2016 ASLA Design Symposium Recap

The annual ASLA Oregon Symposium was once again a huge success!

The Symposium kicked off bright and early Saturday morning. Landscape architects, designers and allied professionals filed into University of Oregon’s White Stag Block abuzz with discussion about the day ahead.

Each speaker presented a wonderfully different perspective on the topic of fostering equity and diversity in design, our communities, our profession. How do we bridge practice to help create equitable and resilient communities? Attendees explored sustainability as an anti-poverty strategy, intercultural modes for inclusive urban spaces, cultural changes and rapid urban growth occurring in cities of Mexico. We learned more about how diversity and environmental justice in design can be achieved with strong community collaboration.

DS - talk2 copy

Our gracious sponsors had tables set up in the middle of our gathering space, making it easy for attendees to get the latest product news and information, as well as food and drink. We hear year after year from our members how much they enjoy reconnecting with their local plant nurseries, site furnishing manufacturers, and more!

An engaging keynote address was given by Diane Jones Allen, Design Jones LLC,  that explored bridging community practice and academy to create equitable and resilient environments. The sessions to follow were lively, educational and cross disciplinary in nature – exactly the balance the Symposium planning committee strives for every year. We wrapped up the day with a compelling panel moderated by Randy Gragg, Executive Director John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape, University of Oregon.


Thank you attendees, sponsors and volunteers for your participation again this year! A special thanks to the John Yeon Center and Randy Gragg for hosting the event. Everyone’s energy and enthusiasm helped make this annual event a success yet again. See you next year!

DS -Laurie

World Landscape Architecture Month 2016

World Landscape Architecture Month is going on now. 

Every year during the month of April, countries across the globe focus on ways to highlight and promote our profession.  Sometimes this promotion takes the place as community events or lectures, but those events take a great deal of time to plan (something that is lacking in many lives).  For the second year, ASLA has harnessed the power of social media by setting up the hashtag #WLAM2016 and providing cards that read, “This is Landscape Architecture”.  People can take a picture that portrays landscape architecture (integrating the card somewhere in the image) then post the photo to social media avenues using #WLAM2016.

For inspiration, take a moment to look on the WLAM 2016 tagboard; see posts from Scotland, the Netherlands, Seattle, Chicago and more.  All these images express what people have found important in their profession.  This social media campaign gives people a chance to change how people view landscape architecture, showing a breadth of projects,  all designed by a landscape architect.

If you were wondering if it is worth the effort, consider this.  As of April 12, ASLA has counted 2,150 posts with #WLAM2016, all images of landscape architecture that reached 1,319,385 people.  Hard numbers that show this campaign is not only a powerful way to promote landscape architecture, it can be a powerful way to promote your business as well.  I would venture that most firms marketing programs don’t reach over a million people.

It’s April – get out there and celebrate.

UO Shadow Mentor Day Recap

Thank you so much for your support of this year’s Shadow Mentor Day! It was a huge success. We had a total of 62 student participants placed between 33 offices in Portland, Eugene, Bend, and Seattle. Thanks to the groundwork laid by Roni and last year’s student ASLA team, this year’s SMD is the largest that any involved can recall!



2015 Soiree Recap

The 2015 ASLA Oregon Design Awards Soiree brought design community members together from all over the state on Friday, October 23rd, 2015, at the beautiful Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC) in downtown Portland, Oregon. Columbia Cascade/Timberform was the General Event Sponsor this year once again and we were so pleased to have them with us for another festive evening. We had record attendance this year!

The MAC did an exceptional job hosting the event with their hearty appetizers, delicious drinks, and superior service. Attendees spent the first hour reconnecting with design peers and viewing the project design boards. Although the food this year was a big hit, we couldn’t help but notice our members turn their noses up at the platter of gourmet hot dogs. Point taken, designers!


Outgoing President Mauricio Villarreal kicked off the evening by welcoming everyone to the event and recapping the work of ASLA Oregon over the past year. He then turned the MC duties over to our incoming President Laurie Matthews. She introduced the distinguished jury members and began the evening program.

