Product News by JobLink, Forms + Surfaces, Victor Stanley, and Professional Practice Networks

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Professional Practice Networks


What Do You Want to Accomplish?

Members of ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were recently surveyed on a number of topics, with questions created with member input gathered at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, on social media, by email, and through comments on The Field. Responses were varied and included many insightful comments and suggestions, which will be shared and discussed with everyone here over the next few months, and also used to spark ideas for ASLA Online Learning [LINK: ] webinars and posts forThe Field.

When we gave ASLA’s Professional Practice Network (PPN) members the question what do you want to accomplish during your career as a landscape architect? one member rightly pointed out that “to answer this question would take an entire essay.” While we did receive a few more tongue-in-cheek answers, such as "make landscape architecture great again" and “as much as possible,” most responses reflected the ambitious scope of landscape architecture as a field and the hopes of the people who practice it. Common themes were making a difference; creating spaces people love; and leaving the landscape, communities, and the world a better place.

Another recurring idea was permanence—the hope that their work will be enjoyed for decades to come, and, as one member put it, to “create spaces so enchanting that no one dares remodel them.” As initiatives like the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Most Endangered Places [LINK: ] and The Cultural Landscape Foundations’ Landslide program [LINK: ] show, even the work of celebrated designers and other historic locations may someday be at risk. With a medium as ever-changing as the landscape itself, creating a space that endures is an especially coveted achievement.

Below, we highlight what members would most like to accomplish over the course of their careers:

Creating Landscapes That Last
• “A resume of projects and programs that city residents value for decades to come.”
• “An enduring and respected body of work that contributes to the community.”
• “Create projects that have longevity and a positive effect on people's lives.”
• “Immortality - a design that lasts for all ages ahead.”
• “Projects that are timeless, support ecosystem function and improve quality of life.”
• “To continue loving what I am doing, creating classic spaces that can withstand and change over time.”

Be a Mentor
• “Be known as a mentor to young professionals.”
• “I want to help empower women and minorities to take a greater role in the profession.”
• “I'm shifting from full-time practice to a split role between practice and academia. I'd like to share my experiences and prepare future practitioners to take on the challenges that we will soon face.”
• “Improve the public realm by mentoring engineers in thoughtful design approach to problems.”
• “Leave a legacy of mentorship.”
• “Share what I've learned with young LAs, and continue to influence dialogues about many issues because of the broad training/practice of LA.”
• “To make a positive contribution on ecological diversity through restoration & to be able to pass my skill set on to others.”

Building Connections to Nature

• “Be a good steward of our environment and make a positive impact on the quality of life of those I come in touch with.”
• “Connect lots of people that live in urban and suburban places with ‘nearby nature.’”
• “Blend the creation of beauty in the landscape with environmentally sound practices.”
• “Create places that improve quality of life, create opportunities for transit/outdoor recreation that connect people geographically and socially, and provide ecosystem services.”
• “I helped save a 200 +/- year old tree. In a sense, that may already be my biggest accomplishment.”
• “Make trees and landscapes loved and appreciated.”
• “Preserve nature and restore marginalized landscapes.”
• “Restore some damaged landscapes to quality landscapes and habitats.”
• “To change human habitat and habits for the better.”
• “To make our cities more resilient and better integrate natural processes into human-influenced environments.”
• “Transforming areas into ecologically functioning and beautiful spaces.”

Be a Leader
• “1) Get licensed, 2) Get to design projects myself rather than always drawing up the designs of others, 3) Be in a more management position. I think I would be good at creating a professional and upbeat work environment.”
• “I am at the end of my career; seeing so many parks built has exceeded my expectations for my career. Being the first LA on the Board of Directors of a large multi-discipline firm was a pretty cool thing as well.”
• “Continue supporting all the projects that come through our office and be a leading LA in the office as a whole.”
• “Open my own firm.”
• “Promoting the use of landscape architects in all aspects of planning, concept design, design, construction, etc.”

Project-type Goals
• “Deliver large scale, comprehensive infrastructure projects that improve access to urban amenities and diversifies mobility choices to promote healthy lifestyles and address climate change, while enhancing habitat and water quality for all species, supporting renewable energies, preserving historical resources, expanding equitable communities and economic systems, and celebrating local cultural resources.”
• “Embassy design and federal design. Security in the landscape niche.”
• “Enhance sick people's lives with therapeutic garden design.”
• “Make incremental changes to our transportation landscapes.”
• “Park equity in Los Angeles.”
• “Plan, design, and build a large trail network.”
• “To bridge the divide between landscape and city planning (specifically housing and development).”
• “To design spaces reflective of a collective understanding of local histories.”
• “Travel the world helping restore ecosystems that people rely on for their livelihood.”
• “Wildlife overpasses for intact wildlife corridors.”

Be an Innovator
• “Continue to shift my practice into nontraditional realms.”
• “Developing smart productive landscapes (sustainable, recharging, educational).”
• “Foster a closer relationship/feedback loop between ecological & design research, design, and landscape.”
• “Make a lasting positive change in the sustainable design field by making site performance measurement as standard as building performance measurement.”
• “Provide significant contributions to the body of knowledge in green infrastructure AND make a positive impact on the local built environment and community.”
• “See the implementation of a more scientific approach to visual impact assessment and scenic resource management.”

Achieving Excellence and Recognition

• “Be an example of a professional who gave the best to his profession and created fantastic places.”
• “Be in a magazine.”
• “Be the best I can be and leave our little part of the world a better place.”
• “Being the best at what we do as a small firm.”
• “Bring a greater sense of awareness (respect) to the profession. Impact each client through achieving more with each project than they could imagine beforehand.”
• “Create memorable public spaces and inform friends and associates along the way about my profession.”
• “To help people understand ‘the potential’ of spaces and places.”

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