On November 15-18, landscape architect professionals around the country will convene for ASLA’s annual Conference on Landscape Architecture, held this year in San Diego. During the conference, the winners of the ASLA 2019 Awards will be formerly recognized. Hoerr Schaudt’s Rob Gray served on this year’s ASLA Student Awards Jury, a prestigious awards competition that seeks the best and brightest student projects in landscape architecture. Jurors spend three days at the ASLA Center for Landscape Architecture in Washington D.C., narrowing 350 submissions down to finalists.
“The quantity of exemplary work was outstanding, and made narrowing our selections a daunting task,” said Rob of this year’s submissions. “The quality of the student’s representation skills and their ability to depict thought process was on par with some of the best professional work being done today.”
Throughout the submissions, a common thread wound through the projects’ theses: climate change, and the myriad of challenges it presents. Rob noted that much of the work was focused on underserved communities, which are often the ones most affected by climate change: “We were excited to see so much of the work geared towards finding creative solutions that benefit historically vulnerable communities helping them to address issues such as sea level rise, sanitation, food production, and access to green space.”
Landscape architecture will be on the front lines of climate change, and students looking towards their chosen field are well prepared. “It was invigorating to see the breadth of topics the students are addressing in their coursework; landscape architecture is being used as a mechanism to solve a range of social and ecological challenges we are facing around the globe,” said Rob.
Rob Gray was joined by Chair Linda Jewell, Professor Emerita of the University of California, Berkeley; Diana Fernandez of Sasaki; David Gouverneur of the University of Pennsylvania; Damian Holmes of World Landscape Architecture; Kendra Hyson of M-NCPCC Montgomery County Planning; Maki Kawaguchi of Gehl; Signe Nielsen of MNLA; and Daniel Tal of AMBIT3D. “ASLA did a fantastic job assembling a thoughtful and diverse jury of professionals that created a forum for dialogue on all the work,” said Rob of his time on the jury. He gave special thanks to Makeeya Hazelton, the Honors and Awards Coordinator: “She organized the entire process and made us all feel so welcome.”