VP of Member Services Robin Wilcox introduced our two newest ASLA Fellows: Mike Faha of Greenworks, PC, and Dr. Rob Ribe of the University of Oregon. The applause practically shook the ballroom as members showed their appreciation for the important work these two ASLA members have done over the course of their impressive careers.


Dr. Robert Melnick introduced this year’s Honorary ASLA Member Lorraine David from the University of Oregon. Melnick noted the many projects Davis has participated in to further the field of landscape architecture. Click here to read more about this year’s honors.

Communications Chair Renee Wilkinson was then invited on stage to introduce a very big project for ASLA Oregon: a new website. She reviewed key site features that will help our design community stay connected with relevant events, news, and members resources. Renee has dedicated uncountable hours on this project, for which the ASLA community is extremely thankful.


The main event then took state: the announcement of Design Awards. The jury went through each award by category and discussed their interpretations of each project winner. Firm representatives took to the podium to extend their thanks and discuss the project in more detail.

Only a handful of awards were recognized this year by the jury and the projects were truly exceptional. You can view all submissions and which projects were awarded at the 2015 Design Awards page. In addition to these project awards, Renee Wilkinson was recognized with the Community Service Award for her dedication to her role on ASLA Oregon’s Executive Board.


Be sure to check out more pictures from this event on the ASLA Oregon Facebook page! Do you want to be more involved in this event next year? We are always looking for volunteers to help make this important event a success. Email the VP of Chapter Services for more details on how to get involved.

2015 Design Awards: Call for Entries

ASLA Oregon and general event sponsor Columbia Cascade/Timberform are pleased to invite you to submit your best work to the annual Design Awards!

The ASLA Oregon Design Awards program celebrates professional and student excellence by recognizing the firms, individuals and agencies responsible for outstanding works of landscape architecture and environmental planning that promote an enhanced quality of life in Oregon and beyond.


Submissions are due no later than Friday, October 16th at 4:00pm.


Online registration is now open to attend the Design Awards Soiree, a festive evening of great food and socializing as we celebrate our design community.

The soiree awards celebration is on Friday October 23rd from 6p-10p. Our event will be held at the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC), 1849 SW Salmon St, Portland, OR 97205.

See you at the party!



2015 Symposium Recap

The annual ASLA Oregon Symposium was once again a huge success! The Emerging Professionals Committee put on a lovely social the night before the big event, allowing our community to meet the many speakers who came near and far to lead sessions at our event. Thank you to Madeline Carroll and the other volunteers for organizing this wonderful opportunity to mingle.

The Symposium kicked off bright and early Saturday morning. Designers, landscape architects and allied professionals filed into Portland State’s Shattuck Hall abuzz with discussion about which sessions they were looking forward to.

Each speaker presented a wonderfully different perspective on the topic of liveable cities. How do we engage youth in our communities? How do we ensure the health of our rivers endures for all future generations? Attendees explored the relationship between personal health and the natural environment. And we learned more about local transportation initiatives that aim to make Portland a more hospital city.

Our gracious sponsors had tables set up in the middle of the main session room, making it easy for attendees to get the latest product news and information. We hear year after year from our members how much they enjoy reconnecting with their local plant nurseries, site furnishing manufacturers, and more.

David Rubin of Land Collective delivered an engaging keynote address that explored the role empathy plays in the success of cities and open space. The session was lively, educational and cross disciplinary in nature – exactly the balance the Symposium planning committee strives for every year.

Thank you attendees, sponsors and volunteers for your participation again this year! Everyone’s energy and enthusiasm helped make this annual event a success yet again. See you next year!








2014 Soiree Recap

The 2014 ASLA Oregon Design Awards Soiree was held at the Castaway in NW Portland, a former smelting and refining warehouse. The landscape architecture community and allied professionals braved some very chilly weather to celebrate the excellent work being produced by our very talented design community. In fact, we had record attendance this year!

