Sean E. Michael
Private practice in landscape architecture is highly competitive, with firms of many sizes and disciplines vying for the same contracts. For firms to survive in crowded, talent-rich markets, they must provide valuable design and planning services while maintaining the profitability of their office(s). Without exception, both of these demands must be met if a sustainable practice is sought. This talk explains the significance of business practices in the minds of practitioners, sharing results from a 2021 study of one of the oldest and most successful firms in North America.
Dr. Michael holds a joint appointment in Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning and Outdoor Product Design & Development. He served on the faculty at Texas Tech and Washington State Universities before joining USU in 2008 as Department Head. His past research interests have included the relationship between landscapes and criminal behavior, Western gateway communities, and recreational trail design. He recently completed a sabbatical focusing on the history of vehicle-based adventure travel, while studying the role of business practices in landscape architecture as the Design Workshop Faculty-in-Residence. He is a Fellow of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture, and previously served as the organization’s President.
Marc will discuss the recent work of PUBLIC WORK, the studio he co-founded based in Toronto, Canada. Toronto has served as both a laboratory and inspiration for exploring the complex processes of building a city in which the public realm is central to its quality of life. The ambiguous identity of Toronto’s cityscape at the beginning of the 21st century leaves space for the re-articulation and design of the public realm, a chance to make source landscapes more vivid in the city and re-engage the civic imagination through landscape. In this talk, Marc will explore some of the themes which drive the work of the practice and share recent projects.
Marc Ryan is principal and co-founder of PUBLIC WORK, a Toronto-based office for urban design and landscape architecture focused on one of the foremost public topics today—the intelligent evolution of the contemporary city. Established in 2012, the studio aims to produce transformative works that invigorate the public realm, optimize and enhance the performance of urban and natural systems, and support public life by adding new layers of experience to the city. PUBLIC WORK has emerged as a leading design studio who are innovators of transforming under-utilized terrain into new urban landscapes.
Marc is a landscape architect dedicated to the design of the public realm and life of cities. Drawing from an education in both landscape architecture and architecture, his work seeks synthesis in the rediscovery of the public realm within challenging environments amidst rapid urban growth. Throughout more than two decades of practice in Canada, the United States and Europe, he has dedicated his passion, advocacy, and professional work toward elevating the role of landscape and the public realm in shaping the quality and experience of cities. His design practice focuses on projects for the public realm using landscape as a primary medium, providing leadership to uncover and create a dramatic new sense of place. He is currently dedicated to guiding public realm design, planning and infrastructure projects at multiple scales so they relate powerfully to their context and enhance the quality and experience of urban life.
More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. Monarch Butterflies population has plummeted 99.9% since the 1980s. This poses a tremendous risk to our ecosystem. This talk will reflect on how Patricia's love for bees has led her on a path that transformed how she approaches design as activism while harnessing the creative process. She believes that landscape architects have an important role and the potential to make a big impact for insect survival.
Patricia was born and raised in Mexico, she is the founding principal of BASE. A recognized leader in sustainable design and community involvement, Patricia creates landscapes that immerse people of all backgrounds and abilities in learning, exploration and play. Patricia’s community involvement and advocacy expand the boundaries of traditional landscape architecture. She founded an NGO that creates healthy habitats for pollinators. She has lectured at many universities and has won two national faculty ASLA awards. She received her MLA from UC Berkeley in 2007.
This presentation focuses on the potential of the residential college model to extend the place-based learning ethos of Landscape Architecture beyond the discipline. Drawing on previous scholarship examining the intersection between community engagement and engaged scholarship, this work assesses the shared values of the place-based education model within Landscape Architecture and the residential college model to understand the contours, and potential, of transformative and immersive learning experiences. Fusing place-based education into a residential college model has the potential to empower student learning, faculty teaching, and research, and importantly positions students to develop critical capacities in leadership and social change.
Dr. C.L. Bohannon is the Associate Director of the School of Architecture + Design, Associate Professor in Landscape Architecture and Faculty Principal of the Leadership and Social Change Residential College at Virginia Tech. Dr. Bohannon’s research focuses on the relationship between community engagement and design education, primarily through design for social and environmental justice. Through his research, Dr. Bohannon works in the landscape context of community history and identity, social/environmental (in)justice, and community learning. His research has led to contributions to the theorization and application of community engagement in design education. Dr. Bohannon teaches courses on community-engaged design research, design research methods, contemporary research topics in landscape architecture, and seeing, understanding & representing landscapes.
