World Landscape Architecture Month, Pharrell, Ball State and Purdue

Landscape Architecture

World Landscape Architecture Month, Pharrell, Ball State and Purdue


Now that I’ve got your attention, did you know that April is World Landscape Architecture Month?  Why does it matter? As the American Society of Landscape Architects explains it, this “is an opportunity for landscape architects across the world to celebrate, showcase and educate others about our great profession of landscape architecture.”

World Landscape Architecture Month is connecting each ASLA chapter with a sister organization in a foreign country to collaborate, share ideas, and reach new audiences with social media.  The Indiana Chapter of ASLA is teamed up with South Korea and will share several stories and connections between Indiana and South Korea.  Additionally, all landscape architects are being asked to take pictures of designed spaces with the “Designed By A Landscape Architect” card, and share on social media. Using the hashtag #WLAM2015, you can follow stories and projects of landscape architects around the world.

As landscape architects, we enjoy the complexity of our work, though to the lay observer, well, we just plant trees. As I drove back from Indiana University in Bloomington this afternoon following a construction progress meeting, I was struck by one of the lines from the ever popular (some may say overplayed) Pharrell song “Happy”.  In the chorus he says to “clap along if you feel like a room without a roof”.  For the first time, I really listened closely to these lyrics and realized it is a perfect summary of, and theme for, the majority of what we as landscape architects do on a daily basis – we design rooms without a roof!

Thinking back to my site meeting in Bloomington for the soon-to-open School of Global and International Studies, it occurred to me that the landscape architectural component consists of just that; many different rooms without a roof, like the large southern courtyard under construction in the photo below.  In another 4 months, the site walls will be complete, sod and trees (and a 40,000 gallon rain collection tank for irrigation) will be installed and students will be able to congregate and experience this new environment in the middle of an architectural jewel on Indiana University’s campus.

Want to learn more? Check out these events related to landscape architecture happening throughout April:

•    A lecture by Peter Schaudt at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (4/9)
•    Ball State College of Architecture and Planning – 50th Anniversary Celebration (4/9 – 4/11)
•    Purdue Landscape Architecture – 50th Anniversary Celebration (4/17 – 4/18)
•    ASLA Advocacy Day 2015 in Washington, D.C. (4/23 – 4/24)
•    Earth Day Indiana 2015 at White River State Park (4/25)

Landscape architecture is a profession that is full of endless opportunities and being a member of this profession makes me very happy, so please… “Clap along if you know what happiness is to you!”

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