As in recent years past, the award winners were not notified in advance. Rather, the jury flew out to Portland to review all submissions earlier in the day. They discussed the merits of various projects and made their final award selections just hours before the event.


(Entry boards on display at the soiree will also be on display at locations throughout Oregon over the next year. Photo credit: Deven Young)

The event space hummed with excitement as friends and colleagues discussed the various submissions on posters around the room, current projects and industry news. Columbia Cascade / Timberform was the General Event Sponsor again this year, ensuring the event was just as polished as the attendees. Guests snacked on lovely appetizers and sipped the Rainmaker signature cocktail provided by Willamette Graystone, a gin-based drink with lemon and Earl Grey tea.

Former president Melinda Graham and current president Mauricio Villareal welcomed guests, noted key volunteers and committee members who helped shape the event. Rachel Hill and Jesse Stemmler were both recognized for the service award from their excellent work as Mt Hood chapter co-chairs. Amy Cooney, former vice president of chapter services and event organizer, then took the stage and introduced the jury members.


(Ben Johnson from GreenWorks, PC, accepting an Honor Award for the Westmoreland Nature Based Playground. Photo credit: Renee Wilkinson)

The 2014 jury panel included Charles Anderson FASLA, Ben Kasier, Kimberlee Stryker and Nicolas Rader. They graciously gathered in Portland early that morning to thoughtfully review all submissions. Winners were carefully selected in the following categories: Award of Excellence, Honor Award, and Merit Award. Attendees of the event voted on the fourth category: People’s Choice award. Jury members discussed each of the awards in depth as winners were announced, providing attendees with valuable insight into our design community’s recent work.

After the awards ceremony concluded, guests and jury members continued to float around the room, reluctant to see the evening come to a close. We look forward to another festive evening with our fabulous design community next year!


(The event continued on at a lively hum well after the award ceremony concluded. Photo credit: Renee Wilkinson)

2014 Non-Design Award Winners
Oregon ASLA Chapter Service Award: Rachel Hill + Jesse Stemmler

General Event Sponsor:
Columbia Cascade Co. / TimberForm

Signature Drink Sponsor:
Willamette Graystone

Centerpiece Sponsor:
Teufel Landscape + Iron Age Designs

General Event Sponsors:
Landscape Forms
Northwest Recreation
Apollini Vineyards

Missed the show? Review the list of projects that received awards this year on the Design Awards Winners page. Entry boards on display at locations throughout Oregon including Portland State University, University of Oregon, Center for Architecture Gallery, Portland Airport and Portland Development Services Building over the next year. And sign up for the ASLA email list to ensure you don’t miss future event announcements.

ASLA Oregon is a 300-member professional society dedicated to the advancement of landscape architecture within the state. The group holds an annual design awards event every fall and a professional symposium every spring. For more information visit aslaoregon.org.

Community + Design Pecha Kucha Event Recap

via the ASLA Oregon Mt. Hood Chapter Section Chairs

ASLA teamed up with DePave, Portland Pecha Kucha, and Design Week to put on the second annual Community+Design Pecha Kucha – it was a huge success. We more than doubled our attendance, had great press coverage, put on and pulled off a creative, interactive Design Week event.


The line-up of presenters was a diverse and stellar listing of the most creative, pro-active, community focused do-ers in the city. There were developers, muralists, community activists, City of Portland representatives, programmers, artists, landscape architects, and architects. On a rooftop downtown just after sundown, they talked about the intersection of their values, their design work, and the communities in which they live and participate… using the Pecha Kucha format – 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide.


Willy Levenson from the Human Access Project teed up the presenters as a masterful MC.

Kevin Cavanaugh showed concrete wastelands turning into green oases.

Nathan Teske showed us how the creation of space supports small Latino businesses in the Portland Mercado.

Robin Corbo’s captivated us with colorful images of her community inspired and created murals.

Peg Butler showed us that temporary art installations create conceptual and aesthetic continuity along construction zones – a way of bringing civic and artistic attention to infrastructure projects.

