2018 ASLA Student Honor & Merit Awards

The ASLA student Honor and Merit award program, administered through the ASLA chapters, is a collaborative effort between chapters and landscape architecture programs. The awards recognize academic achievement, design competence, and interpersonal skills, and are distributed to outstanding students in programs across the country.

The number of awards are based on the size of the academic program. At the University of Oregon, the faculty nominate two BLA students and two MLA students each year. Our nominees were recognized by the University of Oregon faculty as truly outstanding students for their scholarship, excellence in design, and service to the department. This recognition is worthy of honor and congratulations.

This year, for the first time, the Oregon Chapter of ASLA and the Department of Landscape Architecture convened a jury of ASLA members to hear 20-minute presentations from student nominees. After hearing the presentations, the jury deliberated their decision based on the following criteria:

  • Department citizenship
  • Design rigor
  • Scholarship
  • Overcoming challenges
  • Mentorship
  • Leadership
  • Potential professional impact

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards. UO LA and ASLA Oregon will present the awards in person later this year at ASLA Oregon’s Annual Awards Soiree in Portland on Friday, November 2nd.

Flora Chen, Graduate Honor Award
Lin (Flora) Chen is an MLA Candidate at the University of Oregon. She was born and raised in Taiwan where she pursued an undergraduate degree in horticulture and cultivated a passion towards art, cultural exchange, and landscape architecture. The collaborative integration of ideas, appropriate response to natural and cultural processes, and an active engagement of the gradient between opposites are what she values. She encourages herself to become a humble practitioner, researcher, and teacher, who leads creative practices to elevate the field of landscape architecture in Taiwan and eventually, serve as a bridge between the United States and Asia.

Alexis Griffin, Undergraduate Honor award
Alexis is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) Degree and a minor in Geography. During Alexis’ tenure at the University of Oregon, she pursued an education that emphasized the systems, forces, and networks at play in our landscapes and around our built environments by seeking a better understanding of what plants composed the surrounding vernacular and what sociocultural systems were at play.

Alexis has experience with the residential scale design and maintenance and spent two years as a gardener for the Museum of Natural and Cultural History honing her understanding of native plants through various seasons and climatic conditions. As a student, Alexis wanted to be involved both with leadership and hands-on opportunities. As the UO ASLA BLA Outreach Coordinator, she facilitated many peer-to-peer skill-shares to better acquaint younger students with more seasoned students to allow the opportunity for interdependence among cohorts. As a Co-Director for CASL (Community for the Advancement of Sustainable Living) Alexis acted as the Landscape facilitator and the big picture coordinator, making sure that the year plan was unfolded, and the landscape maintenance was kept up to par with University standards. Alexis also acted as Treasurer to manage the organization’s finances over the year.

Alexis wants to pursue a master’s degree in Geography –  of the fluvial variety – with a major focus in GIS. She is also inspired to become the head landscape architect of a large campus, or system of vegetation, helping to steward its growth and evolution through climate change under my purview.  

Alexis is passionate, nerdy about very specific things, and driven, by nature. Watercolors, charcoals, and pens can always be found nearby. She reads too much, hikes often, and dreams of building a tiny home surrounded by an edible landscape and miniature animals.

Megan Little, Undergraduate Merit award
Megan just completed her Bachelors of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon, while concluding her service as the University of Oregon ASLA Chapter President. During her studies, Megan explored the importance of interdisciplinary design collaboration in an academic setting to further the field of landscape architecture. She firmly believes fostering communication skills and learning to work with different minds is integral to the success of large scale, climate adapted designs. As a student, she served as a HOPES Conference coordinator, which invites professionals and visiting scholars to discuss how the connection between ecology and design disciplines can produce sustainable solutions. Her current interests revolve around propelling operational landscapes beyond their industrial past. Specifically looking at river systems and gravel mining, Megan hopes to find new forms of productivity in post industrial mines, driving the sites narrative past its industrial history. After graduation, Megan will be continue to explore her interests in landscape architecture and large-scale urban river projects as a Designer at MVVA in Cambridge, MA.


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.

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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!
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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.

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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!

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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.