2017 in Review: The Field

ASLA's 20 Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) help support your practice and provide a forum to make connections outside your market. In 2017, PPNs provided excellent opportunities for professionals in the same areas of practice to exchange information, learn about current practices and research, and network.

Thank you to those who shared experiences on The Field blog and shared their expertise as Online Learning presenters! Below, we highlight the top five Field posts of the year, but be sure to check out the full PPN: 2017 IN REVIEW for additional information, including:

• Top viewed posts on The Field blog
• Top attended ASLA Online Learning live webinars
• PPN Live at the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO
• PPN volunteer and leadership opportunities
• Student & Emerging Professional SPOTLIGHT mini-series.

In 2017, 99 posts were added to The Field, the blog for ASLA’s Professional Practice Networks. The Field was established in 2012 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. 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.

With 2017 drawing to a close, we are rounding up The Field’s top five most-read posts written by ASLA PPN members of the past year:

1. The Evolving Practice of Ecological Landscape Design
By Kelly Fleming, ASLA
PPN: Ecology & Restoration

“A trend is emerging within the profession that expands our approach to planting design and the role of vegetation. Designers are backing away from the role of curator of gardens where plant species are selected and placed according to a theme in a created setting, without regard to how that species may be predisposed to behave in the setting. Instead, they are adopting the role of steward to a set of naturally occurring processes that govern the development of plant communities. An understanding of ecological principles to guide the design, planting and maintenance of landscapes, and reliance on an adaptive management process based on observation and recalibration will result in landscapes that will take less energy and resources to maintain and provide the greatest environmental benefits.”

Read the full post.

2. Data + Design: Measuring a Landscape’s Value
By Stephanie Marino, ASLA
PPN: Sustainable Design & Development

“Today’s landscapes are asked to perform much more than functional or aesthetic services: they filter and reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve human health, and more. As projects become more complex, and clients aim higher to meet today’s climate challenges, the use of performance metrics is becoming increasingly prevalent.”

Read the full post.

3. Women in Landscape Architecture Leaders
By Tanya Olson, ASLA; Kate Douglas Kestyn, Associate ASLA; Emily O’Mahoney, FASLA; Christa Schaefer, ASLA; Kristina Snyder, ASLA; Whitney Tidd, Associate ASLA
PPN: Women in Landscape Architecture

“Meet the ASLA Women in Landscape Architecture PPN Leadership Team! The Women in Landscape Architecture Professional Practice Network (WILA PPN) leadership team meets monthly, focusing on the experience and contributions of women in the profession, creating resources for women in the profession, providing mentorship opportunities, encouraging discussion of work/life balance concerns within our profession, and establishing a virtual home for members. We consider ways for our membership to become more active advocates for landscape architecture and women practitioners, including writing post for The Field, coordinating the Women in Landscape Architecture Walk at the ASLA Annual Meeting, and currently conducting a survey to get a more in-depth understanding of the demographics of caretaking and leave issues for landscape architects.”

Read the full post.

4. Urban Design Professional Practice Network Survey Results
By Keith Billick, ASLA
PPN: Urban Design

“Our recent Urban Design Professional Practice Network discovery survey sheds light on elements necessary for successful urban design and definitions that best represent our members’ views of urban design as a profession. Our total PPN membership is almost 1,800, and we had 125 respondents, representing 7% of members. As an informal survey, it gives us insight into how our members view urban design. This now offers us a tool as we begin to look to the future of our PPN, finding ways to maximize the collective creativity and knowledge we have within our ranks.”

Read the full post.

5. Black in Design Conference: Reflections from Two Women of Color
By Diana Fernandez, ASLA, and Ujijji Davis, ASLA
PPN: From the Field

“The Black in Design Conference is a biennial event that focuses on uncovering the complex dialogues related to the intersection of design and black identity. Hosted at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University by the African American Student Union (AASU), the conference highlighted the works of emerging and seasoned design professionals, activists, artists, and educators whose common goals challenge Eurocentric methods of design, education, and engagement to create spaces and places for all people. The 2017 conference, entitled “Designing Resistance, Building Coalitions,” specifically focused on design as a social justice and activism tool that promotes equity and equality in spaces around the country that oppress or erase black and brown presence.”

Read the full post.

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