, ASLA.

As an author, van Sweden’s books include, The Artful Garden: Creative Inspiration for Landscape Design (2011); Architecture in the Garden (2003); Gardening with Nature (1997) and Gardening with Water (1995). He and Oehme co-authored Bold Romantic Gardens: The New World Landscapes of Oehme and van Sweden (Acropolis Books Ltd., 1990; reprinted by Spacemaker Press, 1998).

Van Sweden graduated from the University of Michigan in 1960 with a Bachelor of Architecture degree and studied landscape architecture and urban design at the University of Michigan and University at Delft, The Netherlands.

Read more about van Sweden on the Cultural Landscape Foundation website.


SmithGroupJJR, one of the nation’s largest architecture, engineering, interiors and planning firms, has added Lori Singleton, ASLA, at its Ann Arbor, Michigan, office.

Singleton joins SmithGroupJJR as a landscape architect with the Ann Arbor office’s Community Practice. In her 16 years of experience, Singleton has established herself as a leader in sustainable landscape architectural solutions in urban and higher education environments.

Singleton’s primary focus is on the design of public open spaces, downtown environments, and natural system corridors that address the many issues affecting outdoor spaces. Specifically, she fosters consensus-based and meaningful solutions within a project’s constraints and seeks to build public pride through places that are true to their local culture and context.

Prior to joining SmithGroupJJR, Singleton was lead design landscape architect for Hamilton Anderson, Detroit. Her clients included the City of New Orleans, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, and MGM Grand. Singleton has worked with numerous cities and universities in Michigan, on projects that include Dow Founder’s Garden, Midland; Central Campus Mall at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo; and a variety of projects in Detroit, including the Washington Boulevard streetscape, Wayne State University Welcome Court, and Renaissance High School campus.

Singleton is a 1998 graduate of Michigan State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in landscape architecture.

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