ASLA Annual 2012 in Pheonix, Arizona

Published On: 4 September 2013


This year’s American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) conference was hosted by the Arizona Chapter at the recently expanded Phoenix Convention Centre. The inspirational conference theme was formally stated to be “Beyond Boundaries: Design, Leadership and Community.” However in an ironic way, the message apparent to me throughout many of the sessions I attended was a stronger than ever focus on working within the regional and site specific boundaries that exist for each project.  Boundaries certainly were pushed in the approaches and projects that were highlighted by presenters, who had designed innovative solutions, identifying, researching and respecting the finite nature of resources associated with their specific projects.

Top pick for my most enjoyed session was: ‘The Evolution of Green Infrastructure:  NYC’s Green Infrastructure Plan & Program’ presented by Nette Compton (ASLA), John McLaughlin and Lacy Shelby, all with the City of New York.

The Panel shared such highly detailed and useful information, in a refreshing and collaborative tone.  This session was a perfect example of the potential for information exchange that makes gatherings such as the ASLA Conference so important in furthering the profession of Landscape Architecture; where Members can learn from each other’s experiences, trials, and errors to expedite the process of reaching truly functional design solutions.

I also took time to explore the stunning Sonoran Desert landscape that surrounds Phoenix, joining a conference group horseback guided tour to view the petroglyphs of South Mountain Park, and taking a day to hike on my own through the red rocks of Sedona.