OJB Landscape Architecture is a collaborative practice that weaves together ecology, social spaces and gardens. Each project brings together teams of specialists and practice leaders committed to creating meaningful, impactful spaces that challenge the conventional boundaries of landscape architecture.
Jereck Boss developed an interest in design, architecture and landscape architecture at an early age being inspired by the painterly desert near his childhood home that while fragile, still managed to thrive in extreme conditions, leading him to earn a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at Utah State University in 1993. Jereck is a Partner at OJB Landscape Architecture leveraging over 25 years of professional experience overseeing a range of institutional, corporate campus, mixed-use, and large-scale urban design projects, including walkable and innovative streetscapes. Jereck’s deep respect for natural topography, innovative “design first” philosophy, and the belief that good design should not be neutralized by limitations – but rather limitations stimulate creative solutions not previously considered, have earned him many awards for his work including Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award for Landscape Architecture and Utah State LAEP Distinguished Alumni.
Gina Ford and Brie Hensold
Join us as Gina Ford and Brie Hensold share Agency’s stories of building a mission-driven firm, committing to engagement-driven design, and what it means to be a women-led practice, today.
Gina Ford is a landscape architect, co-founder and principal of Agency Landscape + Planning. Underpinning her two decades of practice are a commitment to the design and planning of public places and the perpetuation of the value of landscape architecture via thought leadership, teaching, writing, and lecturing. Her work has received awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Architects, among others. She is on the board of directors for the Cultural Landscape Foundation and was the recipient of the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship and Wellesley College’s Shaw Fellowship. Brie Hensold is an urban planner, co-founder and principal of Agency Landscape + Planning. With a passion for understanding and improving communities and places, Brie brings a systems-based approach that integrates multiple disciplines and celebrates diverse perspectives. She has extensive experience developing creative and meaningful community engagement processes for planning and design projects. Brie’s experience encompasses multiple scales, from downtown plans to citywide park systems to resilience strategies. Her work has received awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association, and the American Institute of Architects, among others. She co-teaches an executive education class in resilient cities at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
The Lansing, Michigan-born Johnson studied landscape architecture at Michigan State University and graduated in 1953. Following his military service, he completed an M.L.A. at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). While in Cambridge, he worked for Hideo Sasaki and was an instructor at the GSD. Returning to the Midwest to practice, Johnson formed Johnson, Johnson and Roy (JJR) in 1961, a partnership with his brother Carl and friend Clarence Roy. A master plan for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor established the firm’s approach of integrated planning and analysis. The search for fitness, harmony, and community involvement became William Johnson’s core design philosophy and a trademark of JJR’s work. Throughout his career, Johnson blended practice, at JJR (1961-1975) and as William J. Johnson Associates (1980-1992), with his commitment to education. A professor of landscape architecture beginning in 1958, he served as dean of the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan from 1975 to 1983, and became Professor Emeritus in 1988. Johnson’s practice focused on campus, resort, and community planning, as well as parks and recreation projects. He formed a partnership with Peter Walker in 1992, which led to many national and international commissions. Johnson was named a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1973, awarded the ASLA Medal in 1986, and received the LAF Medal in 2020.
The past 18 months have challenged our precepts of landscape architecture's role in shaping a just society. New York-based Elizabeth J. Kennedy, ASLA discusses how a practice focused on forgotten voices responds to a broader understanding of social justice.
Elizabeth is the founder of Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect, PLLC (EKLA). Black-owned and woman-run, EKLA is the longest-surviving such firm in the country. Its longevity is due to Elizabeth’s tenacity and her belief in the importance of service—to clients, community, her profession, and the process of design.
The work she directs quietly challenges mainstream assumptions about the aspirations and needs of underrepresented voices to counter the systems and biases that have long dispossessed the less powerful of spaces and rendered the people who use them invisible. Her best-known projects at the intersection of social justice and design exemplify landscape architecture’s potential to engage a broader critical understanding of place and identity. She built EKLA to highlight the heart of her clients’ stories and mission. From this perspective and standpoint, Elizabeth teaches, directs, critiques, frames, collaborates, and edits – in studio and national debate.
This presentation will include Carol’s professional path and how she became a recognized leader in the profession of landscape architecture in the Pacific Northwest. She will reveal how she follows her design passions and shapes the region in which she lives, what fuels her creative drive, and her sources of inspiration.
