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Landscape Activism Conference in Dallas, TX, October 28 Features Movers and Shakers and (Good) Troublemakers

Photo Courtesy TEN x TEN, 2015 (left to right Julie Bargmann, Joe Bargmann, Maura Rockcastle and Ross Altheimer)

On October 28, 2022, in Dallas, Texas, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF) will convene a group of notable design professionals, historians, and critics for the Oberlander Prize Forum II: Landscape Activism to consider the ambitions and directions of activist practices today.

Given the scale of contemporary challenges, from climate change and biodiversity loss to racial and social equity, the need for activist approaches to design is greater than ever. The daylong event will be held at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Early bird registration closes on August 29, 2022, and 5.0 LA CES™ professional development hours will be available to attendees, pending approval.

The Oberlander Prize Forum is part of the public engagement activities associated with the Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize, first awarded in October 2021. Julie Bargmann, the inaugural Oberlander Prize laureate, is known for an activist approach to practice. Like Cornelia Oberlander before her, and like Ian McHarg and Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. before them, she has worked to transform both the public landscape and the nature of landscape architecture itself.

Such practices range widely, encompassing individual designers and design firms, non-governmental organizations, and academic research; representatives of all these groups – movers and shakers and (good) troublemakers – will be included. Like Julie Bargmann, some individuals, such as Jane Edmonds and April De Simone, take an entrepreneurial approach to social and environmental problems, doing their own research and proposing transformative solutions. Design firms like OLIN, SWA, and Design Workshop are increasingly creating research arms or pro-bono departments, enabling staff members to conduct research and develop new design responses. Other organizations, like KDI (the Kounkuey Design Initiative) or Blacks In Green, are exploring more collaborative and community-based approaches to urban and environmental regeneration. Meanwhile, academic research and student projects are generating substantive new perspectives. Just as the first Oberlander Prize Forum, Courageous By Design, focused on the women landscape architects who are leaders in addressing the climate crisis in New York City, this Oberlander Prize Forum will showcase the ways that landscape architecture is often taking the lead in issues of race, gender and sexuality.

On Thursday evening, October 27, a reception will be held at the Turtle Creek Water Works ("Pump House"), a one-acre site with an abandoned historic pump house and large reservoirs that has been transformed by Oberlander Prize laureate Julie Bargmann into a magical deconstructed residential garden

(click here for a short video about the site). This is a separately ticketed event and space is limited.

Here is a complete list of speakers and hotel information.

Oberlander Prize Forum II: Landscape Activism is co-curated by Oberlander Prize Curator John Beardsley, inaugural Oberlander Prize Juror Gina Ford, FASLA, and TCLF’s Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, FAAR. It’s made possible by Presenting Sponsors the Joan Shafran & Rob Haimes Foundation, Joeb Moore & Partners, OLIN, Reed Hilderbrand, Trahan Architects, Nievera Williams Design, Thomas L. Woltz, and West8; numerous Supporting Sponsors and Friends, and Educational Partners the Nasher Sculpture Center, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), and Texas ASLA.

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