2012 Symposium & Design Charette Recap

via Rebecca Wahlstrom, ASLA Oregon Chapter LANDbytes Editor and Symposium 2012 Attendee

mailer graphic for web 1_12Organizing a symposium, a design charrette, six breakout sessions and a keynote speaker can be a stressful endeavor for any committee; will speakers want to participate, will people come, will people like it are all questions that would be going round and round in my head. I can imagine the team’s relief and sense of satisfaction when it was all over and the evaluations of the sessions came back with phrases like, “Terrific and useful”, “Great inspiration for current projects”, and “Very well done”. To further illustrate how the charrette and symposium progressed, Jeff Schnabel, James Hencke, and Marianne Zarkin submitted the following summaries:

Overall Summary
via Jeff Schnabel, President, ASLA Oregon Chapter:
The 2012 ASLA OR Symposium, “Enlightened Landscapes” was an enormous success by all measures. Nearly 100 attendees were treated to a diverse array of speakers who probed the edges of Landscape Architecture and provided new insights on traditional landscape architecture themes. The weekend began with a design charrette that produced three provocative schemes for the northernmost park block in NW Portland. The Symposium ended with a keynote address by Seattle artist Dan Corson who transforms landscapes with lights, lasers, video, and musical instruments. In between, attendees were treated to diverse sessions and a record number of exhibitors who shared their latest products. The quality of the speakers combined with the richness of the conversations that followed indicated that this symposium has become a premier event for the advancement of landscape architectural thinking.

In the session titled “New Opportunities for Lighting the Built Environment”, Jeff Schnabel challenged the validity of streetlights as our primary means of illuminating the city. Zachary Suchara provided foundational thinking for light strategies that enrich the built environment. Andrew Smith demonstrated how digital mapping and light projection technologies can be used in the landscape to transform nighttime human experience.

In the session titled “Developments in Digital Design Strategies” Aaron Whelton, Joshua Stein, Kyle Caldwell, and Bill Taylor provided insights into the power of parametric and computational design methods transform the way in which designs are conceived and fabricated. The illustrated projects, whose richness and complexity are only possible through these technological advancements.

North Park Block Design Charrette
via James Hencke, Immediate Past President, ASLA Oregon Chapter:
On Friday April 20, members of ASLA Oregon joined forces with staff from Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R), Metro, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) to explore design ideas regarding a new North Park Block. The event included presentations from both PP&R and Metro staff, a site walking tour, a design break-out session, and final presentation of three concepts. ASLA Oregon and agency staff concluded the event with a lively discussion of the three ideas, and since the event, a final PowerPoint document has been transmitted to PP&R for their use. Event feedback has been very positive, and PP&R is already using the ideas in discussions with PNCA and others about the future of the site. Great work ASLA Oregon members!

Nature Play Session
via Marianne Zarkin, Vice President of Chapter Services, ASLA Oregon Chapter:
Anita Van Asperdt and Michelle Mathis presented research findings and case studies, in addition to local projects that illustrated the wide range of natural play facilities. The session provided insights into the need for these types of play facilities – one fascinating slide showed the mobility limitations placed on children over the past fifty years. Where children were once typically given miles to roam, they now may only be allowed to wander to the end of their residential street. The session continued with definitions of nature play and the range of natural elements that can help facilitate play and also included a discussion of risk v. hazards and materials. To end the presentation, Michelle explained the Oregon Natural Play Initiative’s goal of supporting and promoting natural play in our state.

Select Attendee Evaluations

Session A-1
“Great inspiration for current projects”
“Very well done”
“New realm of thinking for projects”
“An amazing presentation, eye-opener”

Session A-2
“fun, informative, & interactive session”
“Inspirational topic and discussion”
“very informative”
“groundbreaking in the way to look at the design process”

Session A-3
“terrific and useful!”

Session B-1
“Pretty awesome”

Session B-2
“Fun! ”,
“presentation was well designed”
“Very helpful”
“Great and so timely!”

Session B-3
“Excellent innovative information”
“very informative”
“’real world’ perspectives”
“humorous and succinct

After reading the summaries above, I would happily venture that the design community in Oregon is willing to get out there and craft things that are unique and innovative. All throughout the day, one could see people demonstrating that we are indeed one big design community. In this age of increased digital communication, it’s easy to forget how important it is to have that human connection – to actually be there to shake hands with friends and chat about what you’ve just learned. Webinars are fine and good, but being able to sit in the actual room and see who is presenting and being a part of the questions and answers is far more interesting to my mind. Thank you to all the presenters and the organizing committee – job well done. I’m sure we are all looking forward to what we will learn at next year’s symposium.

