02-08-21 | Feature

Landscape Architecture Foundation

Heather Whitlow
by Heather Whitlow

At LAF's Annual Benefit, Cadence, a Florida landscape architecture practice, hosted a "room" with discussions and live performances by Miami-based spoken word artist Arsimmer McCoy and Danyealah Green Lemons.
Bill Johnson, FASLA was the recipient of the LAF Medal.
Diana Fernandez, an associate with Sasaki, Watertown, MA, gave a presentation about Heterogeneous Futures at the 2020 LAF Innovation + Leadership Symposium.
David Hooper (left) and Lys Divine Ndemeye (right) were the winners of the 2020 Olmstead Scholarships.
President Monte Wilson
Past president Lisa Tziona Switkin
Executive director Barbara Deutsch

In 2020, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) awarded a total of $347,100 through its scholarships, research, and leadership programs. Of this, $203,000 went to students.

In January, six Landscape Architects were selected for the 2020-2021 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership, which kicked off in June. The 2019-2020 LAF Fellows presented their work at the LAF's first ever virtual symposium, attracting over 1,000 registrants.

The 2020 winners of LAF's highest honors were announced. Bill Johnson, FASLA received the LAF Medal, and the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition received the 2020 LAF Founders' Award.


Starting in March, LAF responded to changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by offering webinars on how design firms were adapting and a "Tales from a Recession Grad" series on Instagram Live aimed at students. LAF continued efforts to make equity, inclusion, and justice central tenets in the landscape architecture discipline.

The first $25,000 LAF Research Grant in Honor of Deb Mitchell was awarded to the winning proposal, "Greenscapes to Brownscapes: A Study on Impacts to Contaminant Levels in Landscapes Adjacent to Highways." The Principal Investigators are Allison Kaye Harvey of OJB Landscape Architecture and Andrew Adams of W&M, a Division of Braun Intertec.

In June, the 2020 LAF Olmsted Scholars were announced, including the two national winners, Lys Divine Ndemeye of the University of British Columbia and David Hooper of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

LAF and partners launched the Green New Deal Superstudio, an open call for designers to translate the concepts of decarbonization, justice, and jobs into design and planning projects for their respective regions. This fall semester, 96 university courses are participating, as well as dozens of groups and individuals. The Superstudio runs through June 2021. The work produced will be catalogued as part of a curated collection to form a national vision and regional concepts that can support policymakers and advocates.

2020 marks 10 years of LAF's Landscape Performance Series, an online portal and set of initiatives focused on the measurable environmental, social, and economic benefits of designed landscapes. has more than 50,000 users and 200,000 pageviews annually.

In October, LAF held its first virtual Annual Benefit and online auction, featuring 20+ "rooms" hosted by leaders in landscape architecture.
The final months of 2020 will include publication of the 8 case studies produced through LAF's Case Study Investigation (CSI) research and training program, as well as the selection of faculty and projects for the 2021 program.

As seen in LASN magazine, December 2020.


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