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Professional Practice Network News

The Field 2013: Year in Review

In 2013, 70 posts were added to The Field, ASLA's Professional Practice Networks blog. Established by ASLA to give members in the field of landscape architecture a place to exchange information, learn about recent work and research, and share thoughts about current happenings, The Field replaced annual PPN newsletters in 2012. All contributions are by members, for members, and we encourage all ASLA members with an idea or an experience to share to contribute to The Field.

To begin the new year, we are rounding up The Field’s top 5 most-read posts of 2013:

1. It’s a 3D Model, What’s the Difference?
PPN: Digital Technology
By David Leonard, ASLA, Digital Technology PPN Chair

This post explores the use and misuse of 3D technologies, which can create stunning images but are not always appropriate for every stage of the design process. David Leonard, ASLA, describes four categories of 3D modeling—GIS systems, object builders, viewers and renderers, and photorealist modeling—and how they should be used to maximize a design’s potential rather than limit it.

2. The Playground Project: Creating Garden, Art, and Play Spaces for Young Children
PPN: Children’s Outdoor Environments
By Liana Ramos, Associate ASLA

An internship with the Hutchison Child Development Center, an on-campus nursery school at the University of California, Davis, provided the impetus for Liana Ramos’ year-long Playground Project, the goal of which was to “create natural, educational play spaces that would also improve children’s cognitive development and motor skills.” Julie M. Johnson, ASLA, emphasized the importance of “ecological literacy” in her work, and Liana uses this concept as a starting point for her own project, which allowed children to experience and engage with nature firsthand.

3. Pointers for Beginning a Residential Design Business
PPN: Residential Landscape Architecture
By Jan Johnsen

Having worked in the residential landscape design-build field for 27 years, Jan Johnsen has a great deal of personal experience to draw on for her seven pointers for young landscape designers interested in residential design. Her advice emphasizes the importance of developing and maintaining professional relationships, and knowing how to organize and run a business in addition to being a good designer.

4. Eight Lessons for Recent Graduates
PPN: Residential Landscape Architecture
By Lindsey Tabor, Associate ASLA

Since graduating from Ball State University’s BLA program in 2011, Lindsey Tabor, Associate ASLA, has worked in residential design. Lindsey’s post outlines the benefits and challenges of residential work for both recent graduates and experienced designers, and also highlights the importance of mentorship for emerging professionals to learn and thrive in the field.

5. Time Management Tips for Designers
PPN: Women in Landscape Architecture
By Jennifer Horn, ASLA, Residential Landscape Architecture PPN Chair

In this post, Jennifer Horn, ASLA, urges designers not to confuse urgency and importance, which often happens when deadlines are looming and workloads seem insurmountable. Designers should instead aim to spend the most time on important tasks, but also not neglect seemingly unimportant or less urgent activities. To strike the right balance, Jennifer encourages designers to assess how they spend their time and figure out when they are most productive.

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