Carol Mayer-Reed, FASLA, is partner-in-charge of landscape architecture and urban design at Mayer/Reed. Mayer/Reed is a 30-person Portland-based design firm providing landscape architecture, urban design, and visual communications services. The firm’s work in creating places for human activity explores the social, cultural, ecological, and historic contexts that shape these environments. Mayer/Reed is recognized regionally and nationally for design excellence.
Carol’s 40+ years of experience represent a wide array of project types, in public and private sectors. Projects range from urban waterfronts and site master planning to natural water systems, transportation corridors, urban renewal, parks and recreation, and corporate and higher education campuses.
Carol is distinguished as a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects and holds registration as a landscape architect in the states of Oregon, Washington, California, and Idaho. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ohio State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture and Planning from Utah State University. She frequently lectures and presents the work of her firm at professional conferences and universities around the country.
Notable, award-winning projects include The Rain Garden at the Oregon Convention Center, the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade, the Nike World Headquarters North Campus Expansion, the Orange Line Light Rail Transit project, and the Willamette Falls Riverwalk.
The education received as a landscape architect extends beyond what is needed to work at a design firm. Greg will share some of the insights learned of how the education of a landscape architect can be applied to other disciplines in shaping the built environment.
Greg Montgomery (BLA 1980) is the present Planning Division Manager for Ogden, Utah. After graduating from Utah State, he worked for Ogden City for a year under a federal grant program called UPARR (urban park and recreation recovery). This opportunity of assessing the city parks and infrastructure allowed him to work with the city’s planning office. Greg took advantage of this opportunity to do as Ian McHarg, encouraged students to do a year earlier when he was a guest lecturer in the LAEP department. McHarg’s challenge was for “students trained in Landscape Architecture to infiltrate into all disciplines and public realms.” Greg shared with the two planners assigned to the city, design principles that could help them as the city was going into a transition phase with the opening a new downtown mall.
In the fall of 1981, Ogden City created its own planning department, separate from Weber County and Greg was offered a position with that transition. He has spent forty years working in the planning division. The first challenge began with helping the city see the need or requiring landscaping for commercial development. The challenges only became larger over the years. Greg received his American Institute of Certified Planners certificate in 1991. Over time, the planning division’s influence grew to encouraging the development of the Ogden River Trail system, the protection of the foothills and the development of Ogden’s Bonneville Shore line trail and the connecting trail system, the development of the Municipal Gardens into a connected open green space in the center of the city, the preservation of Ogden’s historic resources, especial Historic 25th Street which was named in 2014 by the American Planning Association as one of the “Great American Streets.” The most recent city development came from the LAEP 2018 fall urban design studio which produced the “Reinventing the Rails Merging East and West”. That project became the impetus for the “Make Ogden” downtown redevelopment plan which was approved in the fall of 2020.
A Sense of Place: Site and Landscape Designs for Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
This presentation will include Kevin’s career serving over 24 years as a landscape architect for temples and other major projects for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Follow Kevin’s career, as he reveals the unique characteristics and criteria related to design of temple sites, the Church’s Conference Center rooftop gardens, and other major projects for the Church. He will also discuss his rare role working with landscape architects throughout the world, and encouraging increasing roles of landscape architects with the design process.
Kevin R. Shields serves as Sr. Landscape Architect for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is one of 3 landscape architects employed by the Church. He has served as a landscape architect for the Church for 24 years and currently directs the landscape and site design for temples and other major Church projects.
When Kevin was hired by the Church in early 1997 there were 50 temples. As of this write-up there are now 252 temples built, under construction, or recently announced. There have also been many other temple sites undertake major landscape renovations during his tenure, including the current Salt Lake Temple renovation project which includes over 20 acres of urban design. He also assisted with the design and construction of the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake.
Kevin’s job is unique as a landscape architect. Rather than compete with other landscape architects for work he helps landscape architects and other consultants throughout the world by providing design direction, quality, and expectations unique to Church facilities. He has strongly promoted and advocated the need for landscape architects on these projects and has been thrilled to see so many architects and others hiring landscape architects or employing them within their firms.
Prior to working with the Church, Kevin worked in a small multi-disciplinary firm in California for 7 years where he was able to work on a variety of site planning and landscape projects from lakeside and golf course developments and new university master plans to hospitals and small commercial properties.
Kevin holds a BLA degree from Utah State University, is a long-time member of ASLA, and is a strong supporter of Utah State University and the LAEP program, serving as a mentor in the LAEP program for many years, and serving on the Tooele County USU Alumni Board and as Board President, raising thousands of dollars in scholarships for many students wishing to attend USU.