Kirk Rea passionately and innovatively portrayed public space creation in the most unexpected of places – street intersections.

Lance Poehler took us on a virtual ride with unknown cyclist friends around the world.

Mark Raggett gave us a peek into City of Portland efforts to connect community and agency partners to explore citywide design issues and opportunities.

Kelly Roy gave us a sample of projects and dynamism in ADX – a local hub for individuals and organizations to make and learn, share tools, knowledge and experience.

Boris Kaganovich brought it home with Better Block PDX – showing us how transforming the existing city blocks, even for a day, is a powerful catalyst for imagining a pedestrian realm worth hanging out in!

Peter Corvallis, a great supporter of ASLA donated AV equipment and volunteers helped string lights, take tickets, and pour beer. Thanks to everyone who came out!



Pecha-Kucha-1 Pecha-Kucha-2

More pictures from this event can be found on the ASLA Facebook page. Stop over and tell us what you thought of the event!

2014 Symposium Recap

via Madeline Carroll, ASLA Oregon Chapter Emerging Professionals Organizer and Symposium Volunteer 

April 14-15, 2014 | Portland State University

The ASLA Oregon Chapter’s 2014 Symposium, “Intervene” drew over one hundred participants from around the state, who enjoyed provocative talks from a dynamic set of “interveners” and soaked up the wit and wisdom of Richard Haag, our esteemed keynote speaker.

Speakers, sponsors, and attendees mingled over drinks and hors d’oeuvres Friday evening at a kick-off social, which featured an exhibition of Richard Haag’s influential design concepts.

After tasty pastries and coffee Saturday morning, Mickey Fearn gave a moving and wittily hopeful talk about the complex and sometimes tense relationship between the environmental justice and ecological conservation movements, and their ties to civil rights and issues of race in the U.S. Meanwhile, Sean Hogan spoke eloquently about the effects of vegetation on the built environment, and the boundless possibilities provided to designers by the palette of modern horticulture.

In the mid-morning session, Will Levenson inspired his audience to take matters into their own hands with his how-to on community landscape intervention, which included a live performance of his original song about the joys of swimming in our very own Willamette River, and quotes from the late, great Harold Ramis. Meanwhile, Michael Lamb gave us his fascinating inside take on the balancing act required to steward a cultural landscape—both to preserve its history and to give it life in the present day.

After a delicious lunch, Kelty McKinnon used gorgeous imagery to describe three innovative Canadian landscapes involving the public realm. Meanwhile, Dr. Mark Paul Frederickson shared the challenges encountered and brilliant successes achieved by the Tejido Group in their quest to develop an international, interdisciplinary, collaborative community outreach program harnessing the power of both academic and professional institutions.

The cherry on the proverbial sundae, Richard Haag finished the day with a participatory keynote wherein audience members were encouraged to shape the content of his presentation by asking him questions regarding some of his vast and varied areas of expertise. I’m sure I speak for more than myself when I say we could have listened to his stories, insights, and sharp jabs of humor well into the wee hours of the night.

Thank you to everyone who came to participate, and a huge thank you to our generous sponsors, with whom we always enjoy talking shop and seeing the new plants, materials, furnishings, and technologies in store for the season. See you next year!

Check out more photos and share your favorite moments from the INTERVENE Symposium at the ASLA Oregon Facebook page.

Photo credit: Robin Wilcox, ASLA Oregon Chapter Vice President and Symposium Volunteer 




Columbia Cascade Factory Tour Recap

via the ASLA Oregon Mt. Hood Chapter Section Chairs

Our Tour Of The Columbia Cascade Factory Is A Hit!

Local landscape architects, designers and engineers turned out to get a firsthand, up and close look, at how the products we often spec get designed and fabricated. From welding through to powder coating and washing, participants were able to see all stages of how benches, bike racks, bollards and more are made.

A big thanks to Columbia Cascade for spending time walking us through their impressive factory and the processes and equipment that go into making their top-notch products. For more information please visit http://www.columbia-cascade.com/