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Entry Feature – 8 steps from concept to reality

Getting things built is the most exciting part of being a landscape architect. (for me at least)… (although i really like coloring things and making them pretty as well…) But seeing an image in your head and then seeing it actually exist is fascinating. I think ill try to examine what it took for me to get something built. (by the way, its definitely not the most amazing thing in the world, i do like the final product, im not happy with one or two things, and its not even really landscape architecture in a traditional sense, just a piece of a design; i wasn’t even part of picking out the plants around it!)….

K, to the list of the process:

  1. design lots of crazy stuff in school thats awesome and wont get built
  2. get a job and draw other peoples design every day
  3. get a chance to design something which gets critiqued and set aside
  4. get a chance to design something which gets critiqued and is thought is ok, then development never comes to fruition
  5. get many chances to design, development never quite gets there
  6. finally one design breaks through the barrier and moves forward.
  7. few questions from builders
  8. finally the design or something very similar exists!!

yay! 6 years of school and 4 years in the workforce and i got a thing made! ;-9




Landscape Architects Helping Each Other Out

Recently I was happy to help a fellow landscape architect out with a graphic header for his blog, Landscape Architecture Resource.  He had crowd sourced the idea of designing a new header and put out a challenge for the design, and i was lucky enough to have won!larbanner1

yay! arent we a happy community of LA’s on the internet.  Speaking of which, have you checked out Land8Lounge. Awesome place to share ideas and talk to other like minded individuals about landscape architecture. Its also a great place to see others drawing techniques and built projects in the gallery or profiles sections (Here’s a link to mine).


Landscape Graphics – unrelated, but a learning experience

Green ink edits




Precedents and Sense of place

Sense of place can be described as characteristics that make a place feel unique and help foster an attachment to that place. “The term sense of place has been defined and utilized in different ways by different people. To some, it is a characteristic that some geographic places have and some do not, while to others it is a feeling or perception held by people (not by the place itself). It is often used in relation to those characteristics that make a place special or unique, as well as to those that foster a sense of authentic human attachment and belonging.” –Wikipedia

Many of us strive to create this sense of attachment to the sites we design and the most valuable tool we have for creating it is history. Each place has grown into itself over the course of its life time and factors unique to its location have shaped the way it looks and feels. Landscape architects can capitalize on these features and use them to create a place that is unique, while still being harmonious with its surroundings. When designing neighborhoods in the tidewater region of Virginia, we strive to have developers build houses that have always been appropriate for the area. Illustrations below from East Beach, Norfolk give an overview of what types of houses have always been built in the area:


landscape architecture in San Francisco

Are there any San Francisco natives reading? Just got back from a week long trip and tried to take a quick survey of the local landscape architecture.  First up: Union Square….. A piazza. in america.. kinda, but mainly filled with tourists.

although the palm tree in sand at a public park is very cool!

Most of the shops around the square are basic american mall fare, which detract from the space a bit, but the non-U.S. visitors find a lot of interest in them.


Best of Bike Paths



Im a bit tired of LID and LEED. I know, please don’t hurt me for saying that. Some would say they are the future of our profession. I don’t really disagree, but i don’t think that they need to take the main stage. Leed and LID concepts are part of what our profession is founded on, an environmental ethic, they are a foundation on which to build artistic and expressive creations, but they are not an end in them selves. A recent winnder of the analysis and planning award of honor for the 2008 ASLA professional awards called Porchscapes seeks to do just that. From ASLA:

“Based on the Dutch woonerf, shared streets are designed as parks, combining pedestrian gathering spaces, parking, landscape systems, and stormwater facilities with traffic throughways.””Streets and attending green spaces are recombined as a treatment network to create “productive park” space for the project.”

Porchscapes: An Affordable LEED-Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND)

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
client: Habitat for Humanity of Washington County

Landscape Architect of Record:
Chris Suneson, RLA, LEED AP, McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc.

images via ASLA

The end goal is to create art from the basic ideas of what makes Landscape Architecture important.

May 2017
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