Long-time career Planner and Lecturer will discuss how Planning and Landscape Architecture work together to create great communities of lasting value for all. Using real-world examples from various states, illustrations and explanations will be made as to how and why successes were created and some missteps made. Thoughts on the future outlook for this relationship will be related.
Ms. Wheeler earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree from California State University, Los Angeles, and Master of Urban and Regional Studies from the University of Southern California.
She served as Director of Planning for several California cities including Monterey Park, Davis and Palm Springs and the city of Las Vegas, NV, from 2001 to 2011. Areas of specific interest were downtown revitalization, urban design, professional ethics and the training and advancement of staff, especially women and minorities.
In 2014 she was elected to the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows, which is the highest honor of the profession. This honor is awarded for individual efforts resulting in significant and transformational improvements to the communities they serve and the field of planning.
During her career she lectured at California State University, San Bernardino, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Since 2014 she has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ.
Gene Dyer and Dorothy Dyer
Gene and Dorothy Dyer both graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Architecture with Master’s in Architecture. They both graduated with second Master’s from Harvard University in Urban Design and American Architectural Education. They practiced Architecture with their own Design firm, Dyer+Dyer, as well as worked for Moshe Safdie 34 years, and were involved with projects all over the world. They have been teaching throughout their careers.
Shannon Ellsworth is the Community Development Manager for Sunrise Engineering. She attended Utah State University, where she earned a degree in landscape architecture and environmental planning, and later earned an MBA at BYU. Shannon works with communities throughout the West as they make environmental, land-use, and infrastructure decisions. She was the author of the San Juan County Resource Management Plan during the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument in 2016. In 2019 Shannon was elected to the Provo City Council. She is currently a board member for LDS Earth Stewardship, and the Governor's Rural Partnership Board.
Kristina Hill is a scholar of urban design and environmental planning. She studies the impacts of flooding on urban districts and ecosystems, and develops strategies for adaptation to climate change. Her current work is on adaptation to rising coastal groundwater, centered on biodiversity, new financing strategies, and environmental justice. She has developed adaptation strategies for the San Francisco Bay Area, New Orleans, Seattle, Virginia Beach and the South Bronx. She has published widely, and lectures internationally on infrastructure and adaptation. Kristina holds a PhD from Harvard University, and teaches at UC Berkeley in landscape architecture, urban design and environmental planning.
Caroline Lavoie, AAPQ, CSLA, is French-Canadian American and is currently a professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at Utah State University, where she teaches planning, urban design, and landscape architecture. Caroline is also an artist who has exhibited her drawings around the world. Lavoie is the recipient of 2019 Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture CELA Award Senior level for excellence in Teaching Design Studios for the past 25 years. She recently returned from sabbatical in India.
Mia Lehrer, FASLA, founded MLA with a vision to improve quality of life through landscape. She is internationally recognized for progressive landscape design, advocacy for sustainable and people-friendly public places, and catalyzing work for a climate-appropriate future. Mia has led the design and implementation of ambitious public and private projects, including the Hollywood Park Racetrack redevelopment and its new LA NFL Stadium, the LA County Natural History Museum Gardens, Vista Hermosa Natural Park, and many Los Angeles River-related projects. She earned her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and lectures and teaches around the world. In 2017 she received the ASLA’s LaGasse Medal.
Steven Spears and Rebecca Leonard
Rebecca Leonard was at Design Workshop for 12 years—a principal for nine years, partner for seven years, and president for the last three. Although her previous work had stretched from the private to the public sectors and across many project types, she was able to help the firm pivot during the recession from mostly private development to a balance of private and public work. She then founded her own firm, Lionheart Places LLC in Austin, TX. She is a planner, designer and advocate for smart communities. After 20 years working for both the public sector and other consulting firms, she has witnessed many visions struggle towards implementation. Public private partnerships are particularly challenging for decision-makers, and they are Rebecca’s specialty.
Steven Spears is an independent landscape architecture design consultant and a principal with GroundWork Development Company. Integrating his education in landscape architecture and fine arts, Spears has worked for 20+ years across the globe in the planning and design of numerous urban streetscapes, park and public realm, resort, private residential, mixed use, green infrastructure, corporate campus and master planned community projects. Thoughtful leadership, design, and research creates the foundation of Spears work. He methodically integrates the local values of economy, sustainability, culture, and human sensory. At the core is his relentless pursuit of sustainably integrating humanity and ecology. He was inducted into the American Society of Landscape Architects' Council of Fellows in 2015.