Rebecca Wahlstrom, ASLA Oregon Chapter LANDbytes Editor and Symposium 2012 Attendee 





2011 Soiree Recap

DA-2011It was a night of design, drinks, and distinction as ASLA Oregon, the state chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), held its annual “Celebration of Design” on October 1, 2011 at the elegant Tiffany Center Emerald Ballroom in downtown Portland. While entry submissions were projected onto a large screen, the 116 attendees, comprised of members and professional colleagues, witnessed the bestowing of ten professional and three academic awards recognizing excellence in the field.

At the discretion of the jury, two award levels were presented in six design categories:

1. Honor: recognizing superior professional accomplishment.
2. Merit: given in each category at the jury’s discretion.

The evening kicked off with 90 minutes of music, food, and drink – including the signature “Stone-tini” cocktail sponsored by JP Stone Contractors. Socializing was followed by a welcoming statement from outgoing ASLA Oregon President James Hencke, and then moved to the awards program, moderated by Marianne Zarkin, VP of Chapter Services, who announced the winners, and Sam Williamson, jury member, who shared comments from the jury.

After the design awards outgoing President Hencke invited University of Oregon Professor Ron Lovinger to the stage to speak for a few minutes about several students that the University landscape architecture program had recently recognized with awards.

The evening was capped off by incoming ASLA Oregon President Jeff Schnabel who challenged the group in the year ahead by stating “We do great work, but can we do even better? Can we take the cutting edge work from our state and bring it to a broader national audience?”

Jurists included Maggi Johnson, Fernanda D’Agostino, John van Staveren, Sam Williamson, and Joseph Paul Readdy.

Signature Sponsor
JP Stone Contractors – John Stone

General Sponsors:
Cascade Recreation, Inc. – Martha Gaty
Cedar Landscape, Inc. – Mike Grace
Northwest Recreation – James G. Ringelberg
Rain Bird Corporation – Christen Funk

Table Décor Sponsors:
Diadem USA, Inc. – Leisa Baker
Northwest Playground Equipment – Bob McGarvey
Willamette Graystone, Inc. – Gale Schroeder

In-Kind Sponsor:
GXI Inc. – Brian Scott

ASLA Oregon is a 285 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 see aslaoregon.org.

2011 Gopher Green Golf Tournament Recap

2011 Gopher Green Golf Tournament was a hole-in-one!

Friday, September 7, 2011 @ 1pm
Diamond Woods Golf Course
96040 Territorial Highway, Monroe

The Willamette Valley Section held the first annual Gopher Green Golf Tournament at Diamond Woods in Monroe, Oregon on September 9th. The sunny weather and beautiful golf course provided the perfect setting for an afternoon of golf with colleagues. Though nobody made a hole-in-one to win the SmartCar, everyone had a great time! The Central Print and Reprographics team won first place and almost every golfer received either an event hole prize or a raffle prize. Special thanks to Jake Risley for helping WVS co-chairs to organize the tournament and to Arica Duhrkoop-Galas for volunteering as the hole-in-one witness. This tournament was made possible by our wonderful sponsors: Mutual Materials, Cameron McCarthy, John Deere Landscapes, OBEC Consulting Engineers, Hunter, Irritrol and Toro, Northwest Playground Equipment, DJC Oregon, Central Print, Bandon Crossings, Oakdale Cellars and Caleb Laughlin Illustration. Half of the proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Brian McCarthy Memorial Plaque fund at the University of Oregon.

First Place: Don Smith, Drew Smith, Joe Johnson and Kyle Hauser
Second Place: Jake Risley, Nate Risley, TC Curtis and Rex Smith
Third Place: Loren Berry, Dave Guadagni, Carl Oslund and Carl Sherwood

2 Gopher Golf-2011-0019

3 Gopher Golf-2011-002

photos courtesy of Nicole Ankeney


ASLA Oregon WVS really appreciates your support of our recent Gopher Green Golf Tournament at Diamond Woods on Friday September 9th! Everyone had a really great time – the event would not have been possible without your help and for that, we thank you!