Landscape Architecture Symposium- Representing Landscapes

Posted on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

The Landscape Architecture Symposium, held on September 19, 2019 at the University of Guelph attracted a full house of students (graduates and undergraduates), faculty, and some professions to listen and engagement with an array of talented, well- accomplished international speakers, who are highly regarded in the field. Each presenting a range of creative scholarly work with a focus on landscape representations and data visualization.

Andrea Hansen-Phillips is a faculty member at the University of Virginia, department of Landscape Architecture. She is the principal of Datum Digital Studio, a boutique design studio located Washington, D.C. which specializes in web design and development, data visualization, community engagement tools, and mapping for landscape, architecture, and urban design projects. Andrea also taught at Harvard’s GSD, and the University of Tennessee and was 2014 Code for America Fellow.  She talked about the importance of landscape architects understanding code and using the internet as a means to visually present landscape projects to a wider audience. Andrea’s data visualization projects captivated the audience.

Alfredo Ramirez was the second speakers. He is an architect, co-founder and director of Groundlab a practice committed to research and the development of Landscape Urbanism. He is currently the co- director of the Landscape Urbanism program at the Architectural Association. He showcased projects that dealt with large-scale landscape issues like forestation, and using parametric design to help generation various design solutions to deal with planting and water irrigation. Alfredo is an expert and pioneer of parametric design in landscape architecture.

Allison Daily was the third speaker in this event. She is  the Co-Founder of Ballistic Architecture Machine (BAM), a creative architectural design office with a focus in landscape architecture, based in China and NYC.  Allison was a co-artist and design director at Martha Schwartz Inc. Allison showcased some of BAM’s playful work yet critical works in the public realm. She spoke about ‘intuition method’ for landscape architects, using an approach she calls doodle tech.

Brad Cantrell was the fourth speaker, kicking of the afternoon session. He is an award-winning landscape architect and academic researching computation in landscape architecture. He is currently the Chair of the Landscape Architecture department at the University of Virginia. He is co-author of the publication, Codify – on the topic of parametric and computational design in landscape architecture that investigates what it means to use, transform and craft computational tools in a contemporary design environment. He spoke about the landscapes as machine with various functions and outcomes. He spoke about cyborg ecologies and responsive landscapes.

Maria Counts closed off the presentations with her inspiring talk on various aspects of landscape visualization in her practice, research and teaching. She is currently the Knowledge Manager, specializing in landscape architecture, at global design firm Perkins and Will. Based out of the Miami studio, she is responsible for driving forward the strategy, growth, and knowledge of the firm’s landscape architecture practice. Maria presented her research on soundscapes  “Sonic City: Visualizing Spaces in Urban Places,” which visualized “sounds” as spaces in New York City. Maria also presented sound of her students’ works on modeling and sketching various landscapes using analogue, digital and hybrid representations.

LA Symposium Speakers standing togetherPhoto: (left to right); Professors Sean Kelly, Director of SEDRD and Nadia Amoroso, LA Guest Lecture Coordinator.  LA Guest Speakers:  Andrea Hansen-Phillips, Brad Cantrell, Jose Alfredo Ramirez, Maria Counts and Allison Dailey.

The event closed with a conversion with the speakers, responding to audience’s questions, and with a networking session. The conversions and engagement between the audience and speakers were highly valuable. This event made possible via a SSHRC grant and coordinated by Prof. Nadia Amoroso.

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